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Dino Domino Review by Brittney Rutherford

Caroline Selms, Illustrator
Laurence King Publishing

Dino Domino from Laurence King Publishing is a fun variation of dominoes for preschoolers. Designed for two to four players, ages three and up, there are 28 tiles with colorful, whimsical dinosaur illustrations instead of traditional pips. The tiles are large and easy for little hands to manipulate. Gameplay is quite simple. Shuffle the tiles and divide equally between players, without revealing your pieces to other players. Essentially, players try to match one of their dominoes to another domino that has already been played. The first person to place their dominoes wins!

Dinosaurs are a favorite of preschoolers, both boys and girls, and this game allows them to play a familiar game and practice essential preschool skills within a topic of high interest. The dinosaurs featured include triceratops, stegosaurus, ankylosaurus, vulcanodon, microraptor, tyrannosaurus, and velociraptor. They can learn the names of any they do not know, but there are not so many that it is overwhelming, yet they look different enough that young children can easily match them without frustration. Basic preschool skills of object and color matching are practiced, as well as taking turns and practicing good sportsmanship.

My six-year-old also realized that when playing by the rules, the first person to lay a tile is always the winner. I think because the rules are a little ambiguous about how to play tiles-it just says, “either end,” we always have a match, and nobody ever has to skip a turn. Perhaps altering the rules with older kids might be beneficial, but since it is created for younger children, I think the rules are fine and gameplay should just continue naturally.

Overall, this has been a great game for my four and six-year-old daughters to play. They enjoy dinosaurs, and once they were taught the instructions, they could play it without an adult. For a homeschool family, it is a great independent activity that engages the little ones while mom is working one-on-one with the big kids. Of course, it would be fun for all families, as well as preschool or early elementary classrooms.

-Product review by Brittney Rutherford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2019