Toy dominoes with pictures or movie characters are fun for occasional games or as a way to introduce dominoes to children who are reluctant to play, but switch to real dominoes as soon as possible for the best opportunity to help your children learn math skills. Children love to use the same tools that adults do and if they practice at home with real dominoes they'll be prepared for adult games with other people later. On another day, setting up a domino race is great fun, while teaching patience, determination and careful work habits.
MATH SKILLS Dominoes teach matching and counting quite well. Start with picture dominoes, but move as quickly as possible to a regular double six set.
SOCIAL SKILLS Children can use picture dominoes from a very young age to practice taking turns, following rules to play a games, and interacting socially. Gradually they can graduate to playing regular domino games with adults for lifelong recreation. How about a family tradition of domino night once a week after supper?
PATIENCE & DETERMINATION Few activities teach patience, determination and careful work habits quite as well as setting up a domino race. You can find real dominoes for this, or purchase a play set from a catalog or teacher supply store.
LANGUAGE ARTS The phrase "the domino effect" is part of the English language and setting up a domino race will help children really understand this later. It's a great phrase to have a deep understanding of when considered in a larger context of how your actions create results in your life and "one thing leads to another!"