Kinaesthetic learning is a learning style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities. The process results in new knowledge (or understanding) with the involvement of the learner’s body movement. I challenged the boys to use movement to represent the number bonds.


  • Fishing nets
  • Tuff tray with water and crystal vase fillers in it
  • See-saw and slide
  • Tunnel
  • Cones
  • Hula Hoop
  • Numicon
  • Log slices with + and = signs written on


Ioan and Finn decided to fish for some crystals in the first tray, use the see-saw to represent the number bond, do a mini assault course and then set out a sum.

Ioan went first. He caught 8 crystals in his fishing nest, so worked out the number bond was two. Ioan pushed the see-saw 8 times and Finn pushed it two. Ioan then told me the sum, went down the slide, through the tunnel, round the cones, through the hoop and to the second tray. On the second tray, he set out the crystals in a sum, using the Numicon and log slices.

Once he’d collected two crystals to make his number bond, Ioan checked his answer by laying all of his crystals on top of the Numicon holes. He checked his Numicon sum by placing his 8 and 2 on top of his 10. It covered the 10 exactly, so he knew they were equal.

Now Ioan had made his number bond to 10, he had a go making number bond to 20.

Next it was Finn’s turn. Finn had 4 crystals, so his number bond was 6.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – addition and subtraction

  • read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+) and equals (=) signs
  • represent and use number bonds within 20
  • add one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including zero
  • solve one-step problems that involve addition, using concrete objects and pictorial representations