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17 Ways Playing Dominoes Can Be Beneficial for Kids (Math, Learning…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Dominoes have been entertaining humans around the world for hundreds and hundreds of years. There are almost as many ways to play with them as dice. You can build a bridge with them or play a mean hand of Chickenfoot. But regardless if you are using them to play Mexican Train or stacking them for an epic toppling, dominoes can be beneficial for kids. 

Dominoes benefit kids by teaching them manners, working on hand and eye coordination, learning to count, and developing strategy skills. In addition, dominoes are versatile and can encourage kids to work as a team, encouraging socializing, creativity, and problem-solving.  

In a high-tech world, parents and educators are constantly on the lookout for tactile learning tools that will benefit children in a myriad of ways. Dominoes fit that bill without being expensive or bulky. Bonus, kids can play with the tiles independently or in a group. Nor do dominoes have an age limit, benefiting a child of 18 months old through to the age of eighteen. 

These are the 17 ways playing dominoes can be beneficial for kids:  

1. Playing Dominoes Provides Quality Kid And Parent Time

The number one reason to play dominoes is that it provides relaxed yet constructive time with your kid, whether preschoolers or teens. (Pssst, the older ones prefer the domino games that allow bluffing). 

It is in these moments, where the focus is on the game, when conversations emerge. Sometimes it’s jokes; other times, they are deep. But you’ll never regret having that space for your ears to be open to whatever flies out of that child’s mouth. 

2. Dominoes Teaches Kids About Winning Or Losing Gracefully

Teaching young people to lose or win with grace is a lesson that comes with time. Dominoes are a low-stakes way to work on this basic but essential skill. 

3. Kids Can Practice Counting By Playing With Dominoes

Dominoes can be perfect for counting, be it the tiles or the dots. Plus, they’re less painful to step on than Lego (whew). 

4. Dominoes Can Teach Gravity

Dominoes are a lesson in gravity. Even cats know this truth.  

5. Speaking And Listening Skills Are Used To Play Dominoes

Dominoes requires players to communicate, which helps children develop and use their speaking and listening skills, regardless of whether the kid is in kindergarten or high school. 

6. Dominoes Can Demonstrate Kinetic Energy

Dominoes are an excellent tool to demonstrate kinetic energy. First, use upright dominoes as an example of potential energy, then, as they topple, explain how that energy is being converted into motion, which transfers to the following domino.  

7. Playing With Dominoes Can Develop Hand & Eye Coordination

Hand and eye coordination are developed as a child interacts with the tiles. Have the kid line them up, try to stack them, or even match them. 

8. Dominoes Improve Kids’ Pattern Recognition (Matching)

Matching domino tiles or pairing them with another tool, such as chocolate chips or raisins, can be good fun on a rainy day with a toddler or preschooler. 

9. Playing Dominoes Can Teach Kids About Strategy 

Mexican Train, straight, domino poker, and other domino games often require some strategy and (in a few) bluffing. 

10. Dominoes Can Help A Child Learn Independent Play

Dominoes are a great tool to encourage a child to learn to play independently. They can use them to build or stack, and the tiles can be used to play a version of solitaire. 

11. Kids Can Practice Addition And Subtraction With Dominoes

Dominoes are a tactile way to introduce the concepts of addition and subtraction. You can use the tiles or the dots in the lesson. 

12. Use Dominoes To Work On Kids’ Pattern Recognition 

Pattern recognition is an essential developmental stage that can be developed using dominoes. You can add buttons or even M&Ms to increase the fun. 

13. Building With Dominoes Strengthens Fine Motor Skills

Dominoes strengthen fine motor skills simply by picking the tiles up and putting them down in a basic matching game. Get a kid to try to build with them if you want to increase the challenge. 

14. Dominoes Can Teach Kids About Teamwork

Domino games such as Mexican Train or straight can be played in teams. Also, stacking and building challenges can be turned into group projects. Communication skills, working together, and problem-solving will all be utilized.  

15. Playing Dominoes Teaches Kids About Taking Turns

There are many different dominoes games, but all involve taking turns. It’s an essential lesson each child has to practice and a lot more fun than waiting your turn in a TSA line. 

16. Use Dominoes To Teach Measuring Speed

Dominoes can be an excellent tool for learning how to measure speed. 

Have the child:

  1. Line up 20 dominoes, equal space apart (measure it)
  2. Grab a stopwatch
  3. Knock the stack over, timing it from the first domino’s fall to the last
  4. Line ’em up again, but at a different, but equal distance (measure it)
  5. Knock the stack over, timing it via the stopwatch
  6. Repeat

When taking the measurements, use it to ensure dominoes are the same distance apart and to measure the entire length of the 20-domino line. 

To calculate speed, the child needs to divide the total distance by the time it took for the entire chain to fall. This will provide the average speed for a domino to drop. 

Mix it up by seeing if curves or other adjustments to the line will impact the average speed. 

17. Kids Can Learn Design Skills Using Dominoes

Domino stacking challenges can become complex. To carry out these elaborate toppling feats, kids will utilize design skills, either drafting on an electronic device or paper. Once they’ve developed an idea, they’ll have to test it to see if it will execute as planned. Thus, kids have to problem-solve in addition to coming up with creative ideas. 

Overall

Dominoes look simple and quaint at first glance. But with a bit of ingenuity, the rectangular tiles can be a brilliant teaching tool, whether in basic math or engineering. Most importantly, playing dominoes provides space to hang out with the younger generation, relax, opening up moments to have conversations you might never have had otherwise.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.