Snakes & Ladders

You probably won’t have to look very far to find a teacher who uses Darts or a card game like Cribbage in their maths teaching, and Chess Clubs (and even Bridge Clubs) are common.  But let me put in a word for Snakes & Ladders as a resource for stimulating mathematical thinking.

I use an abbreviated board like this one:

Snakes & Ladders 4

Only one small tweak is necessary.  I let you roll the dice five times and you must record the numbers.  These are the numbers you must use, but you can use them in any order you choose.  I rolled 4, 3, 2, 6, 2: can you reach, or get past, square 25?  If not, how far can you get?

It’s almost impossible for a child to play without trying out some constructive and coherent thinking.  Of course, it’s nice to get children to design their own boards.

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