FREE Number Bonds Games

Friday, July 21, 2017

FREE Number Bonds Games

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 Are your kids tired of painstakingly learning the facts in math? A better use of that time would be spent engaging kids in a playful, hands on exploration to develop their number sense with this fun activity!
FREE Number Bonds Games - lots of different ways to play with these number bonds game to help first grade and 2nd grade students practice addition and subtraction with a hands on math game.


This set of number bond matching cards will allow students to explore and discover connections between addition and subtraction.

Developing Number Sense

Though number sense is not something that can be taught, we can provide opportunities for kids to discover connections and form meaningful mathematical understandings. One of the ways we can do this is with visual models.

A number bond is a powerful visual model that helps kids see how to compose and decompose numbers. Seeing how to break apart numbers leads to a deeper understanding of how numbers work and relate to each other. It also provides an opportunity for kids to discover patterns.

This will then strengthen their understanding of addition and subtraction, leading to greater fluency and ease with computation. And that's the goal, right?

number bonds card game

Number Bonds

Included in this download is a set of 24 matching cards. One card includes a number bond with either a "part" or the "whole" missing, while the matching card contains the missing value.

The cards include numbers up to 20, but you could focus only on numbers up to 10 if you have younger ones.
number bonds equation

Also included are two equation mats: one for addition equations and one for subtraction equations.

To get started with these materials, I suggest you print and laminate all the cards and the equation mats. Then cut out the matching cards.

Laminating them will allow kids to write on them over and over again with a dry erase marker.

addition practice for first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade

There are dozens of ways you can use these cards, but here are some suggestions to get you started.

Number Bond Games


  • First, simply use the matching cards as a matching game for kids to complete individually. This would be a super simple, low-prep math center activity, requiring little to no explanation.
  • Another idea is to let partners use them as a memory game or "go fish" game.To set up a memory game, simply lay all the cards out face down on the table. Kids then take turns flipping over 2 cards.If the cards are a match, they keep the set. Otherwise, they turn them back over and it's their partner's turn. Once all the matches have been found, the player with the most correct matches wins
  • Go Fish is played the same way, except that each player starts with a hand of 5 cards, while the remaining cards are placed in a pile face down. Players then take turns asking the other for a match to one of their cards. For instance, they might ask, "Do you have a 6?" if the missing value on one of their number bonds is 6. If the partner has that card, they give it to them. Otherwise, the player draws a card from the pile and it's their partner's turn. Once all the matches have been found, the player with the most correct matches wins.
  • All alternative to using these as matching cards is to simply use the cards with number bonds (without the matches).
first grade math

Number Bonds Independent Practice


  • Cut out the cards and place them on a key ring. Then allow kids to work through the stack with a dry erase marker, filling in the missing value.
  • Then you can combine the answer cards with the equation mats for some hands on math.To get started, you will need something to count such as beads, base ten blocks, counting bears, candy, etc. Then give kids the answer cards to place in the top of the number bond. They can then use their counting manipulatives to break the number apart in different ways and write equations below. This is a great exercise for kids because there will always be more than one right answer, and it's important for them to see that.
HINT: When they've completed the number bond and equation for a given number, ask them to find another equation. Once they're familiar and comfortable using the mat and writing equations, ask how many different equations they can come up with.


  • You could even encourage them to move the answer card to a different part of the number bond, and see how that changes their equations.


However you decide to use this resource, I hope it opens up your kids understanding of addition and subtraction, and allows for fun, open-ended discoveries.

If you're interested in more resources from Math Geek Mama, learn about membership options here.

Download Number Bonds Games

Before you download your free pack you agree to the following:
  • This set is for personal and classroom use only.
  • This printable set may not be sold, hosted, reproduced, or stored on any other website or electronic retrieval system.
  • Graphics Purchased and used with permission
  • All downloadable material provided on this blog is copyright protected.

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Bethany is the mom behind the blog, Math Geek Mama, a website dedicated to making math fun and engaging, while building a strong conceptual understanding of mathematics. When she's not playing with numbers, she is exploring with her four little ones, drinking way too much coffee, or soaking up the chaos of everyday life. Follow along on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.
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