Posted in Additive relationships, Calculating, Conceptual understanding, Counting, Fluency

More flik-flaks: number bonds

What do children need to practise daily?

In order for children to develop fluency they need to have a daily routine where they practise:

  • Counting;
  • Remembered facts;
  • Using number relationships to do calculations.

Children need the opportunity to:

  • Talk mathematically;
  • Discuss and solve problems;
  • Be creative;
  • Use reasoning skills.

Follow Digit Dog for ideas to engage children in mathematical conversations.

Using flik-flaks

Print your own flik – flaks from

Flik-flaks available to download from

Use flik-flaks to practise:

  • Counting
  • Subitising (recognising small amounts without counting)
  • Number bonds
  • Multiplication facts
  • Using mathematical language
  • Using reasoning skills

Number bonds

Look for patterns within numbers and help children understand that numbers are composed of smaller numbers e.g. fold the Digit Dog flik-flak in half as shown, ask How many dogs can you see? What else can you see? I can see 4 and 1, and 3 and 2……..Explain your thinking. Repeat by folding to show other numbers.


Use the flower flik-flak, fold it in half to show 6 flowers.

What do you notice? How many flowers can you see? How many purple? How many red? How many yellow? How many altogether?

Repeat by folding to show other numbers.

Download flower flik-flak here

Use the flik-flaks as a quick way to practise number bonds to 10 (the pairs of numbers that add togther to make 10).


Show children the flik-flak and ask:

“How many dogs can you see?” “How did you count them?”

Explore the numbers of dogs in each row and column. Ask questions such as “Which row has most dogs?” “Which row has the fewest dogs?” “Which row has one more than the bottom row?”

Explore the groups of dogs you can see. I can see 5 dogs on the top half and 5 dogs on the bottom, 5 + 5 = 10

Before continuing, make sure children are confident that there are 10 dogs altogether.

Fold the flik-flak:



“How many dogs can you see now?”

“How many dogs are hidden?” “How many dogs can’t you see?” “How do you know?” “Explain your thinking”.

“How many dogs altogether?”

You want children to realise that they know there are 10 dogs altogether, that they can see 5 of them and need to work out how many of the dogs they can’t see. They might:

  • Count on from 5 to 10
  • Take away the 5 from 10
  • Use their knowledge that  5 and 5 equals 10

Expect children to explain their thinking.

Fold the flik-flak in a different way:

Ask the same questions.

How many dogs can you see now?”

“How many dogs are hidden?” “How do you know?” “Explain your thinking”.

“How many dogs altogether?”


Keep folding the flik-flak to explore all the combinations of numbers to make 10.

I can see 1 dog. 9 dogs are hidden. 9 + 1 = 10
I can see 3 dogs. I know 7 are hidden because 3 +7 = 10.
I can see 7 dogs, so 3 dogs must be hidden because 3 + 7 = 10










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