St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching, which means it’s time for some green and gold fun in preschool! This St. Patrick’s Day printable is a game of shape matching dominoes. Be sure to grab your FREE printable at the end of this post.
Here are some ways games like dominoes are good for preschoolers:
- Preschoolers learn to differentiate between shapes, which is a necessary skill in learning to write.
- Preschoolers learn to make matches, which is a skill in algebra. Once they learn to make matches, they can learn to identify and build patterns.
- In this St. Patrick’s Day printable, they learn shape names.
- Working with dominoes, even printable versions, is a fine motor skill.
St. Patrick’s Day Printable Dominoes
This will be easy. The game is literally just a print and cut kind of game. You can laminate the cards if you want to use them over and over again, which I also do.
- St. Patrick’s Day printable (Grab yours at the end of this post).
- laminator (optional, but for added durability)
- paper cutter (also optional, but dang it makes cutting fast!)
Print the game on heavy card stock and cut along the black lines. DO NOT CUT the green lines. The green lines are the dividing lines between the two pictures on each card.
Mix up the cards and stack them into a pile. Draw a single card and place it in the center of the play area.
Because of the size of a game of dominoes like this one, I like to play on the floor. This St. Patrick’s Day printable has larger playing cards than a traditional dominoes tile game, so extra space is needed.
How to Play St. Patrick’s Day Dominoes
I don’t know that I play the game the way traditional dominoes are played. My kids and I just match up the shapes. Sometimes, my kids make one giant long line that stretches the length of our kitchen. Sometimes it’s all turns and angles. It really doesn’t matter much. The point of the game is to identify shapes and make some matches!
In the game set-up, you should have drawn a card to place in the center of the play area. Choose a player to go first, and draw a card. If the card has a matching shape, it is added to the cards already played. The player keeps the card for later use if it does not have a matching shape.
If a card has a matching shape, it must be played. I never tell my kids where to put their cards. Rather, I point out the possible places a card can be placed and then ask my kids, “Which place do you think it can go? Here, or here?”
If a player wants, they can turn the direction of a card by placing it sideways, thus giving more possible places to play upcoming cards.
Before my kids draw a card on their turn, I ask them to look through their own cards to see if they can find a match. We keep the cards face-up so that I can help them.
You can play that each player can play as many cards from their hand as possible in one turn or just one.
Like I said, it’s not a complicated game, so you can make up your own house rules based on what is best for your own kids!
Get Your FREE St. Patrick’s Day Printable
Need this printable for your St. Patrick’s Day holiday? Or maybe you just want a copy to help your child learn their shape names? Grab your copy by clicking on the image below!
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I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.