In our house we are currently in the middle of a Woolworths Disney-Pixar Dominoes Stars frenzy (try saying that five times quickly).
Although parents all around Australia could be heard audibly sighing when the advertisements started hitting our screens for another supermarket promotion (spend $20 in store to receive one Disney domino), we’ve found this to be great fun. There have been lots of laughs trying to set up the dominoes and BJ has had a great time knocking them down. Besides making domino runs and playing the game the traditional way, I have come up with a few ideas to incorporate a bit of therapy for kids as well. If you are following along from outside Australia you could purchase character dominoes and use the same ideas with those.
Posting/fine motor skills
I took an empty yogurt container, washed it thoroughly and covered it in some Toy Story contact to make it more visually appealing. I then cut a rectangular shape out of the top, a little wider than the dominoes. The clear lid adds to the challenge but for a child with vision difficulties you could add some coloured paper to the inside of the lid to make the hole more distinguishable.
A child then needs to post the dominoes through the hole. When finished you can challenge them to open the lid and tip the dominoes back out.
To make an easy matching game for your child, scan, enlarge and print out a picture of three dominoes. Blue tac the picture to a table or wheelchair tray. Put blue tac on the back of the dominoes and see if they can match them.
We bought the Disney-Pixar case to store the dominoes in ($5) and that provides another matching opportunity. The case has pictures printed inside for each of the 44 dominoes to collect. Matching in this case requires good fine motor skills but it is a great game.
The dominoes also provide the opportunity to have a good old fashioned game of memory. This can be tailored to suit the child playing by making it challenging with lots of dominoes or just a few if they are just starting out. This also requires you to have doubles of the individual dominoes which we seem to have plenty of at the moment.
They can also be used for counting skills, number recognition and discussing concepts like same and different.
STAIRS AND BRIDGE
Of course the best part for adults and children alike is just having fun. It is a team effort in our house to do the domino runs because BJ doesn’t have the fine motor skills to stand them up. AJ usually stands them all up and BJ has the fun of pushing the last one and watching them fall. I have to say, I have loved the fact this is something we can all enjoy. The bridge and stairs can be bought individually and are $5 each.
EASTER EGG HUNT
Lastly, I think that these would make a fabulous Easter hunt if you are looking for a substitute to chocolate. The small packets are ideal to hide and a bridge or stairs would make a great final prize. We are lucky enough to collect quite a few with our weekly shop and other family also contribute with the ones they are given at the check out.
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