Remember the game of Dominoes? The small rectangular blocks that have dots (or pips) on them? Here are 2 boxes of them that we have, in case you need a reminder or you never heard of them before.
The game of Dominoes can be played several ways but for this post I want to concentrate on 10 ways to learn with dominoes while having fun. (They won’t know they’re learning!) 😉 First of all, dominoes sets come in different sizes so if you want to purchase a set, be aware of what you are buying. In the picture above, the set on the right is a double six set and has 28 dominoes. I found it for $5 at a Five and Below store. The set on the left is a double nine set and has 55 dominoes. They also come in sets of double twelve, fifteen or eighteen and of course, the bigger the set the more money it costs. And it depends on what the dominoes are made of…plastic or wood, for example. Dominoes may have all white pips or each number may use a different color for the pips.
So let’s get to the fun part of learning with dominoes!! 🙂 Let’s start with ideas for really young children and go up from there.
#1.) Colors – Have your child pick up a domino and see if they can tell you what colors the dots are. For each one they get right, let them keep the domino. After they have gone through the number of dominoes you think they should do for that time…maybe 10 or 15 to start with and build up from there till they can do all of them…let them play with the ones they’ve collected for knowing the right answer. Here you have pink and green.
#2.) Numbers – Using the same method as #1, have your child pick up a domino and this time, let them tell you how many dots are on each side. For each one they get right, they can add it to their stash to play with when they are done. In this picture, of course, the correct answer is 3 and 2.
#3.) Addition – Using the same picture, once your child can tell you how many dots are on each side, have them add the two number together. 3+2=5 Again, their reward is getting to keep the domino they get correct.
#4.) More addition – For more addition practice, try having your child pick 2 dominoes and add the top 2 numbers together and then the bottom 2 numbers. Get it correct, and they’re yours! In this instance, the answer is 2+3=5 and 3+1=4.
#5.) Which is number is larger? – This one is self-explanatory I think, but have your child tell you the number of dots on each side and then ask them which one is the bigger number. And, of course, you could also play this one by asking which number is smaller. Getting to keep the dominoes is, as you can see, the reward for learning the correct answers.
#6.) Double Digits – Ok, now we’re going to get a bit harder for kids that are a little older. Have them pick 2 dominoes and lay them side by side. Looking at the top 2 numbers of dots, have them tell you what double digit number they make. Using the dominoes in the following picture, the answer would be 43 and 51.
#7.) Building fun – Ok, so your kiddo has earned some dominoes by knowing the correct answers and it’s PLAY time! Here, their (and your) imagination is the limit! Maybe try building dominoes up to see how high you can make it go before it falls down. This will seem like fun but it’s also teaching them coordination and about constructing things.
Or let’s just sit the dominoes on their sides and make a cool shape. Or it could be a corral for your horses. 😉 Let them play and see what ideas they can come up with on their own.
#8.) Line them up in order – Have your child line up a row of dominoes starting at the smallest number and building their way up to the highest number. Depending on their age, you might want to sort out the number of dominoes you want them to use. Or if they are a little older, let them dig through the dominoes to find the correct ones.
#9.) Drawing/tracing dominoes – Give your child a piece of paper and a pencil and markers/crayons and let them trace around a domino and color the dominoes however they would like them to look. For example, maybe they would like to use stars or squares instead of dots.
#10.) Matching the domino – For the last idea for today’s post, trace around several dominoes and color dots in to match some of the real dominoes. Depending on your child’s age, you can have the dominoes sorted out separately for those that match the ones you drew or for older kids, let them find the correct ones from the whole set. First trace the dominoes…
Then trace around the outline with a black marker and color in the dots. The kids can place the dominoes right on top of the drawn ones or directly beside them.
I hope you have enjoyed these suggestions and they will help your children learn while having a lot of fun with dominoes! 🙂