Domino Toppling

Gretchen's Domino Forest, September 2012
Gretchen’s Domino Forest, September 2012

Domino toppling is a wonderful community and team building exercise. I’ve collected 2,000+ dominos — a small collection by any serious standards—a box of foam blocks, a box of small wooden blocks, realistic animal figures, Disney characters, and finger puppets to build scenes. It helps to have a common house so we can build on the tables. This works very well for all ages, particularly mine. It also helps keep the dominos and assorted props from walking away. Even the smallest can pull up a chair and practice knocking things down.

Some focus on building towers, others racing ramps for cars, and others scenes of fantasy worlds like the one here by Gretchen.

This is fun but not easy. More work than you would think.

Videos and Information

At the very bottom of this LOOONG message of video addresses and ideas, there is a link to a company that does team building exercises and makes commercials. A Wonderful commercial on their site that runs all over a South American village.

Learn many tricks from the link below — an 8 minute video of one person’s 68 individual projects. You will be very surprised even if you haven’t seen domino toppling before:


Basic tips from the Circus, includes making template out of Legos:

The Circus

BIG PROJECT BY A GROUP OF TEENS IN GERMANY CALLED THE CIRCUS. They take over a school gym for two weeks and build night and day. Sleeping, eating, and showering at the school.

Watch the preparation days for how to tricks. Posted by IIIIIDominoIIIII

Preparation Day 1 — painting dominos

Preparation Day 2 — 3.21 — Sorting, diagramming. tests, weighing,

Preparation Day 3 — shopping for wood, the preparation area, making props, testing

Preparation Day 4 — 3.27 — truck deliveries, tests, building bases.

Behind the Blocks–7.00–In German. Not terribly interesting in spots but you can meet the guys behind this and see how they set up the dominos. They have some tricks.

CDT 2012, The Long Version — 57.41 — The smaller ones are really more interesting but here it is.

Includes set up, tests, screw ups, fails, footage from preparation day videos, 1 year of preparations, many diagrams. The building begins on 9 August 2012, Cologne, Day of the event, Dramatic lighting and long. 23 builders, 200,000 dominoes, Group started in 2007 with 70,000 dominoes. Videos on the last 5 years. Explanation of records set. Special Guest arrives at 27:45. Countdown at 29:50. 41:15 See the ones that didn’t fall. 177,414 fell. Took two weeks to build. Literally lived in the school gym.

Just the fall down–9:41– Includes the Clean Up.

Ideas for Designing and Building

–Planning: Draw diagrams. newsprint colored paper.
–Paint one side of black dominos so when fallen make a different pattern. Put them in a corner brace so can paint all at one time.
–ball is released and flips over to knock down the next flow.
–Dominos fall through a grid to the ground.

Toppling cards stacked in /\/\/\/\ shapes.
Cards against dominos

Up and down furniture and all through the building. Indoors and outdoors.

Something dropping off a high ledge onto a trigger.

–Small figure in the middle that is only revealed when all the dominoes fall.
–Dominos falling to turn a horizontal bar like a gate that knocks over the next row.
–Putting out the last section before the cascade gets to it.
–Ball released into a pit by one string and then anther string falls over the ball.
–A flower with purple in the middle and green rows coming out from the edges. The purple falls straight and pushes the greens our to the side forming the final picture of the flower.
–Dominos crash increasingly larger blocks until the are knocking down large blocks.

Team Building

Cooperation and Communications in Team Building:

Team Building

Domino Day 2009. 1.5 hours in Dutch? 4.800,000 dominos. 4.491,863 fallen. Many ideas.

How to Build a Major Project

Tips and Tricks

By Sharon Villines

Artist and Writer with too many interests living in Washington DC.

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