Who doesn’t love dominoes? 😍 Such a versatile resource that can be found in almost every single classroom!
Don’t just think of these cute little tiles in the traditional format, though, with matching number combinations in a puzzle-style arrangement on the mat (although the number of early maths skills you are ticking off in that game alone is HUGE!)
There are so many fun and easy games you can play with dominoes that require no prep at all!
Here are 8 of our favourites 💛
💛 Add & Order: This one is pretty self-explanatory! Place all the dominoes facedown in the middle of the group. Students take 5 dominoes each, add both sides together and order the dominos from the smallest number to the largest number. You might like to play in small groups for younger learners, taking one domino at a time and ordering them as you go. Adding a whiteboard and marker might also be handy so students can record the numbers as they add them together.
💛 Number Line Sort: Similar to ‘Add & Order’, start with dominoes face down in the middle of the group. ‘Number Line Sort’ asks students to take a domino, add the sides together and place it on an ‘imaginary’ number line. Using an imaginary number line helps students visualise where numbers fall in relation to each other. You might like to use a number line drawn on a whiteboard for our younger learners, indicate positions such as 0, 5, 10 etc. using some of our number cards, or use one of our ready-print number lines in your favourite decor style. Students will then continue until the number line has been filled. If a domino is picked up that is already represented on the number line, it can be placed below the original domino, or you could pile them on top of each other.
💛 Domino Clash: This is a take on the traditional game of War and works best with pairs of students. Dominoes are placed face down in the middle of the pair. Each student takes turns to flip a domino. Both sides are added together, and the student with the largest number gets to keep both dominoes. You might like to play that when both dominoes show equal amounts, all the dominoes go back into the centre of the game.
For older students, this game can be played with a focus on place value. Students could look at their number combinations and treat one side of the domino as the tens, and the other as the ones (ie. A domino with 3 dots on one side and 5 on the other could represent 35 or 53) to determine which makes the bigger number.
💛 Domino Fitness: Who doesn’t love a brain break that is educational at the same time? In this game, a student indicates a fitness move (such as squats, jumps, skips etc) and then turns over a domino. The sides are added together and the fitness move is completed that many times. Repeat until you run out of either dominoes or energy! 🤣
💛 Odd or Even?: Dominoes are also great to use to practice identifying odd & even numbers. To start, dominoes are placed face down in the centre of the group. Students take turns flipping the dominoes and counting the total dots shown. They then need to decide if the number is odd or even and sort the dominoes appropriately. The domino then gets placed in an odd or even pile. Continue until all the dominoes are sorted!
💛 Friends of Ten Pairs: This game is a great way to practice the ‘Friends of 10’ facts, and is played similarly to the traditional game of Dominoes. You will need a set of dominos that shows number arrays up to 9. Instead of students matching the numbers together, they are looking for friends of 10 combinations (1 & 9, 2 & 8, 3 & 7, 4 & 6, 5 & 5). Start with a domino face up in the centre of the group. For younger students, have all dominoes visible and students can take turns selecting one that can be matched with a ‘Friends of 10’ pair. For older students, you might like to distribute the dominoes to the members of the group and then have them take turns to match a ‘Friends of 10’ pair. If they are unable to make a match, they miss a turn. The winner is the first player to lose all of their dominoes.
💛 Place Value Ordering: This game is suited for students in Year 1 and above. Dominoes start face down in the centre of the group. Students take 5 dominoes each, and rather than adding the dots, they treat the sides of the dominoes like tens and ones (ie. A domino with 3 dots on one side and 5 on the other could represent 35 or 53). They then put their 5 dominos in order from the smallest number to the largest number.
💛 Times Tables: For students practicing their multiplication facts, dominoes are also very useful. Place all dominoes face down in the middle of the group and have students take turns picking a domino. They look at the number combinations and say the multiplication sum (a domino with 3 dots on one side and 5 on the other could represent 3 x 5 or 5 x 3). They then say the answer and can keep the domino if they get the answer correct. Continue around the circle until all the dominoes are gone. The player who has the most dominoes at the end of the game wins!
Want more? We have some awesome downloadable resources on the webby that utilise dominoes for a fast-paced, fun learning experience that you can easily use as recorded evidence for assessment! ⭐️
Check out the range below!