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A key skill learned in preschool years is one-to-one correspondence in counting. One-to-one correspondence means your child can count each object within a group by touching it and saying the corresponding number. Mastery of this concept provides initial knowledge to foundational math skills (like addition and subtraction) and proves the child understands that each object means “one more.”
Children learn this skill at varied ages within the preschool years. Some children with special needs may take a little longer to show mastery due to fine motor, cognitive, or speech delays.
If kids need a little nudge of motivation to practice, fun and funny books can help! Below, you’ll find five books for your preschoolers to practice one-to-one correspondence counting. All of these books include illustrations that offer the correct number of objects on each page to get real practice.
Five Books to Help Your Preschooler Practice One-to-One Correspondence Counting
- Count on the Subway by Paul DuBois Jacobs, Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino (Knopf, 2014) – This brightly colored book follows a mom and child on a subway journey in New York. The text includes numbers as well as bouncy rhythm. The illustrations color code what needs to be counted, making practice a little smoother for young preschoolers.
- 1 to 20, Animals Aplenty by Katie Viggers (POW!, 2014) – When you open to the first page of this book, you might think you’re just reading a normal counting book. But, as you keep going, you realize how unique this counting book is! The animals complete fun and sometimes silly actions, but readers also get nonfiction information thrown in with specific names within a species of animal.
- Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, Illustrations by Kevin Cornell (Disney-Hyperion, 2013) – This book ensures giggles every time. The plot is hilarious, the illustrations exuberant, and, yes, you can count each crazy scenario happening on every page spread.
- Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer, Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle, 2013) – This non-fiction picture book introduces incredibly interesting and varied statistics about different animals, from how many fleeces an alpaca grows to how many joeys a kangaroo can birth. Most of the illustrations allow for complete one-to-one correspondence counting of a wide range of numbers. (I say most because drawing 1,000 seahorses would take a lot of space!)
- Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss (using his pen name, Theo LeSieg) (HarperCollins, 1961) – This Dr. Seuss classic boasts some competitive animals, but great practice for counting multiple times.
What are your children’s favorite counting books?