For this weeks creative work, I decided to create a game that I could use in a 3rd or 4th grade classroom to give children practice at adding, but keeping it fun!  This game is called Dicey Dominoes.  The game is meant for 2 players, playing against each other.  To start the game you will need a set of double fifteen dominoes, flash cards (I used UNO cards with only the number cards and wild cards...took out all the skips and draw 2 cards and things of that nature),  2 dice, and scratch paper if necessary.  When the kids are ready to play the teacher picks a random domino and sets it in the middle of the playing area, and each player draws ten dominoes from a face down pile.  Once they get all ten, they may flip them over and they are ready to play.  The start of the game should look like this.  
My mother was kind enough to test the game with me.  Notice we each got our ten dominoes, the starting domino is in the middle, we have the two dice, and the flash card draw pile.  We are ready to play.  

The Rules of the Game:
The player roles the dice (the children can figure out on their own who goes first), then draws a flashcard.  The child must then (in his/her head or on scratch paper) figure out the sum of the 2 dice, plus the flash card.  The player then looks at the dominoes that he/she can play off of (the longer the game goes the more dominoes there are available to play off of), and has to find a domino in his/her pile that creates the sum of the dice and flash card.  For example...
I rolled a 4 and a 5, and drew the 2 from the flashcards.  The sum is 11.  The starting domino had a side of 5 and a side of 13.  Obviously only the 5 side could be played this time.  I played a 6 domino from my pile.  Five plus 6 is equal to 11.  My turn is now done and my mom could take her turn.  
Rules of the Game (cont):
If a player cannot lay a domino because he/she cannot find the proper sum using their pile then their turn is done and the second player can try to use the first players sum to play a domino, then take his/her own turn, potentially getting rid of 2 dominoes in one turn.  
The game ends when one player gets rid of all his/her ten dominoes.
During the game both players should be doing every sum, checking the other players math, even when it is not their turn.  If the player not laying dominoes thinks that the active player did the math wrong, he/she can make a challenge to the teacher and explain why he/she thinks the other player was incorrect.  If the challenge is upheld by the teacher, the incorrect player but take back his incorrect domino, and draw another domino from the unused pile, and his/her turn is over.
Wild Cards:
If a child draws a wild card they can choose the value of that card (as long as it does not exceed the largest number in your flashcard deck) to add to the dice in order to play a domino.  
How can dominoes be laid?
There are multiple ways that children can play their dominoes.  You can play them short end to long end such as this...
....going in either direction such as this...
...but they cannot have two dominoes lengthwise right next to eachother such as this...
                                                                                                             ...or this.
You can also play short end to short end...
If there is a double domino (both sides have the same number of dots) you can play it like this...
...and play off it either this way...
...or this way...
End of the Game:
As I said earlier, the game ends when one player has zero dominoes left in his/her pile.  It might look something like this...
In case you are wondering, even though I invented this game, I did lose the inaugural battle to my mother.  
I think this game would be a great teaching tool, because it forces children to do math, but they might not even realize that they are practicing their addition while playing.  I plan on using it in my classroom, and I hope some of you will as well.
Were my instructions clear and understandable?  Especially the parts about legal placement of dominoes?  Is there any area i should be clearer in?  Will anyone use this in their own classroom someday?


09/09/2013 7:59am

It took me a 2nd try reading the directions, but I think that's because I looked at the pictures first. Reading, your example was very helpful.

I think one of the neatest parts is that you're setting up equations like 4+5+2=5+6. Lots to discuss! I definitely think this is playable, and tweeted the link to share it.

clear, coherent, complete, consolidated, content +
Great work!


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