Slo-Mo Domino Chain

If we are stuck indoors for recess this is a go to activity for my 3rd graders. There is always at least one student who wants the dominoes and sets them up for this chain reaction. I’m not sure what made this such a consistently loved activity.

We have watched some videos of elaborate domino chains. (I frequently have some short, fun video open in a tab, ready to show my class when we have a few minutes unexpectedly free. Right now it’s this one that’s been waiting for a while.)

I also have always been willing to record their creations, usually in slo mo, making them even more fascinating to watch. That could also be a factor.

Whatever the reason for their ongoing love of this activity, it brings me great joy. Typically there are three to five students working together to build their vision. They will spend a good fifteen to twenty minutes planning and building before grabbing me to record it. That’s no small feat for eight and nine year olds. Not the time, they can spend far longer focused on things they love, but the collaboration. And the body control not to accidentally knock it down during the construction process. Well, that has happened, but it’s surprisingly rare.

It’s so hard to know what a group of children will want to do or use and it can change throughout the year. It feels like a win that I have these dominoes on hand for them. It’ll be interesting to see what next year’s group latches onto…

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