Exploratory Play

Complete this activity when you open a set of Bond Blocks for the first time. 


Develop fluency naming different blocks.

Develop the concept of:

  • Relationships between the sizes of blocks.
  • Parts bonding (joining) together to become equal to the length of the whole.
  • Mathematics as the science of pattern.


  • linear ten, empty ten frame, blank five
  • bond, part, whole
  • longer, shorter
  • greater than, less than

The correct mathematical language when comparing numbers is “greater than” and “less than”. For example, “5 is greater than 3”.

The terms “bigger”, “larger” and “smaller”, in mathematics, refer to size. For example, the 5 block is bigger than the 3 block.

The terms “fewer” and “more” refer to discrete, countable objects. For example, counters. 

Core Activity


Familiarisation with a set of Bond Blocks to:

  • Learn the correct names for each type of block.
  • Explore relationships between the blocks.
  • Represent a whole as being equal to parts bonded together. 


An activity for individual students.

Each student needs one of each type of Bond Block placed within reach in a jumbled pile:

  • Linear blocks from 1 to 10 in a jumbled pile.
  • Empty ten frame block.
  • Blank five block.

Instruct the student to build with the blocks. Students can use some or all of their blocks. 

Whilst building ask “what if” questions to draw attention between equal lengths and relationships between blocks. For example, “I wonder if…

  • there is one block the same length as those blocks joined together?”
  • you could build that using different blocks?”

After building ask students to explain their building to a peer. Make comment about any patterns.

Display photographs of the different builds. Include the creator’s name so they can explain patterns in their build. 


A little easier

Blocks 1 to 5

Build with blocks one to five. 

A little harder

Two-Part Bonds

Use one of each block from 1 to 7. Place the 7 block in front of the student. Instruct the student to use the remaining blocks to build a wall, where each row is made of two blocks, that bond together to be the same length as the 7 block.


If you are using Bond Blocks as a part of Whole School System for mental maths in Years 1 to 3 begin activities allocated to your year level in the Activity Overview.

If you are using Bond Blocks as an Intervention Support System students complete the Bond Block Addition and Subtraction Test. Begin activities at the relevant chapter based on the student’s results.