The phrase, number bonds is alien to anyone in the UK not involved in teaching maths to young children. It is a something most parents have never even heard of until their children start KS 1 maths. It is a phrase that fills parents with dread, because they believe it is a form of maths they do not understand. They worry that they will not be able to help their children to understand number bonds.

However, those parents need not worry because number bonds involve simple addition and subtraction. All a number bond is a pair of numbers that add up to another number.

We all learnt number bonds when we learnt maths it is only the terminology used that has changed. Years ago number bonds were called simple addition and subtraction.

Examples of Number Bonds

The number bonds for 7 are – 0+7, 1+6, 2+5 or 3+4. A child who learns these sums add up to 7 will quickly see that if you reverse them to 7+0, 6+1, 5+2 or 4+3 they also make 7.

Number bonds provide a mental picture of the relationship between 2 numbers. These mental pictures are the key to enabling your child to do mental arithmetic.

Knowing addition number bonds means that your child will understand subtraction with ease. If they know that 3+4 = 7 they will quickly realise that when they see 7-4 = ?, the answer is 3 because by a process of elimination 3 is the missing number in this number bond. It helps children to see that subtraction is a mirror image of addition. They begin to see the patterns in numbers and to learn mathematical principles rather than having to memorise each individual sum.

Number Bonds Are Key to Maths Success

Number bonds are the foundation blocks your child needs to progress with maths. Once they know all of the number bonds for 1-10, they will have the information they need to subtract using the numbers 1-10.

This is why it is important to help your children to grasp number bonds using games as soon as possible.