Has your house been overtaken by Woolworths dominos? We have more dominos than I can count here on Wallace. I was starting to get a bit cross with the dominos being flung in the air like rain (according to the middle lad, more like hail really). I figured it was best to give the boys something to do with the excess dominos. Here’s five domino activities, tried and tested on the biggest lad.
1. Domino Parking Lot
We played the domino parking lot game first, it was a hit! It’s simple to play. The child counts the dots on the domino and then ‘drives’ or places it on the correct space.
The biggest lad was excited to practice his counting and wasn’t interested in the driving aspect. As soon as he’d counted the dots he put the domino in its spot and reached for another. The dominoes can be piled up where there is more than one of that number. We’ll absolutely play this again, I plan on getting the middle lad to give it a try too.
2. Domino Dump
This was probably the biggest lad’s favourite domino activity. Unsurprisingly as it involved dump trucks! I simply wrote ‘more than 6’, ‘less than 6’ and ‘6’ on some card and stuck the labels to three trucks. The big lad then chose a domino and counted the dots and placed it on the corresponding truck.
He quickly got the hang of the ‘less than/same/more than’ concept. I gave him a helping hand by giving him four small Easter eggs to hold and myself six. Quick as a flash he worked out that I had more eggs!
The biggest lad also decided that when one of the trucks was full he’d reverse the truck, empty the tray and start again. We ended up with little piles of dominoes behind each truck.
This was a great game for early number skills. Not only did it involve counting practice but introduced the big lad to determining quantities of less than/more than/equal to.
3. Shapes and Letters
Making simple shapes and letters with the dominos was a great activity as both big boys (4 and 2) could get involved. The big lad was able to use the dominoes to make letters, including the letters of his name. The middle lad used the dominoes to make basic shapes, mostly squares and triangles.
I also spent a lot of time setting up domino tracks for the boys to knock down. While this got a little tedious for me, they thought it was fabulous. The benefit of setting up the domino tracks was that the boys happily took turns to topple the track. Always a bonus to see them cooperating!
4. Domino dots
I’m not sure what to call this domino activity, so let’s run with domino dots! Essentially it’s another counting activity. This time I cut pieces of paper with a number on it and the biggest lad had to place the domino on the correct piece of paper. While this appears very similar to the domino parking lot game, the big lad played it very differently.
Rather than piling the dominos up, he placed them around the number. This had the benefit of allowing him to see how each number can be reached (say 4 + 4 and 3 + 5). The big lad then started to recognise the number value of the domino without needing to count the dots. Basically, if he saw a domino with 5 dots on each half he knew that it was 10 and where to place it. No doubt he was also becoming familiar dominoes!
5. More/Less colouring
For this domino activity the child counts the dots on each half of the domino and colours in the appropriate number of circles on the sheet. They then work out which half of the domino has more or less dots and put an “m” and “l” in the corresponding box. I think the big lad had been so intent on counting all of the dots on the dominoes in the previous activities that he kind of struggled to identify the two sides to the dominoes. He dug his heels in and insisted that he couldn’t write the letter “m”. We settled on colouring a circle in the ‘more’ spot.
I think we’ll give this one a try another day when the biggest lad is in a better frame of mind! It’s got lots of potential.
There you have it, five domino activities. I was determined to find some use for the Woolworth dominoes and we had lots of fun while getting in some counting practice!
There are lots of other domino activities which require no preparation. Ask your child to find matching dominoes and stack them up, make towers (we had a few towers in the shape of dinosaurs) and line them up end to end with matching numbers.
The five domino activities in this post can easily be done with traditional dominos. I’m tossing around some ideas to use the disney side of the domino, I’ll report back!
Did the domino craze catch on at your place? If it did, I’d love to know how your kids have been playing with them.