Jake's Snakes and Ladders

This a simple Snakes and Ladders game I made for one of my special needs classes.

Submitted by Jake W

March 1, 2019

Estimated time: 20-30 minutes

I made this Snakes and Ladders game several years ago for a Special Needs class. One of the students in the class was very fond of Chopper from One Piece so I stuffed him in a few times.

Here's how I played this particular game:

  • Each student chooses a piece (it might be an eraser or any other small objects that are lying around the classroom) and puts it on the "1" square. Do rock-paper-scissors to see who goes first.
  • Each player rolls a die and goes forward that many squares.
  • If they land on a square with the bottom of the ladder, they move up to the top of the ladder. Hooray!
  • If they land on a square with the top of a snake, they go back to the square with the bottom end of the snake. Oh no!
  • If they land on a square that says "Reverse", the properties of snakes and ladders are reversed - now snakes go up, and ladders go down! I keep track of this by placing a small paper to the side of the game board with "Normal" written on one side and "Reverse" written on the other. Whenever someone lands on a Reverse square, I flip the paper over.
  • If they land on a square with a question, the teacher asks the question to the student. If the student answers, they can roll the die again and move one more time or two more times.
  • The winner is the first student who lands on the final square, number 90. I would usually say that you had to land on that square exactly - so if you were on square 87 and rolled a 4, you would kind of "bounce off of" square 90 and then back to square 89 - which puts you at the head of the most dangerous snake of all!

In the class I was doing this activity in, we had one student in particular who didn't like playing any games besides this one, so I kept adding variations like the Reverse squares to keep it from being the same every time. By the end I was doing things like turning "Reverse" into a dice roll where there were a lot of potential options (for example, both snakes and ladders go down) based on a die I made out of a milk carton.

I'd recommend customizing the game board to suit the needs and abilities of whatever students you have in your class. It's on A3 paper so make sure the printer has an A3 sheet loaded!

  1. Musakuu October 1, 2019

    I tried this game with my special needs kids. I made it more difficult and used more target sentences, and the kids loved it! I've been following this Jake W guy from Nagano for a bit now. I like the cut of his jib! Keep up the good work m8.

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