Chutes and Ladders – It's a Math Game!

I was playing Chutes and Ladders with K8 the other day when I noticed something. It might seem a little obvious, but I just saw it.

Chutes and Ladders is played on a Hundreds Chart!

It is! And as you look at it, and play it, you can see it’s totally a math game.

You can practice numeracy with your children by counting up from a number. In Chutes and Ladders, if you’re on space #46 and you spin a three, you count up three: 47, 48, 49.

The whole game is numeracy practice like this.

It’s even good for the bigger kids.

Sometimes big kids don’t want to play the little kid games. In Chutes and Ladders, the big kids have the opportunity to calculate how big the loss is on a chute. And how big the gain is on a ladder.

Get freaky with your rules!

You can also team a big kid with a little one and create some house rules. After spinning the wheel, the team gets 5 seconds to calculate the number square to which they’ll advance. If they get it right, they get a bonus of a free spin or to skip over any chutes.

And if you really want to get advanced, choose a new function at the beginning of each game. Like SPIN + 2 or 3 x SPIN + 1. After spinning the wheel, the team gets 5 seconds to calculate the number square to which they’ll advance using that formula! If they can’t do it, they only get to advance the number of spaces on the original spin.

You can make your own!

And don’t forget you can make your own game using an $.88 Hundreds Chart that you can find at your local teachers’ supply store. Break out the construction paper, scissors and glue and start creating some Chutes and Ladders on it.

And please share your photos and house rules in the comments or on twitter!

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