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by Early Math Counts

Today we are going “old school” to talk about dominoes.  Dominoes have been around for centuries and have been used for all sorts of gaming in countries around the world.  Traditional dominoes were made of ivory with black dots, called “pips”.  A traditional complete set of dominoes has one unique piece for each possible combination for each end from 0 – 6.  When my kids were little one of our favorite things to do was to set the dominoes up like they are in the picture above and then knock them over.  If you lightly push the first domino in the row it will knock into the next one to create a “chain-reaction”.  This activity takes a lot of patience and perseverance and is probably more appropriate for older children or one-on-one interactions with a younger child.

There are literally hundreds of games that can be played with dominoes.  Here is a website that describes many of them.  For our purposes, a simple game of matching like ends to like ends can keep kids busy counting pips for days.

4 Replies to “Dominoes”

  1. Jen,
    Years ago, when I had my own home childcare, I lucked up on a set of large Dora dominoes. Because the dominoes were large pieces, we would place them on the floor to play with. I would help the children stand the dominoes up on the floor and space them one behind the other just right. I would then have the children take turns knocking them down which the children would say \”do it again!\” They really enjoyed watching them fall.

    1. I am so glad you wrote this Denise because next week I am going to write about large dominoes and how the play is so different when it is not on a table top and children can use their whole bodies. Look for it next Monday!

    1. Sometimes the only way to get children to play with certain materials is to allow them to \”knock them down\”. For me, the goal is to get them to interact with the materials first, and worry about what they learn from them later.

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