One-to-One Correspondence Counting Game

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Are you needing a quick, easy, and effective way to work on counting one object at a time with your TK, Pre-K, or Kindergarten students? I’ve got you covered! This One-to-One Correspondence Counting Game is one of my kids’ favorite games we play. Plus, there’s no prep and it uses supplies you likely have on hand. This activity is so fast and fun that we play it almost daily!

*Pair with our Play and Learn with Manipulatives BUNDLE for Pre-K & Kindergarten!

This quick and easy One-to-One Correspondence Counting Game uses minimal supplies and is perfect for TK, Pre-K, and Kindergarten!

One-to-One Correspondence Counting Game

Since this number talk activity is so quick and easy, I like to use it when we are lining up or during transitions to work on counting and listening skills. But it’s also perfect for calendar or circle time!

And since counting bears are pretty much a staple in any early childhood classroom, the only other thing you need to play this game with your own kiddos is a jar or cup. Any container you have on hand could work!

For this one-to-one correspondence counting game, all you need is a set of counting bears and a jar or cup.

How to Play

To play, I begin by asking our classroom helper to pick a number between 1-10 (it can be more or less too!).

After they have picked a number, the helper drops that many counting bears into a jar or cup as the rest of the students count aloud.

Now for the fun part… the kids can only say the next number when they HEAR the bear drop!

At the beginning of the year, I model this activity without a helper. That means that I can “trick” the students to make it extra engaging and challenging.

I may let them count “1, 2, 3…” and then pause or dangle a bear above the cup to see if they get ahead of me and count the bear BEFORE it drops.

Drop the counting bears into the cup one at a time as the students count aloud.

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Once they have been tricked, they are sure to give their full attention so that it doesn’t happen again!

After playing a few times with me as the counter, the kids can’t wait to be the helper and try to trick their friends!

Teacher Tip: Every morning I choose a new student to be the teacher helper for the entire day (and it only takes 1-2 minutes!). Since we already have a daily helper in place, it is super easy to dive right into our counting game at any time.

Using a clear container allows the students to see the number of bears as they practice one-to-one correspondence.

More Ways to Play:

  • add dice to work on subitizing skills
  • use number cards
  • recount the bears onto ten frames
  • play with different manipulatives such as counting cubes

Want to see the game in action? Just click on the video below!

My students absolutely love this counting game. It’s so fun and all the while they are building up one-to-one correspondence skills and listening skills!

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The Kindergarten Connection
One-to-One Correspondence Counting Game

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