Playing Dominoes With Your Kids

Dominoes are a great way to encourage your kids to be active. They can help develop their spatial awareness and color recognition skills. They can also help with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Begin the game by mixing the dominoes and ensuring they are well-shuffled. The player who draws the heaviest domino makes the first play.


Many different variations of domino are played. Each game has a unique set of rules. Some games require the players to play until one player chips out, and some games are scored in rounds. The first player to reach a target score (usually 100 or 200 points) wins the game.

Before playing the game, each player divides their dominoes equally and discards any extras not needed for their hand. The remaining dominoes are shuffled into a pile, called the boneyard or stock. During the game, each player draws dominoes from this pile for their hands.

The player who draws the heaviest double makes the first play. If there is a tie, the players draw from the stock until a domino can be played. In some games, the first play must be on a spinner, which is a double that can be played on all four sides. Any player who plays on a non-spinner is penalized.


The rules of domino are designed to ensure that the game runs smoothly and prevent cheating occurrences. Players only join their dominos together when the numbers match i.e. a 6 touching a 4 or a double crossing a 4. This helps the shape of the chain develop in a snake-line and is one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing domino.

A popular variant is Mexican train, which is played using a double-twelve set of dominoes. Players take turns placing tiles to start their own trains and can also add to other players’ trains. If a player cannot play a tile, they must draw from the boneyard until they can.

In this variation, scoring is based on the open ends of the dominoes that have been placed. Count the number of open ends and divide by five to score points. This variant is a good way to practice counting, as it forces you to think ahead.


Over the centuries, dominoes have been made of many different materials. In the past, European-style domino sets were typically made of bone or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips (inlaid or painted).

Today, most commercial domino sets are mass-produced from plastics. Some modern sets are also made from natural materials such as wood, stone or metals and specialty materials like foam for giant yard dominoes.

Dominoes are a great educational toy for kids, helping to develop their spatial awareness, colour recognition and hand-eye coordination. Core maths skills are developed as children build up patterns of numbers, while arranging the tiles in precise positions builds fine motor ability. The chance to sand and varnish the pieces enhances their sense of pride in their creation. In addition, the opportunity to set up and topple an amazing display of domino rally will help develop creativity and perseverance.


In some domino games, players count the number of pips left in their opponents’ hands at the end of the hand or game. This total is then added to the winner’s score. Some rules allow for players to play doubles if the number on one end is the same as that on the other end (for example, 4-4 counts as only four points).

If a player can’t make a match and has no open ends to place his tile on, he pays each opponent the point value of one end of a domino in his own hand. In some games, this is called “stitching up the ends.”

Spatial awareness – locating and placing domino tiles in exact spots sharpens a child’s spatial awareness and fine motor ability. Colour recognition – identifying the different colours of dominoes also strengthens this skill. In addition, the game’s many variations offer a range of creative possibilities to spark a child’s imagination.

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