Snakes and Ladders


A game developed in India hundreds of years ago is still a popular game today although the original intent has changed substantially. Snakes and Ladders was first developed by Hindu spiritual leaders to teach children the positive results of doing good deeds (moving forward by climbing ladders) and the negative results of doing bad deeds (sliding downward on the backs of snakes). Today, the game is simply a race from the first square to the final 100th box.

The Galt is creating a new supersized Snakes and Ladders game for children to play on Community Day on October 1, 2011 - the day we open the Toys & Games exhibit. The playing board is an 18' by 18' piece of canvas and the playing pieces will be kids! The design of the game will include the colourful and dramatic patterns of local snakes such as the wandering garter and bull snakes. Ladders will come in a variety of styles and sizes.

Once the design is complete, staff and volunteers will be invited to help paint the game board. A large foam die will also be created to add to the fun of the game. Children will throw the die and they will count off the number showing on the die as they move from one square to the next on the board. Once they encounter the head of a snake they must follow its length down to a lower numbered square. If they are lucky to stop on a square with the base of a ladder then they will jubilantly ‘climb’ the rungs to a higher numbered square.

Children playing on this huge board will be fully immersed in the action of rolling the di, counting off the squares and following the paths of the snakes and ladders to their destination. Those watching the action will be cheerleaders and photographers!