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:

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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