Basic Math Skills in Child Care: One-to-One Correspondence and Counting

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When it comes to math, child care providers often emphasize counting. Counting involves memorizing the number words in the proper order (one, two, three, four, five…). Young children are capable of recognizing numbers from one to 10. They can learn the number names as well as recognizing the number symbols.

One-to-one correspondence is being able to use this knowledge to skillfully count an actual number of objects. A child that understands one-to-one correspondence knows that 2 cookies = 2 or that 5 raisins = 5.

Many young children have memorized the number words in the proper order, but sometimes do not yet understand the concept of one-to-one correspondence. For example, they might say “1,2,3,4,5″ but skip an object. Or, they count an object twice. Children need many opportunities to practice saying one number with one object. Also, during the preschool years, children begin to recognize and write numerals.

For More Information

To learn more about teaching math concepts to young children in child care, take a look at the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles:

Looking for math-related activities for young children? Browse through activities in the Hands-On Activities Database.