You may also like

problem icon

Shut the Box

An old game but lots of arithmetic!

problem icon

How Random!

Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?

problem icon

Baravelle

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

Guess the Dominoes for Two

Stage: Early years, 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here’s a game to play with a grown-up!
 
How do you play? 
You'll need a grown-up to play with.
If you've got a set of dominoes, you can use those. If you haven't you could make a set. Or you could use the interactive version.
You’ll also need a set of the rule cards and two pieces of paper, one with ‘yes’ written on it and one with  ‘no’.
Give the rule cards to the grown-up and keep the dominoes yourself.

The grown-up looks at the rule cards and secretly chooses one.
Your job is to find out what it says on that rule card.

Choose one domino and give it to the grown-up.
Ask “Does this domino fit your rule?”
If the answer is ‘yes’ put the domino on the ‘yes’ piece of paper.  If the answer is ‘no’ put it on the ‘no’ piece.
Keep giving dominoes to the grown-up until you think you have worked out what it says on the rule card.
Say “Is your rule ...?”
If you’re right, you could swap roles.
If you’re wrong keep going!

What’s the least number of dominoes you needed to offer?

Why not try more dominoes games here?

Notes for grown-ups
This game is all about making sensible guesses, or conjectures, and explaining your thinking. It is also about the language and concepts of number - depending on the age of the child this could range from simple number names (one, two, three) to number concepts (odd, even) through to quite advanced ideas (difference, multiple). It isn't a fast game but depends on bringing together lots of pieces of information to make deductions. 

Easier version: use a smaller set of dominoes (0-4 dots) and the simple rules which you can find here. Have all the rule cards on view and turn them over once they have been eliminated.

Harder version: use all the dominoes (you could even make a 0-9 set) and keep the rule cards hidden from view.

When you’ve completed a game, talk together about how the rule was found.
Repeat the game, aiming to reduce the number of dominoes offered.

There's a group version of this game here.