Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, each side bearing either a blank or an arrangement of dots that resemble those on dice. The dots are known as “pips” and there are usually 28 such pipped tiles in a complete set. Dominoes may be played with one or more players in games that involve laying domino pieces down in lines and angular patterns as well as scoring points for the winning player’s team. Alternatively, they may be used to make a design that will fall when the piece is pushed or tipped over, such as a picture, letters or numbers.
In general, each player must empty his or her hand before the opponent can play again. To do so, the player must play a tile onto the table that shows a number on one end of the line and has a matching value on the other, thus creating a chain that will grow in length as more tiles are played to it.
While most domino games involve matching ends of tiles to create chains, there are also blocking games in which each player must stop a domino chain before his or her own opponents’ turns can proceed. The point of blocking is to prevent the opposing players from scoring points or finishing a domino rally by playing all of their dominoes, thereby forcing them into a draw game and determining the winners.
The game of domino can be a great way to help children develop their motor skills by building lines and shapes with the pieces. In addition, it is an excellent way to teach them about number recognition and counting. Moreover, domino games are also great for teaching kids the importance of taking turns and listening to others’ points of view.
Dominoes can be purchased from most toy stores, online and in large department and grocery stores. The price of a set will vary but most cost under $10. Some sets even include a booklet of games that can be played with them.
As with any other toys, domino should be supervised by an adult. Generally, children under age three should not be allowed to play with them because they are not capable of understanding the rules and hazards involved. In addition, younger children might become bored with the game quickly because it can be repetitive.
A common way to keep a child interested in domino is to allow him or her to design his or her own track for the dominoes to fall on. The design can be as simple or elaborate as the child wishes, from straight lines to curved lines, grids that form pictures when the dominoes fall and 3-D structures like towers and pyramids.
When designing a domino track, the child must test out the pieces by playing with them and then arranging them on the table in a pattern that will work. Hevesh recommends that parents take a photograph of the layout so that if the child does not succeed in making the dominoes fit together as planned, a reference point will be available.