Lego Domino Challenge

The Lego Domino Challenge is a fantastic way to get kids using maths and construction skills while having fun!

What is the Lego Domino Challenge?


Lego Domino Challenge

The Lego domino challenge is for a small Lego domino (which you build using Lego) to knock down a gigantic Lego domino (which looks like a huge Lego wall). Is this even possible?

Lego Domino Challenge

If you just take a small Lego domino and flick it against a gigantic Lego wall, it would be easy to think that there’s no way something so tiny could ever push over something of titanic proportions.

However, there’s a secret which involves the use of a bit of maths.

By using a simple mathematical formula, it IS possible for a small Lego domino, with the help of a few buddies, to push over a gigantic Lego domino!

Increase next domino size by one-and-a-half times

Scientists have found that a Lego domino will knock over a domino that is one-and-a-half times bigger. So that’s what we did. We created a row of Lego dominoes, each one-and-a-half times bigger than the Lego domino before it.

How Big Should the Next Lego Domino Be?

Multiply the depth x width x height

To help work out how big to make the next domino, we calculated the size of each Lego domino by multiplying the …

depth x width x height.

For example, the first domino we built was …

1 block deep x 2 blocks wide x 2 blocks high = 4 blocks


    The next domino we built was one-and-a-half times bigger than 4 blocks. We worked out how many blocks we’d need …
    4 x 1.5 = ?
    (4x1) + (4 x.5) = ?
    4 + 2 = 6 blocks

    … then we arranged 6 blocks into a Lego domino (1 block deep x 2 blocks wide x 3 blocks high).

As long as the next Lego domino is never bigger than one-and-a-half times bigger than the previous Lego domino, it will work!
Hint: to make all our Lego blocks rectangular, some of our Lego dominoes were a little less than one-and-a-half blocks bigger.

Using single and then double width blocks

By the way, after about the tenth Lego domino, we moved from building single-block-width-dominoes to double-block-width-dominoes. This was because we ran out of single-width-blocks. I don't think you can start with double-width-blocks because the base would be too wide. However, further down the Lego domino chain, they worked fine.

Lego Domino Challenge Video Clip

Want to see how the Lego Domino Challenge in action? Click on this short video clip:

It was fascinating seeing how something so small can cause a chain reaction that eventually moves a massive object.

Lego Domino Challenge: Team Work in Action

On a side note, the Lego Domino Challenge would be a really good way of talking with children about ‘team work’: we can often achieve more working together with others!

We’d love to see the Lego domino challenge that you create with your Lego. Feel free to leave a photo on our facebook page or a comment on this post.

Have fun!

Before you go, have a look at some of the other fun maths projects we’ve explored as well as our children’s books ...

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Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.

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