Dominoes are a great learning resources and an excellent manipulative for developing number sense and maths skills. They build upon dice patterns, help children read and name small collections of groups (subitising), addition, counting, matching, sorting, classifying and so much more.
Here is one example of playing and learning with dominoes on a larger scale using large wooden dominoes. This invitation to play provides children with the opportunity to explore and manipulate the dominoes and tools provided and learn about basic number sense skills.
We also left this opportunity to play out for a couple of days and the ideas and experiences developed and changed every time.
What you will need?
You will need large dominoes, magnetic or wooden numbers and a variety of different tokens/counters.
As another option, you could also introduce play dough into the play experience and children can roll small balls of play dough to place over the dots.
We did not traditionally play dominoes by the rules but the children had the right idea about matching the same numbers together.
- Talk about and predict which dominoes have the most dots on them or the least amount of dots on them.
Let’s Play Some More!
Placing the different tokens onto the domino dots and counting out loud. Adding the different type of tokens or counters makes the activity so much fun and motivating.
At times the children would match the tokens or create patterns and at other times they enjoyed mixing them up as they were counting.
Counting out loud and using the magnetic and wooden numbers to match the number of dots shown. For example placing the number 6 next to the six dots/felt balls and so on.
- Numeracy: number recognition, measuring, counting, addition, subitising and patterns.
- Problem solving
- Sensory- hands on manipulating tools.
- Fine motor skills- strengthening little muscles through manipulation of tools.
- Hand and eye coordination- watching and doing and coordinating these actions.
- Language development – talking about what they are doing, sharing ideas, communication and numeracy vocabulary.
- Self-esteem- a sense of pride and achievement
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