As I mentioned earlier this week, number bonds are an invaluable tool in teaching early math and in building math fluency. And while using number bonds to memorize addition facts is a great way to organize them in a way that makes sense, sometimes it’s helpful to have a visual model and reminder as well! And of course, it’s always fun to combine math and art! To help demonstrate not only the different fact families, but also reinforce the commutative property, my daughter and I painted number bond rainbows. We now have these hanging in our school room as a beautiful reminder of the different addition facts!
*Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and help support the work of this site. Read our full disclosure policy here.*
Materials Needed for Number Bond Rainbows:
- Number Bond Rainbow Printables (at the end of this post)
- Watercolor paints (or fingerpaints could be fun too!)
- Cup of water to rinse paintbrush
Rather than simply jumping into this art project, spend some time reviewing number bonds. Start with one and talk about the different ways to build each number.
Look for patterns that develop with the facts themselves (which numbers have doubles?) as well as the number of facts for each number (how can we tell how many addition facts a number will have?).
Be sure to look at all the possibilities so that students see the commutative property (i.e. you can switch the numbers around and the solution is still the same: 3+4 = 4+3 = 7).
Depending on the age and background of your students, you may even want to spend time reviewing in a hands-on way to help kids see the addition facts, or to remind them of them.
Once you’ve had some good discussion and considered the patterns, it’s time to break out the paint!
The rainbows included in this free download go from 3-10. There are a couple of different ways you can use them.
One way would be to discuss the addition facts first (maybe even write them down for students) and then let them paint the rainbows that form by connecting the appropriate addends.
A second approach would be to simply explain how to form the rainbows (start by forming a bow with the middle two number and then work outwards), and then write out the addition facts and solutions after seeing the rainbows that form.
If you have older students, you could also have students create their own without the printables below! Or, have your third or fourth graders paint factor rainbows with their multiplication facts!
After they dry, add the solution above or below each rainbow, and then find the perfect place to display them! 🙂
However you use these, I hope you will have fun and your kids get creative as they learn and explore addition from 1-10!
Looking for more resources for exploring number bonds? Try one of these:
And you may also like this set of mazes–a fun and unique way to practice addition and subtraction within 10! It also includes extension ideas, so kids don’t just focus on memorizing facts, but look for patterns and think deeply about math.
Never Run Out of Fun Math Ideas
If you enjoyed this post, you will love being apart of the Math Geek Mama community! Each week I share fun and engaging math ideas, free resources and special offers. Join us as we help every child succeed and thrive in math!