You know what’s awesome? Good engineering challenges, especially things like chain reactions and opportunities to build with simple materials! Everyone knows about building basic domino chains, but we’ve been working on some fun domino challenge cards that will help kids take their skills to a new level. These challenges will inspire hours of creative domino building.
There are 8 challenge cards to print. These cards are suitable for ages 8ish to 12ish. The engineering challenges start out simple enough for kids who have never built domino chains, and progress to more complex ideas. These are not domino master projects that take days to set up like you see on YouTube. My goal was to make do-able challenges that kids with little experience can build themselves.
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There are so many benefits to building domino chains! Coordination, patience, creativity, design skill… plus, building domino chain reactions is a fabulous team building activity.
TIP: If kids are having trouble accidentally knocking down their chain reaction too early, try building in sections. Leave space between the sections. If they accidentally knock it down, they’ll only lose one section and not the whole thing.
Where to Get Dominoes
You can definitely use dominoes from a domino game! We didn’t own enough to make really impressive chains, so I ordered a box of wood dominoes on Amazon. I got 1,000 dominoes for $39.99, which was quite a bit less than purchasing only 200 real dominoes.
Here are some options:
1,000 Wood Dominoes on Amazon for $39.99. (Prices can change anytime, so you’ll want to confirm this.)
If you don’t need 1,000, here are 360 Wood Dominoes for $18.99.
Here are 55 Real Dominoes for $9.87.
Other Supplies Needed
We enhanced our domino building with our wooden building blocks. The blocks pictured are the Melissa and Doug standard unit blocks, but any wood blocks will work.
If you don’t have wood blocks, you can also prop up your domino chains with books or cardboard boxes.
We also used orange plastic Hot Wheels track. Substitute paper towel rolls cut in half if you don’t have the track.
Want to see some of our domino challenges in action? Click the play button to see the video.
Domino Challenge Cards
The bottom left is one of my favorite challenges – build a bridge and loop your domino chain around and under it!
Here are the engineering challenges included:
- Up the Steps – build stairs for your domino chain.
- Rolling Reaction – make a domino chain that bumps a ball, which rolls down a ramp and knocks down more dominoes.
- Build a Spiral – take curves to a new level.
- One Path Becomes Two – build chains that branch into multiple chains.
- Falling Towers – build a tower that collapses as part of your domino chain!
- Direction-Changing Levers – use simple supplies to make a lever that is activated by a chain of dominoes.
- Ball Drop – create a domino layout where a falling ball knocks down more dominoes.
- Under the Bridge – use craft sticks and blocks to create a path that goes up, down, and under a bridge.
Ready to Print Your Domino Challenge Cards?
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Need more engineering challenges? We’ve got lots!
Marbles + Play Dough Engineering Challenge – it’s amazing what kids can do with this!
Popsicle Stick Gears – Build working gears with plastic lids and popsicle sticks.
Engineering Challenges with Craft Sticks, Cups, and Wood Cubes – these will keep kids busy for hours!
Kim Sep 2, 2019
Carolyn Sep 3, 2019
the domino challenge looks great. I am a sr citizen who tries to help a friend who has cancer and who has 5 young children. so I am always looking for simple activities.
Debra Harms Sep 4, 2019
I love your creative ideas. Wonderful
Jill Gillen Dec 26, 2019
Can’t wait for students to try these challenges.
Mia Jul 13, 2020
Love your ideas. Thanks.
Sue Jul 17, 2020
Thank you for these great resources, it really helps us with programs in our small town library!
Michelle Jul 20, 2020
I would love to know how you organize all the toys and craft supplies in your house. We renovated and I am struggling with this. I love these domino challenges and the lego ones you do as well. The hardest part is being able to find the pieces you need out of thousands of legos. Any step by step organizing ideas would be really appreciated.
Muriah Jan 19, 2022
I love your engineering challenges! I used your lego puzzle challenge this month with my students and am putting this one on next month's calendar. Thank you!
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