Learning Activity with Dominoes

Math & 123sKindergartners11 Comments

I found another quiet activity for Henry to do at nap time! It’s a simple learning activity with Dominoes and it makes me so excited because Henry is actually excited for nap time each day and has been asking to do this over and over!

We’ve played with Dominoes before… but more as a toddler version that was used as a busy play activity. Which would work perfectly for a quiet activity as well, but I don’t think that alone would have held Henry’s attention, nor would it be something he would ask to do over and over again… and he was learning in the process!

Learning Activity with Dominoes

This time I brought out the Dominoes box (affiliate link) and gave him a rundown of what they actually were.

How to play single player Dominoes – preschooler style:

The basic rules of Dominoes still come into play. The numbers have to match up. And that’s about it. There’s no drawing or turns obviously since it’s just single player.

Once Henry found the trains in the box of Dominoes, he turned the game into making train tracks. And then used them to play on. So it was double the fun for him.

How to play single player Dominoes

But he was learning along the way too. Counting up to twelve, one-to-one correspondence, and color matching. I noticed most of the time he was going by colors. When I popped in to check out what he was doing with them, he always told me the colors he needed or was matching up. I encouraged him by asking how many dots that color has. Eventually he started calling the Domino by the number instead of the color… but it probably took the third or fourth day of playing with them to do that.

What really surprised me… Henry eventually made patterns with the Dominoes. A progressive counting pattern. A double Domino and then a connecting Domino to the next double Domino and so on. When I noticed that he was doing this, I suggested starting with the blanks and then going to the double ones and then double twos and so on. That was a fun challenge for him to do all the way to twelve!

Progressive Patterning with Dominoes

I’m on a mission to find out new fun ways to play with Dominoes for him! He really enjoys it!

Fun Quiet Time Activity with Dominoes


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  1. says

    I use them in therapy to learn counting and divisions until 10. I use the original way of playing, where you match the same amount, but instead of matching the same amount, you match 2 stones who make together a previous specified amount. For instance: The first time I start to make 5 and I only use the stones with maximum 5 dots at one side. So every match, should be 5.
    So you can make 5 by: 0&5, 1&4, 2&3.
    And gradually (over days en weeks) I increase the goal-amount and couple this skill to the skill of addition and substraction. 2+3=5 and 5-3=2 …
    This is something we (in Belgium-Europe) learn to children from 6 years old, so probably a little to early for your boy. It’s not good to learn addition and substraction to early, because kids then start counting instead of ‘thinking’. And counting can become a bad habit.

  2. Amy Lindsay says

    I can’t wait to start this with Jackson, but one question, how does this help with naptime? I’m in need of a new plan since I have to walk him (in the stroller) until he falls asleep everyday, which isn’t a problem except I have to bring my 10 month old daughter in the backpack and it’s hard on her with the summer heat gearing up. Any suggestions on how you get your children to sleep would be GREAT! Thank you.

    • says

      Amy – sorry, I guess I never really explained it in this post. I shared a few quiet time activities I have Henry do during naptime since he’s not napping anymore, but the other 2 boys are. This way I still have some ‘me’ time still and he’s not bored wondering what to do.

  3. AWTM says

    we have a box of dominoes since Khol’s does a great holiday deal I have so many. The games we play are like Go Fish… do you have a domino with a 5&1 or do you have 1&1? Then we lay it and try to also match them it is a tricky mind twister is what we say but when my lil one does it she feels so accomplished and tells me she loves difficult games become easy. This is something we say to her but hearing it back melts my heart! We also do the shuffle and make words every now and again for added fun :-)

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