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Number Bonds To 10 And 20:
Brilliant Games And Activities For Your Class

Number bonds to 10 model
Teaching number bonds to 10 and 20 is a vital part of the curriculum for children in reception and year 1. This topic sets a foundation for the understanding of numbers, which leads to the pupils' ability to eventually add and subtract. Why not make number bonds more engaging with these fun learning activities?

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Introduce Parts And Wholes

When starting to teach number bonds, it is really vital that your students understand the concept of parts and wholes. This can be  introduced in really fun and engaging ways that will help your pupils to truly understand number bonds!

A really effective method of teaching parts and wholes is through the part-whole model! This gives pupils a chance to work through parts and wholes questions independently. This is a very popular teaching resource for this topic! Here is an example below:

Number bonds to 10 model

As you can see, students are given one value and have to work out the other to make the number bond. This is a really great way for students to get used to the concept of addition and subtraction!

Bars Representing Number Bonds

Bar representations of number bonds to 10 and 20 are another really effective way of teaching! Similar to the part-whole model, it is a very visual learning method!

Bar model

As you can see from the example above, pupils can clearly see how the number bonds make up the value 10/20. You can make this into a task by removing one of the values and asking students to work it out!

Number Bonds Machine

Number Bonds to 10 and 20 are a key part of learning in reception and year 1. A fun way to teach this topic is through the number bonds machine! This gets pupils used to the idea of parts and wholes. 

You start by getting creative and making your own number bonds machine, with parts going in at the top and wholes coming out at the bottom! Pupils can then put ‘parts’ into the top ( e.g. 3 and 7) and at the ‘whole’ (10) comes out the bottom through a paper tube!

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Creating Number Bonds To 10 And 20 Chain Links!

Getting pupils to create paper chain links to represent number bonds to 10 and 20 is a really fun way to teach this topic. Using two different colours to show the different values helps students to understand the size of numbers. For example, there would be 14 orange chains and 6 purple chains which make 20 when put together.

It is really important for students to see the difference in the size of numbers. This activity does a brilliant job of ensuring this and can really help pupils to visualise number size. 

Number Bond Song!

This fun song and dance is a great way to engage pupils in learning number bonds to ten! For younger students, having catchy songs is an excellent way to further their understanding. This video has catchy lyrics and fun dance moves to go along to really engage students and get them excited about number bonds! Playing this song before a number bonds lesson gets pupils ready to learn! Teaching them the lyrics and dance moves may prove to be an effective way of getting students to remember their number bonds to 10! Younger students tend to respond well to musical  teaching, making this activity very effective!

The Pairs Game

Number Bonds to 10 Matching Pairs

Getting pupils to match number bonds to 10 and 20 is a really good way of getting them to remember which pairs add up to 10. This technique can also be used when making number bonds to 20.

As you can see from the image on the left, pupils will have multiple cards which they have to match together to make 10!

Getting pupils to design their own number bond cards would also be a really activity as they would be responsible of making all the correct pairs. They could then cut them out, mix them up and then match them!

Number Bond Towers

Similarly to the paper chains, pupils will use two different coloured building blocks to create towers that represent number bonds to 10 and 20. This is another creative activity for young students who will engage more with fun, hands on activities!

A huge advantage of this activity is that it is great for children with dyspraxia as they are very visual learners! Having dyspraxia-friendly activities embedded  in your lessons is so important as it ensures that there is a teaching method being used for all student.

Number bonds to 10 blocks

Using Dominoes


Using dominoes is a fantastic way to help pupils to learn number bonds to 10! You can either use real dominoes or a worksheet with images on. The only necessity is that both sides add up to 10! 

This is another great visual way to learn number bonds, as the children aren’t focusing on sums. Children are able to solve number bonds using dominoes by adding up both sides – this also gives them a chance to have a play around!

Make A Number Bonds Kite

Getting students to make their own number bonds kite is a really fun and creative way for them to learn the content! Pupils in reception and year 1  will be beyond excited to do some colouring, cutting and sticking to make their very own number bonds kite. This gives students a chance to get creative and have some artsy fun, whilst also learning their number bonds to 10 and 20!

Kite Template

Not only is this a fun activity for your pupils, they can also be used as classroom decorations!


Emile is an excellent resource for your pupils to have access! 

It covers the whole of the maths KS1 & KS2 curriculum as well as subitising and number recognition for EY learners. 

Why not try Emile out today?

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