This is a quick-to-set-up activity to help develop 1-to-1 correspondence, with a million variations. “What is 1-to-1 correspondence, and why do I care about developing it?,” you might ask. Here is a very nice explanation I found on 1-to-1 correspondence by Love and Lollipops.
-something with multiple “holes” (ice cube tray, deviled egg tray, paint palette, divided veggie tray,etc.)
-some things to put in the holes (amount corresponding to the # of holes)
-a container to put the things in while they are waiting to be put in the holes
-*optional* (for the more advanced): something to use to move the things into the holes (tongs, spoon/ladle, chopsticks- will help with fine-motor development)
The example here shows a tray with a small pyrex bowl filled with pompoms (15, 3 of each of 5 colors. “why?,” you may ask. “Um, because those were the pompoms I had. Uh, they looked summery on a cold June day?” ), some tongs, and a 15 “hole” silicone ice cube tray.
The goal is to have the child fill each “hole” with one of each item, ideally from left to right and top to bottom. “Why left to right & top to bottom?” Because that is the way we read! Sneaky way to fit in some indirect preparation for reading…