top of page

How To Play: Snakes and Ladders

The Basics

Snakes and Ladders, a timeless board game, leaps off the table and onto the playground, offering children an exhilarating, life-sized adventure. Perfect for kids of all ages, this playground version of the game is a vibrant blend of physical activity, strategy, and sheer fun.

Setting The Stage

Transforming your playground into a gigantic Snakes and Ladders board is simpler than you might think. All you need is a set of playground markings designed to create the grid of squares, each big enough for a child to stand in. The thermoplastic snakes and ladders twisting and turning across the grid, add a dynamic visual appeal to the playground.

Choosing the Players

Just like in the board game, any number of children can participate, making it ideal for varying group sizes. The more, the merrier, as they say! You can pick the first player through fun mini-games or by drawing lots - the excitement starts even before the game truly begins.

The Thrill of the Dice

In this playground version, a large foam dice adds to the fun. The player rolls the dice and moves forward the corresponding number of squares. Will it be a ladder that catapults them forward, or a sneaky snake ready to slide them back?

The Gameplay

The game is delightfully straightforward. Each player starts at square one and takes turns rolling a dice to move forward through a numbered grid. The aim is to reach the final square first, but here’s the twist – along the way, you'll encounter ladders that propel you upwards, speeding up your journey, and sneaky snakes that slide you back down, adding a dash of unpredictability.

The Educational Spin

Beyond the fun, there's a hidden layer of learning. Children practice counting and number recognition with each roll of the dice and move across the board. It's a hands-on way to develop basic math skills in an environment brimming with excitement.

Strategic thinking also comes into play. Should they aim for a square near a ladder or play it safe away from the snakes? Each choice is a lesson in risk and reward, wrapped in a game of chance.

Why is 'Snakes and Ladders' So Popular?

snakes and ladders for the playground

Snakes and Ladders is not just a game of chance and laughter; it's a brilliant tool for learning, cleverly camouflaged in the guise of play. Each roll of the dice is an exercise in counting and number recognition, as children eagerly advance their tokens across the board. They practice basic arithmetic, adding the numbers on the dice to their current position, calculating their new spot. It's a practical, hands-on approach to developing math skills, far more engaging than traditional classroom methods.

Strategic thinking is another critical skill that comes into play. As children contemplate their next move, they weigh the potential risks and rewards. Do they take a cautious approach, avoiding the squares near the head of a snake, or do they take a leap of faith, aiming for a square that could propel them up a ladder? These decisions require them to think ahead, anticipate outcomes, and make choices based on their assessment of the situation. It's a playful yet profound lesson in strategy and risk management.

The game also fosters emotional intelligence and resilience. As players experience the highs of climbing ladders and the lows of sliding down snakes, they learn to cope with the rollercoaster of emotions that accompany success and setback. This emotional journey teaches children to handle both triumph and disappointment with grace, a vital skill in everyday life. As children wait for their turn, cheer for their friends, or groan together at the sight of a snake, they're unknowingly honing their social skills. They learn patience, empathy, and the art of good sportsmanship.

Playing a life-sized version of the game also helps develop spatial awareness. As children navigate the grid, they gain a better understanding of space and distance. This kind of physical navigation is crucial for developing motor skills and coordination, particularly for younger children.

The Benefits

Introducing Snakes and Ladders to the playground isn't just about bringing a classic board game to life; it's about creating a dynamic, interactive environment that enriches the playground experience in multiple ways

It's a unique way to bring children together, encouraging them to be active and engaged, while also providing valuable learning opportunities. By transforming the playground into a giant game board, we're not just creating a space for play; we're crafting an environment that nurtures the overall development of children in a fun, inclusive, and dynamic way.


Stay connected with us! Follow our journey and share your own experiences on our social media platforms. Join our vibrant community on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter/X for more inspiring ideas, updates, and engaging conversations. Let's build a brighter, more playful world together.


bottom of page