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Impossible Domino Tower

The Impossible Domino Tower Puzzle asks, “Can you arrange 16 dominoes to build this seemingly impossible domino tower?”

impossible domino tower challenge

This domino puzzle might look familiar because I tackled a similar puzzle, the Impossible Domino Bridge, with my students back in September. My students loved the challenge of building with dominoes.

Are you brave enough to take on the impossible domino tower challenge?

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.

Student attempting to solve impossible domino tower puzzle.

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.

Other puzzles by Moscovich include Panda Squares, 5 Arrows Puzzle, Fitting Shapes, Number Strips, and Zigzag Overlap.

Dominoes arranged to form impossible domino tower

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!

Completed Domino Puzzle

One thing I have learned from doing these domino puzzles with my students is that not all dominoes are easily stackable. You will need to make sure you use a set of dominoes with square corners.

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.

Double Six Dominoes

I created two different formats for the instructions for this puzzle. First, I created a letter-sized version of the Impossible Domino Tower instructions.

I laminate the page so I can place it out with the dominoes to capture student interest.

Impossible Domino Tower Instructions

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!

4 to a Page Version of Impossible Domino Tower Instructions

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not share solutions to the puzzles I feature on my website because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are not 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 sarah@mathequalslove.net with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.