Multiplication Dominoes

Multiplication games like Multiplication Dominoes are fun math games that build number sense, mathematical skill, and reduce math anxiety. Scoring each turn focuses on basic facts while keeping a cumulative score keeps addition skills fresh.

Objective: Be the first player to reach 1000 points. (Adjust the target point total as desired to shorten or lengthen the game.)

Recommended Grade Levels: 2, 3, 4, 5

Materials: Set of Domino tiles (Using a double six set focuses on the basic facts through 12. Using a double nine or double twelve set extends practice to double digit multiplication.)

Play: Play dominoes normally following the directions for Basic Domino Game Play using the following rules for keeping score.

Score:

For each play, multiply the total value of the played tile to the total value of the matched tile.

For example, if the (6,4) domino tile is matched to the double six tile as shown, Multiply 12 X 10 for a total score of 120.

Domino First Play Close Up

Continue taking turns with each player keeping their own cumulative total score.

When the first player runs out of tiles, subtract the total of the remaining tiles from each players cumulative total. Variation: Subtract the product of the remaining tiles. (Skip the subtraction if the penalty creates drama. Some children find this feels too punitive.)

Winning: The first player to score 1000 points wins.

Tip: If a child is struggling with multiplying numbers, try these ideas:

  • Encourage them to group objects/manipulatives and use repeated addition to find the product. (Popsicle or craft sticks and rubber bands make terrific inexpensive manipulatives. Pennies if you keep a penny jar can work well too.)
  • Model multiplication using the area of a rectangle and count or add up the squares.
  • Skip count to find the product.
  • Start with a fact you know and add or subtract to get to the needed product. For example, suppose you need 8 X 9 (think 9 groups of eight), multiply 8 X 10 (think 10 groups of 8, an easy fact you know) first then subtract 8 (think one group of eight). Now you're left with 9 groups of 8, or 8 X 9.

For help in developing a deeper understanding and kids constructing their own knowledge while playing Multiplication Dominoes, I would resist using a times table or calculator. Memorizing the times tables without understanding is not a desirable goal. Kids will memorize the facts with practice, but when they stop using them, they lose the quick recall too. It's more important for them to know what to do when they don't remember than to have all the facts regurgitated quickly. Understanding will serve them throughout their life.

Check out Multiplication Games and Puzzles for more fun math games.

For more domino variations, check out Addition Dominoes and Subtraction Dominoes .

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