“How Many In” Cups

By Activity Bank on Dec 05, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Mary Jane Clark and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

This activity works on one-to-one correspondence through rote counting. Students will work on their assembly skills, while learning to identify a set and “how many.” Lessons include Math, Concept Development and Independent Living Skills.


  • Pennies
  • Ten small containers with lids (such as Tupperware® or take-out containers)
  • Coffee can with lid – cut a slit in the lid to make can into a bank
  • Two work trays – one for cups containing pennies to be counted and one for items that are finished


  • Give the student ten small containers with lids.
  • In each container, place from one to three pennies.
  • Set up the activity like an assembly task, with the student working from left to right.
  • Have the student open up one cup.
  • Have the student count the coins by dropping each one into a “bank,” while stating one number for each penny.
  • When the student has finished counting, ask “How many pennies were in that container?” The student answers, “_____pennies.”
  • Have the student place the empty container in the finished box.
  • Repeat this procedure until all containers are empty.


  • As the skill level improves, increase the number of coins in each container.
  • Have the student count all the coins in the bank when the activity is completed.

on to one collage