My daughter and I enjoy playing dominoes together. She'll be turning four soon and, being a concerned parent, I wanted to make sure she developed her number skills. Yes, we play dominoes so my daughter can master her numbers. I want her to be able to see the placement of the dots and automatically associate them with a number.
We sit in our living room and I break out our special dominoes. They can be bought at any Wal-Mart, but the different numbers have different colored dots. Six is yellow, four is brown, and so on. Also, the bright colors make the game more attractive to her.
Admittedly, she wasn't enthused about it in the beginning. The game had rules and she couldn't bend the rules to her whims. She could only play a domino on an end that matched, even when she didn't have any dominoes that matched. She had to be baited to play. Fortunately, for me, I was the bait. She likes to do things with her daddy.
After about a month or so, she's gotten used to the game. She counts aloud as she pulls her seven dominoes at the beginning of each game. Thanks to Dora the Explorer, she now does it in Spanish. She is very intelligent. I've known that for a while. The funny thing is she's beating me.
I know I tried to make the game easy for her. She always goes first, so the onus is more on me to win. All she has to do is make sure she always has a domino she can play. I taught her how to set up her dominoes so I couldn't see what she had. I even told that she should get rid of her doubles whenever possible.
Still, it was a little shocking when she began using strategies that I never taught her in order to ensure she won. She tries to make all the ends of the board the same number, so that I'll have trouble playing. Whatever number the spinner has, she'll keep a domino with that number. Do these strategies work for my little three-and-a-half-year-old? Yes!
She beat me four times in a row today out of seven. Honestly, I only won the last three because I got tired of losing and used her poor coordination to my advantage. She has to stand the dominoes up to look at them because her hands are too small to hold them, and she keeps knocking them over when she plays her turn. I peaked at them. Yes, I am proud to admit that my 3 yr old daughter has gotten good enough at dominoes that her father now has to cheat to beat her.