This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links I will receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you.
(Bunny aged 39 ½ months)
Bunny is pretty good at counting one-to-one (counting objects with meaning, not missing any out or counting them twice) up to 10 already, and I thought of another way to help her with one-to-one correspondence by matching objects today.
We used Counting Bears (affiliate link) and Spielgaben Set 7 (flat shapes like pattern blocks affiliate) and Set 10 (very small circles). The game was to match plates (large circles) one-to-one to bears.
We then chose some food for the bears, each bear got a pea, and I reinforced “How many peas do we need so each bear can have one pea?” and she was able to answer “6 peas” as there were 6 bears. After she gave out the peas she decided she wanted to give them ham sandwiches, which were made of two brown and one red circle. This is the point when it really turned into a fine motor skill as well! It was a little beyond her to put the “sandwich” on the plate but she was able to build it in her hand. If she were a little more advanced in number skills I would have asked how many bread and ham slices we needed for the 6 bears.
After the bears finished their sandwiches they all wanted ice cream, so each bear was given one dessert plate (semicircle) and one scoop of ice cream. We then repeated the activity, adding in some colour-matched plates and using 9 bears instead of 6.
Bunny loved this activity so much that she wanted to do some more, so I branched out a little. This time the bears got scoops of ice cream related to their size (this might not be a wise development if you are only just working on one-to-one correspondence, it would possibly have been better to stick with the one concept). Big “Daddy” bears got three scoops, middle-sized “Mummy” bears got two scoops and little “Baby” bears got one scoop. She was really happy to do this, and chose to start with one size of bear, then another, then the last. We finally counted how many scoops of ice cream we had given to the bears.
If you don’t have Counting Bears (affiliate link) or Spielgaben you could use anything else you have – cuddly toys and plates from a toy kitchen with toy food would work well for smaller children who are still putting things in their mouths. Pompoms could make a nice activity too.
Questions I asked:
How many ___ are there?
How many ___ do we need for ___ bears?
Do we have enough ___ yet? Count them. How many more do you need so each bear can have one? (She needed help with this)