Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders is a great favourite among young children. It is based on an ancient Hindu game of religious instruction (karma) where virtuous acts bring reward (Ladders) and vices produce punishment (Snakes).

Age: All ages

No. of players: 2-6

Equipment: One die; one counter for each player; one Snakes and Ladders board (Click here if you want to print your own board)

Time: 10 minutes+

Aim: To be the first player to reach the end of the board (square 100) with an exact throw.

1. Each player chooses a counter and places it next to (but not on) the starting square (Number 1). Players take it in turns to throw the die. [Note: Die is the singular for dice.]

2. Each player must throw a six before they can start. Once they throw a six, they throw again and move the number of squares shown on their second throw. This is the only time they can throw the die twice on their turn.

3. If the counter lands on a square at the bottom of a ladder, the player moves their counter to the top of the ladder and continues their next turn from there.

4. If the counter lands on a square at the head of a snake, the player moves their counter to the tail of the snake and continues their next turn from there.

5. If you land on a square already occupied by another player's counter, you must move back to the square 1 (START) but you do not need to throw a six again. This rule only applies to your final resting square each turn - you can jump over other counters on the way through.

6. To finish the game, you must land exactly on the square 100 (END). For example, if you are on square 97 and throw a "five" you move 3 squares to 100 then back two squares to 98. (You would need to throw a "two" next time to finish.) Snakes and Ladders boards often have the head of a snake on square 96, 97 or 98 to make it harder to finish!

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