Rhythm Dominoes

I almost didn’t print this new game, not because it is embarrassingly simple since that has never stopped me before. No, the problem is that in the easy version, the player who goes first always wins. But then I remembered that the reason we play these games is to reinforce music theory in a hands-on way, not to learn a life lesson. 🙂

Besides, as I played it with my younger students, I didn’t tell them and they didn’t notice. If they did, it didn’t bother them because I always let them go first anyway.

When I played the harder version with my older students,  we usually tied, and that is fine, too.

I also want to share how I made the printed dominoes strong and sturdy so they will last a long time.

So here is my version of Rhythm Dominoes, a simple way to reinforce or even teach, rhythmic values in 4/4 meter.


  • Page one is for early elementary and the second page is for late elementary.


  • White  card stock
  • Two different colors of colored card stock
  • Glue Stick (I used Elmer’s Xtreme®)
  • Strong scissors
  • Optional: Laminating film


  • Use sturdy card stock to print the page you plan to use.
  • Spread glue on the entire back of the printable. I used a liberal amount of glue stick. Do not leave any spots glue-free.
  • Carefully glue the printed page to a blank sheet of colored card stock.
  • Laminate the pages that are glued together and cut out the dominoes.
  • Repeat with the second level of the printed page, using a different color of card stock to help you keep the levels separate.
  • If you want to use this in group lessons, consider printing 2 pages of each level.


  • Mix up the dominoes and divide them between the players.
  • The youngest player goes first and places a double domino on the table.
  • The second player places a matching domino next to the domino on the table, connecting the two. Players may match with a note, number, or rhythm pattern.
  • Two numbers (inside the colored circles) cannot be matched together.
  • If a player doesn’t have a match, he/she skips a turn.
  • Continue taking turns placing dominoes on the table, snaking them around the table.
  • The first player to run out of dominoes is the winner. If neither player has a match, the player with the fewest remaining dominoes is the winner.
  • You can certainly make up your own rules to this game. Variations include passing out 5 dominoes to each player and putting the remainder in a pile to draw if the player does not have a match.


  • Students will learn to quickly identify rhythm patterns and notes of equal value in 4/4 meter.
  • Students will match rhythmic note values in 4/4 meter.


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8 thoughts to “Rhythm Dominoes – Two Levels

  • Kae

    My students love this game! AND…. they want dominoes that are all complex! Music to my ears. Thank you for this wonderful resource. It makes counting/clapping fun and creative.

  • Karen Schacht

    You can also use light weight paper and mod podge onto wood blocks.

  • Karri

    I can’t get the pdf file to open…..?

    • Susan Paradis

      Always save the file to your desktop before you try to open it.
      There are several browsers and printers and some don’t work well with PDFs. Please check the FAQ at the top of my website where I list some reasons you can’t open files. One of those should help. If not, you may need to have someone in person help you.

  • Ivea

    Susan, you can buy colourful patterned card stock from Michael’s. Then there is no need to print and paste onto another colour. But the dominoes will be less thick. I like laminating my stuff, kids tend to have sticky or sweaty fingers. So put the page through a laminating machine or take it to a teacher store for a small fee per page. I bought my home laminator from Walmart.

    • Susan Paradis

      Great suggestion, Ivea!

  • Carole Terry

    I put dominoes on card stock and then stick them to sticky-backed foam paper. (I “laminate them” with package sealing tape…)

    • Susan Paradis

      Thank you for a great idea!


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