Teaching Numbers with Dominoes
My grandpa taught me to play Dominoes on one of those rare occassions that I was invited to be heard and not just seen. He was of that generation when children were mostly supposed to exist in the background, but he had a soft spot for games. He destroyed us in checkers, was ruthlessly speedy when playing spoons, and enjoyed a good game of dominoes.
The traditional game of Dominoes is a great math game for young kids, but there are also lots of other fun ways to use this classic game. Dominoes are a wonderful math tool for building number recognition, number matching, counting skills and more. We have been using them to work on number recognition and some simple addition.
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To get started all you need are some Dominoes, a set of Number rocks, and a small cloth bag.
To make your own Number Rocks, simple gather 10-20 rocks with a smooth surface and write a number on each with a sharpie. You can find rocks at a gardening center or often in the flower section of a craft store. Number rocks are fun for number matching, creating number lines, and for counting songs and stories like this Pete the Cat activity.
Number Recognition + Match
We like to start with the dominoes in a cloth bag. It adds an element of mystery and fun.
Place a handful of dominoes in the cloth bag and spread out the Number Rocks. It works best if you are planful about what dominoes go in the bag. For instance, if you are working on numbers 1-10 pull out tiles with a total higher than 10 to start. It can also be fun to choose a domino to represent each Number Rock and then work on creating a number line.
Have your child reach in and choose a domino. Then counting carefully have them figure out how many dots are on their domino.
Next, have them find a rock to match their domino. If you were planful in choosing your dominoes you could work on creating a number line.
Continue until all of the dominoes and rocks have been paired.
For more advanced preschoolers and early elementary schoolers, dominos can be used in a similar way to form simple addition (or subtraction) problems.
To play, there are two main options.
1. You can start in a similar fashion to above with the dominoes in a bag and reach in and solve a random problem.
2. The other option is to work on one set of problems. For example, pull out all of the dominoes that include the number 4 to work on addition facts with the number 4. The dots on the dominoes can work as a wonderful visual for each problem.
Looking for more fun ways to use dominoes for learning? My fellow blogging pals have some awesome dominoes learning activities to share.
Domino Place Value Activity on Still Playing School
Robot Domino Math Game on Learning 2 Walk
Domino Addition Game on The Kindergarten Connection
DIY Alphabet Dominoes on Adventures of Adam
Name Recognition with Dominoes on Line Upon Line Learning
Dominoes Sensory Bin on Something 2 Offer
Musical Bell Color Matching Dominoes on Sugar Aunts
DIY Transportation Dominoes on Life Over C's
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