DIY Snakes and Ladders

The only thing more interesting than playing the DIY snakes and ladders game was making it. OK, and winning :) We used this opportunity to work on numeracy skills, languages, fine-motor skills and creativity.

An interesting fact about Snakes and Ladders:

- Known originally as Moksha Patam, this game is an ancient Indian board game. According to Wikipedia, the historic version had its roots in morality lessons, on which a player's progression up the board represented a life journey complicated by virtues (ladders) and vices (snakes). 


For making

  • piece of cardboard 
  • number printouts 
  • glue and scissors
  • wooden popsicle sticks
  • wool

For playing

  • counters
  • die

Step 1.

Have an old cardboard box? Use it for this game :) 

Cut the cardboard into a square. You can either draw a 10×10 grid using a scale and marker and fill in numbers 1 to 100 in a sequence or make it a bit more challenging and move on to the next step.

Step 2. 

Print out numbers 1 to 100 in a grid. Having a grid with lines makes it easier for kids to cut. We had the even numbers printed on yellow, and odd numbers on orange paper. 

Cut out the numbers. cutting out the numbers for snakes and ladders game
Step 3.

Use this step to practice counting or recognising odd and even numbers. Also, we did it in English, German, and Croatian. Once you come to twenty, German becomes a bit tricky. If you are an English or Croatian speaker, you are probably used to saying “twenty-one” or "dvadeset i jedan". However, in German, they switch the order and say “one and twenty.” All tens and ones follow this pattern. But the thing is, even after five years in Germany, this number thing still messes with our brains.kid finding a number printout
Step 4. 

Glue the numbers on the cardboard. Great practice for precision and focus.glueing the numbers for snakes and ladders game
Step 5.

Once you glue all one hundred numbers, make the snakes and ladders. We used wooden popsicle sticks for ladders.wooden popsicle sticks as ladders
and wool threads for snakes.
wool threads as snakes
Step 6. 

Play away and have fun :) playing snakes and ladders
Don't forget to count, play with languages and numbers :)

The rules are pretty straightforward:

  • Take it in turns to roll the dice. Move your counter forward the number of spaces shown on the die.
  • If your counter lands at the bottom of a ladder, you can move up to the top of the ladder.
  • If your counter lands on the head of a snake, you must slide down to the bottom of the snake.
  • The first player to get to the "100" is the winner.


Warning - if you let your kids make too many snakes, the game will last forever...