The best way to teach number bonds is to use games. Which games work best is dependent on the age of the child and their understanding of numbers and their relationship to each other.
The more familiar children are with numbers the easier it is for them to learn any form of maths. So, the number one rule is to make numbers a daily part of even very young children’s lives. Singing counting songs, showing them cartoons with number recognition and counting weaved into the story help a lot. However, far more effective is to build numbers into play. For example, using blocks.

Block Games for Number Bonds

To teach the number bonds for 3 lay out 3 blocks on the floor and ask your child how many blocks there are? Then tell the child you are going to move some blocks, move 2 aside and ask the child how many blocks you have moved. When they answer correctly ask them how many blocks are left?. Finally move the 2 blocks back into the original pile and ask them

how many blocks are in the pile now?

By doing this you have just shown your child that 3 – 2 = 1 and 1 + 2 = 3. Repeat the process removing and adding back just one block and you have just reinforced the other part of the number bond which is 2 + 1 = 3 and 3 – 2 = 1. When your child can follow this block game and answer correctly you will have successfully taught your child one of the number bonds for the number 3.

Other Games For Number Bonds

For older children rolling 2 dice and asking them to add the dice together is a good way for them to practice their number bonds. As is getting them to help you to lay the table, but only give them enough plates for some of the guests. Then ask them to work out how many more plates are needed and tell you. If you have 10 guests give them 7 plates and let them tell you they need 3 more.