Chutes and Ladders, With A Twist!

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We’ve taken Chutes and Ladders and added the option to kick it up a notch! You can play the classic way, which is especially great for younger kids that are learning to count:


  • 2 dice
  • 1 marker for each player

The Object: be the first to reach the end of the board.

To Play: To decide who goes first, each player throws the dice.  The player with the highest number goes first and the player to her left goes second, etc.  All players put the markers on start.  Each player rolls and moves her marker that number of spaces.  If a player lands on a ladder she may go up and put her marker on that space.  If a player lands on a slide (a chute), then she must slide down and put her maker on that space.  The game ends when one person reaches 100.

Variation:Print off the cards above (or write some up with questions that related to what they already have learned).  When a player lands on the a ladder, she may only go up if she can answer a question correctly (have the teacher or adult read to get kids used to listening).  When a player lands on a chute, she can stop from sliding down by answering a question correctly.


Instead of playing with dice, here is our Chutes and Ladders with a Twist:


  • Chutes and Ladders board
  • the category cards (above)
  • timer

and one of each of the following for every player

  • game makers
  • paper
  • pencil

The Object: move forward by having the most original answers, the first person to get to the end wins.

To Play: All markers are set on start.  A category card is drawn by the teacher (in small groups kids can take turns).  Each team has 1 minute to think of as many items as they can related to that category. Once the timer has stopped, everyone must stop writing. Now someone reads off the words on their list, if one or more of the other players has that same word, everyone crosses that word off their list.  Eventually all the other players can read off the words that aren’t already crossed off from their list until all words that teams have in common are crossed out.  The words that are NOT crossed off are counted and the player may move ahead that many number of spaces. For example:

animals that live in the sea is drawn

Player A writes:

  • fish
  • shark
  • whale
  • octopus

Player B writes

  • fish
  • whale
  • dolphin
  • crab
  • lobster

Both teams would cross off fish and whale.  Team A would get 2 to move ahead 2 spaces because she had 2 original answers (shark and octopus).  Team B would move ahead 3 spaces (for having dolphin, crab, lobster).  Players must go up or down ladders and slides as they land on the spaces with those symbols.  The team to reach the end wins.

This is a good game to play with older kids who know a little more vocabulary.  It’s also fun to play in teams so kids have to work together to come up with the most words.  If kids are too young to write, but know a lot of vocabulary, they can sketch out the answer, but they must know the word in English in order for it to count.

Another variation – players get points for every word (in other words don’t cross off repeated words). The game moves a faster this way and also rewards kids that are not as confident in English.

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