Learning Activities

Bottle Cap Hoarder

Hello, my name is Kelsie and I have a horading problem. Well hopefully it isn’t a problem. But you can often find a little pile of milk lids in my kitchen, or cardboard boxes in the basement. You never know when you might need a good box to put a kid in and call it a plane?

I have found a great way to use my bottle caps so I thought I would share. This activity really is specific to any 2-4 year old that is working on one-to-one correspondence.

One-to-one correspondence is a child’s ability to match an object to another, or a number or a person. It is very important for a preschooler, or earlier, to realize that as they are counting each object, that object belongs to a number. Before a child masters this skill they are simply chanting a memorized phrase.

Any time you can help your child give an object they are counting a definite number you are helping to reinforce this knowledge. You can teach one-to-one correspondence by having them simply touch an object when they count. The next step would be to have a child move an object to a written number as they count. This will help them hear AND see this new skill.

Enter the bottle caps…

Bottle Cap Counting


  • Bottle caps
  • Clean cloth
  • Permanent marker
  • Small objects to count (acorns, rocks, marbles, lego pieces)

Set Up

  • Take your bottle caps and wipe them clean with your cloth. Making sure they are clean and dry will help your permanent marker write clearer.
  • On the inside of the cap draw your numbers 1-5, 1-10, 1-20, depending on how many caps you have hoarded. (You could write the number on the outside of the caps but it is nice to place the object you are counting inside the cap.)
  • Once your numbers are written you can line them up, in numerical order, and introduce the small toy or object you are having your child count.
  • 20170830_163410

Activity Time

This activity is simply a learning activity. I hope it is an easy way for any mother to help their child slow down a bit and recognize the numbers they are chanting have a meaning and hold a value when it comes to counting.

I just asked my 3 year old to help me figure out how many acorns we had. Little miss would simply lift an acorn and place it in the first, or next, bottle cap. I would make sure we both said the number. We were able to do this twice before she decided it wasn’t fun.

After that I pulled aside 3 acorns and asked her how many their were. She counted them out and was excited that there were 3, like her.

At this point I could have switched objects or made it a race but I was okay with her being done. It is okay for some activities to be short and sweet. This is an activity I pull out once a week, because it is a task we are working on.


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