Pom poms and an egg carton become a fine motor exercise that helps toddlers learn one-to-one correspondence. This is an essential skill that teaches children to point to one symbol at a time while saying what it is.
You have probably seen your child count while pointing to one object more than once. They may even count while not even pointing to an object but hopping their finger across a page in a book. This is all perfectly normal for toddlers and early preschool aged children.
This activity that helps toddlers learn one-to-one correspondence will, over time, teach your child to point to one item at a time. The best part is, you only need 2 supplies to try it!
Activity to Teach Toddlers One-to-One Correspondence
Pom poms (or cotton balls, or rocks, or Lego bricks)
How to make it:
Cut off the top of an egg carton.
Pre-count the pom poms so that you have a number of pom poms equal to the number of egg cups in the egg carton. Usually you need 12 or 18…unless you buy the mega pack of eggs at Costco like we do!
Show your child how to place one pom pom into each egg cup. You can count while you do this.
Then your child can try placing the pom poms into each cup while you count for them. This models how to count one pom pom as it is dropped into each egg cup.
After your child fills up each egg cup, encourage them to remove the pom poms while you count again.
I find, after I show my children how to play a game like this one-that helps toddlers learn one-to-one correspondence-they often want to try it on their own. The nice part of this game is you don’t have to worry if the egg carton gets ripped or broken.
My toddler wanted to keep doing this one over and over again. She put the pom poms in the cups and then we counted them as she took them out. I was doing most of the counting, but that repetition is so good for a toddler’s learning.
This activity slows your child down to focus on the placing and the counting of each object. Often in books there are so many images on a page, and even the text can be distracting while a toddler is learning to point and count. It is still essential to read and help them point to one thing at a time. This learning activity focuses on the fine motor skills to emphasize learning.
Other one to one correspondence games for toddlers:
Let me know what you think of this one in the comments below. Check out all of our Toddler Activities for Learning.