The Impossible Domino Bridge Puzzle asks, “Can you arrange 15 dominoes to build this seemingly impossible domino bridge?”
As soon as I saw this puzzle this summer, I knew I wanted to try it with my math students. I think this would make a great beginning of school year activity for practicing class norms or growth mindset. It could also make a fun addition to the puzzle table. You could even use it as a brain break to help break up a longer class period.
Update: I have also used this as an end of year math activity for my high school students.
I found the Impossible Domino Bridge Puzzle in The Big Book of Brain Games by Ivan Moscovich. This book is definitely worth picking up for your classroom if you love using puzzles with students. The book weighs several pounds, and it is chock-full of amazing puzzles.
Even though I typed up this puzzle this summer, I only got around to making sure it works today. I figured I should solve it myself before putting it out for my students to tackle. Mine looks a tiny bit wonky, but it worked!
I did learn an important lesson. You want to make sure that you are using dominoes with square corners. I picked up this box of double-six dominoes at a thrift store this summer, and they worked perfectly.
Just before school started, I picked up several packages of dominoes at Dollar Tree. These dominoes are much smaller, and they have rounded edges. I tried to build the Impossible Domino Bridge with these dominoes, but they did not stand up well enough. I think that you might be able to use regular size dominoes even if they have rounded edges, but I have not tried this out for myself.
I’m not too disappointed, though. I’ve got a bunch of other domino puzzles on my list to make that should work perfectly with my Dollar Tree dominoes.
I would definitely make sure that you test this with whatever dominoes you plan to have students use to make sure it works.
Free Download of Impossible Domino Bridge Puzzle
Want even more puzzles to use with your students? I have an entire page dedicated to free printable puzzles!
I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.
However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.
If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at email@example.com with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.