Preschool Counting Activity

Preschool Counting for 1:1 Correspondence

preschool counting activity

Teaching preschool counting is important, but what matters the most is finding a way to grab their attention and keep them engaged. Many Young kids lose interest and that is fine! Don’t push it! They will learn to count when they are ready. When teaching young children it is important to relate to their world and to go at their pace. Paying attention to HOW they count will help you to figure out if they truly understand 1:1 correspondence. We will go over how to approach counting with preschoolers, a great visual preschool counting activity, and what 1:1 correspondence means.

How to break down counting for preschoolers

What is 1:1 correspondence?

It simply means your child understand 1 is 1, and 2 is 2-1s, and 3 is 3-1s, and 4 is 4-1s and so on. Once they understand 1:1 correspondence, then when they count with their finger the point to 1 item at a time and say the number. When a child as not yet reached this understanding, you will see them count separately than from the item they are point to. They will be pointing to items at a different speed then their counting; this is because they do not truly understand what numbers are comprised of.

Preschool Counting Activity

preschool counting activity


  1. Piece of paper, cardstock, or cardboard

  2. Dark marker

  3. Ruler

  4. Incentive counter items that are small (raisins, yogurt covered raisins, gummies etc.)


  1. With your dark marker and using your ruler, create equally spaced horizontal numbers on the top of the page going across (0-10).

  2. Next, underneath the numbers, draw little vertical markers (dots or circles) making up the number. For example, 0 will have none, 1 will have 1 and so on.

  3. Put what they will be using as counters in a small jar next to them.

  4. Go over the activity with them, using the markers and counting out each number for them.

  5. Have them try!

For children that have not fully mastered numbers and counting, stick with number 1-3 in the counting activity until you see they understand their number values. If they have mastered those 3 numbers, you can slowly add more numbers.

This is a very simple and easy to create preschool counting activity. You can easily change it to the level your child is at in their number understanding and easily use various markers to keep making this preschool counting activity new and engaging for your little one.

Looking for other Stimulating activities? Check out STEM Cranberry Build and Pumpkin Physics.

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