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How to Teach Kids About Matching Numbers

Updated on January 25, 2018
hsschulte profile image

I love to share lesson plans with other teachers and homeschooling parents.

Teaching Kids to Match Numbers to Sets or Other Numbers

There are a variety of number matching skills that your child will need to master before moving on to higher level math concepts. Ensuring these skills are mastered when the child is young promotes success in later math teaching. Below are several of the initial matching math concepts a child needs to learn and some ideas for games and activities that can be used to teach them. Teaching a child to match numbers can be fun!

Matching Numbers to Sets
Matching Numbers to Sets

Matching Numbers to Sets

Printable Dominoes make a good resource for printing sets of dots, as the dots are always arranged in the same predictable pattern: Dominoe Dots.

I printed these out these dominoe dot cards and used them to label the garages matching game below. The game teaches matching of numbers, or numerals, to a set of objects, in this case dots. You can also use real dominoes to match a set of dots to another set of dots of an equal number.

Cut Milk Cartons
Cut Milk Cartons

Matching Numbers Car Game

How to Make a Matching Numbers Game from Recycled Materials

You can make this car game by reusing old cardboard milk cartons, or any reusable item that has a flat bottom, such as a box. You are going to make garages out of the boxes, so the bottom will need to sit flat on a table, or counter, so the cars may drive in.

What You Will Need:

*Used milk cartons, or small boxes

*Clear contact paper, or tape

*White contact paper, or construction paper

*Small labeling stickers

*Small velcro dots

1. Cut the top off the milk carton. I usually cut the first one, then mark the height of the others to be cut with a marker so that I can get them all equal heights.

2. Cover the recycled milk cartons with white contact paper, or construction paper.

3. Print the >dot cards with 1-4 dots

from the internet. Laminate them with tape or contact paper.

4. Use velcro dots to attach the dot cards to the milk carton garages.

5. Use a small sticker to label the cars with numbers 1-4.

Directions to Play:

Objectives - Matching numbers with groups

- Visual Spotting

1. Have the child choose a car.

2. Ask them what the number on the car is.

3. If they answer incorrectly, tell them the right number.

4. Ask them which garage it goes in.

5. After they point to a garage, have them count the number of dots to be sure they are right. If they are correct, have them drive the car into the garage. If they are incorrect, guide them to the correct garage. Keep playing! When the child can spot all garages correctly, 3 consecutive times with no guidance or instruction from you, they have mastered the game.

Variation: This game helps the child learn to match numbers, or numerals with a set of objects. It also encourages visual spotting of groups of objects, which is another important math concept to master. A variation of this game can be made by removing the velcro dots (that's why I recommend using velcro) and having the child match the number on the car with cards of a matching number. Matching a number 4 with another number 4 doesn't seem like a difficult concept to master, but it is a skill that should be tested before moving on to higher match concepts. This game will help you and your child do that.

Toys for Teaching this Concept

If you prefer not to make the game, but like the car number matching idea, you can purchase a car garage and label the cars and garage doors in the set with number and dot labels.

Matching Number Cards

How to Make Your Own Matching Numbers Flash Cards

Flash cards are a great way to teach matching numbers to other numbers, to sets of objects, or to words. Here are some of the best places online to find free flashcards that may be downloaded and printed at home.

>Matching Numbers to Numbers Flashcards

>Matching Numbers to Sets of Objects Flashcards

Cut these dominoes apart and use them to match numbers to objects.

>Matching Numbers to Words Flashcards

>Dominoes to Match Number of Objects to Same Number of Objects

The number flashcards can be printed for free. Use them to match a 5 with a 5, or put 5 stickers on an index card and match the number 5 to a card with 5 objects.

Matching Numbers YouTube Video

This video explains how to make number cards (with numerals or words) so the kids might attach the correct number of links to them. Making a game of matching numbers helps if seem like fun rather than work. You can do this by attaching links, as shown in the video, or attaching paper clips or clothes pins. The kids get some fine motor exercise in addition to learning to match numerals to objects, or number words to objects.

Number Matching Games at

This game is well-known for reinforcing number matching kids for kids. Play it often after your child acquires his new number matching skills to help him retain the concept.

© 2010 hsschulte

Do you Have Questions or Comments about Matching Numbers? - Leave them Here!

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      5 years ago

      Great video Angie! I really miss you doing a weelky yard sale haul!!! Even though Canada doesn't have extreme couponing, price matching seems to be a good substitute for you :) Did you say you were selling journals? Could you please let me know...I'd love to buy from you!!! Thanks Angie...have a great week!!!Love,

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It was lovely to see your ptrtey face and hear your voice today, Angela! And thanks for sharing the great finds. Love the magazines.. my rule for magazine buying is I only allow myself new magazines when Im on vacation... so that means about twice a year if Im lucky! Other than that I get them at the thrift store of yard sales, so way to go! Looks like you got some good ones.And I LOVE that Let your Light Shine piece- wow what a find for 1 dollar! You are so crafty that you can totally find something to cover up that glue spot, and im sure it will look fabulous wherever yo put it.God bless, friend,Nicole

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have put some math teaching resources on my website Sorry, no matching numbers resources yet, but maybe later!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens and ideas! Don't forget you can use certificate templates to reward your students for their successes!


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