Using Dominoes in the Classroom

You may think of dominoes as just a game, but we are here to tell you that there are many ways of using dominoes in the classroom. They can be a fun way to practice and reinforce many concepts and skills. We have found that even during free time or indoor recesses, the students would pull out the sets of dominoes and play with them.

Below, we’re going to share several different ways that you can play domino games in your classroom for a variety of different subject areas. In addition, we have some domino games to share with you that you can print out and use in your classroom too! If you want to share them with other teachers, we’d ask that you direct them here so they can sign up themselves, but if you’d like to make any sets to send home with your students, you are welcome to print out copies for them.

Using Dominoes in the Classroom

Using Dominoes in the Classroom

First, let’s talk about classic domino sets. You can often find these at dollar stores, yard sales, and thrift shops. The basic game is a great one to practice matching. Here’s one way to play:

Turn all the dominoes face down and shuffle them around. Each person picks up 7 dominoes from the pile with the rest put off to the side.

Variation A:

The player with the highest scoring domino goes first. (Add all the pips on the domino and the one who has the most on any one domino has the highest scoring one). That person puts down a domino on the table.

The next player plays a domino with a matching end. If the domino is a double, they can place it sideways so that it can be played off both ends.

Continue taking turns like this. If it comes to your turn and you have no domino you can play, draw one from the leftover pile you put off to the side. You can play by the rule that this person has to keep drawing one until they get one they can play or that they draw one and miss their turn.

When you get to the point where no one can play and the leftover pile is empty, the game is over. Add up all the pips on your remaining dominoes. Whoever has the lowest number of pips wins. If someone has used all their dominoes and there are no more from the leftover pile to take, they automatically win.

how to use dominoes in the classroom

Variation B:

The player with the highest scoring domino goes first. (Add all the pips on the domino and the one who has the most on any one domino has the highest scoring one). That person puts down a domino on the table.

The next player plays a domino with a matching end. If the domino is a double, they can place it sideways so that it can be played off both ends.

Continue taking turns like this. If it comes to your turn and you have no domino you can play, you miss your turn.

When you get to the point where no one can play anymore, the game is over. Add up all the pips on your remaining dominoes. Whoever has the lowest number of pips wins. If someone uses up all of their dominoes, they automatically win.

There are many many variations on the classic domino game besides these two but these are two of the easiest and most straight-forward we have seen.

playing dominoes in the classroom

How to Turn Dominoes into a Game to Practice and Review Concepts and Skills

Think of various concepts you teach and how you can use those in a matching-based game. For example, use a combination of words and the images that go with those words. Animals and the names of those animals. Colors or colored objects and the names of those colors. Pairs of synonyms. Pairs of antonyms. You get the idea.

We have created several domino games for you. The first one, about telling time, you can download below. For the rest, we ask that you sign up for our email newsletter. Once you do, you will receive a folder containing the remaining domino games for FREE. This folder currently holds the following domino games: Colors, French Colors, Numbers, Addition, Animals (matched to their names), and Animals (matched to the first letter of their name). As we create more games, we will add them to this folder.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE TELLING TIME DOMINOES GAME.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTER AND RECEIVE OUR FOLDER OF DOMINOES GAMES AS OUR THANK YOU.

Our emails are generally sent out about once a month (twice at the most) and in them, we will share additional freebies with you.

How else would you use dominoes in your classroom? If you have any ideas, feel free to email us with them and we’ll try to add as many as we can to the folder.

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