fun & Easy One-to-One Correspondence Activities with a Five or Ten Frame


Let’s take a look at an important early math concept, one-to-one correspondence. I’ll show you some super simple and fun one-to-one correspondence activities that you can do with this printable five or ten-frame.

One-to-one correspondence with ten-frames.

What is One-to-One Correspondence?

Before kids can learn to count they need to have an understanding of one-to-one correspondence. Learn how to use these free printable ten-frames to help kids understand the concept.

When kids begin to count objects, they often assign more than one number to an object because they have not yet mastered one-to-one correspondence.

Let’s say I have a handful of loose buttons and ask kids to count them.  A child who hasn’t mastered one-to-one correspondence points to one button and says “one, two”.  Then, he or she points to another button and says “three”.  Finally, the child points to yet another button and says “four, five”.    This child is able to recite the numbers in the correct order but did not actually count the buttons.

How To Know If a Child Understands One-to-One Correspondence?

When a child has mastered the concept of one-to-one correspondence he or she is able to assign one number to each object as they are counted.  One way to help kids understand that one number word is assigned to only one object is to ask kids to touch an/or place objects as they count them.

How to Use Five and Ten-Frames for One-to-One Correspondence Activities

Using a five or ten-frame is a great way to provide kids with a system to organize and match objects as they count them. Ask kids to place one object in each square as they say each number.   It may take some time for kids to understand the concept, so keep practicing.

Understanding number sense with five and ten-frames. - an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

Download the Printable Ten-Frame

If you need a five or ten-frame, I have created a b&w printable ten-frame for you.  Create your own math activities by downloading your copy.  Just click on the link below:

Printable Ten Frame Activity

Download and print out your five or ten-frame. an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

You can use a variety of counters with the frames.  Teacher supply stores have many types of counters, but you can find lots of counters in your home that are free.

Use all sorts of counters for your five or ten-frames. an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

Use coins, bottle caps, poker chips, crackers, building blocks, small toy animals, cars, little people figures……

Use googly eyes for a fun ten-frame counter for your one-to-one correspondence.  an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

Get creative and look through your craft bins or supply closet.  Use googly eyes, sticky notes, puffballs, cotton balls, mini erasers…..

Customize Your Five and Ten-Frames

Of course, I love to use every opportunity to get crafty and creative, and I love to decorate my ten-frames for math activities and games.  You can use stickers or small pictures to complement a classroom theme or the specific interests of a child.  It’s so easy….and it will often make the activity more fun and meaningful.

Use cute stickers to match your theme for your number sense activity. an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

Here are a few five and ten-frames that I created with the basic printable.  Below, I glued squares and triangles in each square to create a house for each mouse.  Instead of the mice, it would also be fun to use little people counters or little block figures.  Kids can help each little person find a home as they count to five.

Make houses in your five or ten-frames to help kids engage.  an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

On the ten-frame below, I added butterfly stickers and used colorful buttons as the counters.  It would be fun to give each butterfly a flower too.  Kids enjoy it when animals are on the squares of a ten-frame because they can pretend that they are feeding each animal.

One-to-one correspondence math activities with ten-frames. an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

Here is a ten-frame with a patriotic twist.  Little star erasers can be placed on top of the star in each square.  This is perfect for a patriotic holiday them, superhero theme, or it would even be a fun addition to a Christmas math center.

Five and ten-frame number sense practice. an example of one-to-one correspondence activities

I hope that you enjoy creating some fun one-to-one correspondence activities with my printable ten-frame. I would love to hear the creative ways that you help your kids develop their early math skills.

More Math for Preschoolers

I love ten-frames because they can be used to work on so many different early math concepts.  You might also enjoy this article about using ten-frames for games.  You and your kids may also enjoy some of the te- frames resources from the store.  Click on the pictures below to check them out and get started with one-to-one correspondence activities and more today.