DIY (crazy cheap) Wooden Track Dominos



A few months ago John Paul, ever the stalwart leader of the brothers, got into a domino phase.  I'm not sure how it happened but I think it may have been spurred by a Youtube video suggested while he was on his stick bomb kick (which he was proud to hear started a local homeschool boy trend during this  past very very long winter!).  His move to dominos prompted lengthy price comparisons and internet searches all to no avail.  It seemed a bit crazy that the only quality dominos we could find were either imported and painted from China, very expensive, or were much smaller than he wanted.  So it was that he and the husband decided to go ahead and make their own.  

I don't really even need to give a step by step tutorial for this project since it is so crazy simple.
They used two 2x4x8s from Lowe's (find the straightest, least knotty ones you can and you can use whatever length 2x4 you'd like) and they spent…ready for it?  About five dollars.  Using a miter saw and a spacer they cut each domino 1/2" wide.  According to Brian you could also use a table saw.  In about twenty minutes they had made over 300 dominos!  John Paul spent the next few days giving them a quick sanding but according to the husband if you use a "clean cut blade" (which he didn't have) you wouldn't even have to do that.

Five dollars and twenty minutes and you've got over 300 dominos ready for all sorts of creative play.  They've already logged dozens of hours of play time with these building elaborate tracks, massive towers, and even just building roads for play cars.  I've been really impressed with how they will all work together (most of the time.  Ahem.) and with how much it has reinforced their knowledge of physics, creative thinking, and their fine motor skills…not to mention the uh, negotiating and cooperative and don't start a fight or mom will take the dominos away skills they're also putting into practice ;)  

All in all, definitely a simple project that is way way more than worth the time and money put into it!






Some live time action:


I apologize for the eleven year old's videography skills but the tower was just too impressive to leave out.

And even the three year old Luke gets in on the action.  This was his "all by myself" track:

This project is pretty simple but as always, throw any questions at me in the combox and I'll try to answer as best I can!

18 comments

  1. Such a great, great idea!! Did John Paul sand all the corners so perfectly rounded?? (he may be starting another new trend if I can figure out a way to get my hands on a table saw...... What is a table saw??)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, he just sanded the cut sides. Most 2x4s come with the corners already a bit rounded like that! A table saw is the one that's a flat table with the spinning blade coming up through it. A miter saw is the kind where you pull the spinning blade down for each cut :)

      Delete
  2. For real now... do they take orders? We don't have any tools at all but those are great and even with cost of labor/shipping/materials I am guessing they'd still be cheaper. What a great Christmas present they would be and a great activity for winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I'll have to check! They're pretty heavy so I'm not so sure about the shipping!

      Delete
  3. Oh brilliant!! Reminds me of my older boys, they were quite creative. May your boys enjoy hours of fun

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am going to try it this weekend, I have a friends' kid to give it to already (w/ mom's permission too)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome! Now, go and buy one of these . . .
    http://www.amazon.com/HEXBUG-Nano-Colors-May-Vary/dp/B00CMATSCC/ref=sr_1_2?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1439344722&sr=1-2&keywords=Hex+bug+nano

    They can use the blocks to make a maze for this battery operated bug to go through. They are so much fun, my girls have been having a blast with ours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those look so neat!! I'm thinking they'd be great for stocking stuffers!

      Delete
  6. Oooo....we don't own the fancy tools. If they're taking orders, I'll bite! :) Would make awesome Christmas gifts!
    -McKenzie

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is so great! I'm betting I can get Andrew and John Paul to do this - John Paul is obsessed with using sandpaper on everything, and is also constantly annoyed that our cheap dominoes are so terrible for making tracks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love this and my boys would too . . . .too bad we do not have any fancy saws!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you COULD try it with a handsaw but that might defeat the whole simple and quick part ;)

      Delete
  9. I love those! I'm always so impressed with how creative your oldest and your husband are. These little blocks look like a lot of fun and I bet my dad would love to make these with my nephew as a weekend project... Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok this is just perfect timing...I seriously read this post minutes after I put on Reading Rainbow for my girls - the domino episode - and they are obsessed. They look really great for 2 and 3 year old hands, too!! Perfect!! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I might request my dad make these for Christmas! Or maybe just get the tools out and I'll try my hand at them. I took a construction class in high school (only one of three girls in he class, unsurprisingly) and I loved it but I haven't really touched any fancy tools since then.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for give me information on this topic. you have sharing very nice post.hitachi miter saw

    ReplyDelete

Your nice comment makes my day. Thank you for taking the time to do that! Please know I read and appreciate every comment even if I can't always reply personally.