Dominoes are cousins to playing cards, and they’re one of the oldest tools for game play. We often use them to line up rows and rows of dominoes that we then knock over, but they can also be used for other kinds of art, like curved lines or grids that form pictures when they fall. Today’s Wonder of the Day features a young artist who uses dominoes to create stunning works of art.
Lily Hevesh has loved dominoes ever since she was a little girl, when her grandparents gave her a classic 28-piece set. She started creating domino art when she was 9 years old, and now her YouTube channel has more than 2 million subscribers. Her videos feature her setting up dominoes in straight or curved lines, stacked walls, and even 3D structures such as pyramids. She also creates elaborate setups that show off her skills in arranging and re-arranging the tiles to create an interesting design.
The word “domino” comes from the Latin domina, meaning “little one.” Early sets of dominoes consisted of little tan rectangles with a single square on each end, bearing from one to six dots or pips (the latter were originally meant to represent the results of throwing a die). Each side was blank or identically patterned. The pips on the dominoes were later replaced with numbers, and each side of a domino could have either a number or a blank. The most common domino set has 91 tiles, although there are some extended sets that include more or less than that number of tiles.
To play a domino game, each player takes turns laying down a tile on the table. The first tile laid must match the end of another domino in a line with its pips, or “chip out.” Then the players continue to play their tiles, matching the ends and laying them down in lines and angular patterns. The winner is the player who scores the most points after a certain number of rounds. Points are awarded by counting the number of pips on opposing players’ tiles, with doubles counted as one or two (a 6-6 counts as 6 or 12 depending on the rules), and double-blanks as either zero or 14.
Dominoes can be played alone or in groups. They are an excellent way to build teamwork and practice math skills. They can also be a great way to have fun and relieve stress. The best part is that anyone can do it!