The Impossible Domino Tower Puzzle asks, “Can you arrange 16 dominoes to build this seemingly impossible domino tower?”
So when I saw that Ivan Moscovich had another domino puzzle, I knew I had to type it up so I could share the new challenge with my students.
I ran across this domino puzzle in Ivan Moscovich’s book, Tough Topology Problems & Other Puzzles. I am a huge fan of Mr. Moscovich’s puzzles, and I have featured many of them on my blog over the years.
My students immediately took to this challenge. They found it much harder than the Impossible Domino Bridge Puzzle that we did earlier in the year.
But, as you can see from this photo, it is not impossible!
I bought some dominoes at Dollar Tree this summer that I had hoped would work, but the rounded corners made them very hard to balance on top of one another. If you pick the wrong dominoes, it truly will be an “impossible challenge!”
I picked up this box of double-six dominoes at a thrift store this summer, and they worked perfectly.
I created two different formats for the instructions for this puzzle. First, I created a letter-sized version of the Impossible Domino Tower instructions.
MATH = LOVE RECOMMENDS…
A laminator is a MUST-HAVE for me as a math teacher! I spent my first six years as a teacher at a school with a broken laminator, so I had to find a way to laminate things myself.
I’ve had several laminators over the years. I currently use a Scotch laminator at home and a Swingline laminator at school.
I highly recommend splurging a bit on the actual laminator and buying the cheapest laminating pouches you can find!
I also downsized the instructions to print four to a page. If you have access to a lot of dominoes and want numerous students to be working on the challenge at the same time, this format should save you both paper and time spent laminating!
I know that this activity is going to become one of my go-to end of the year math activities!
Free Download of Impossible Domino Tower Puzzle
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.