Mr 5 has been addicted to "Snakes and Ladders" for the last 6 months. He loves the counting, the turn taking, the thrill of climbing up the ladders, seeing others slide down the snakes and most importantly "winning"! There has been lots of discussion that it is ok to lose and even good sportsmanship to congratulate the winner. Most of the time he gets it, however, he does have a knack for winning!
We have made our own homemade board in a previous school holidays...drawing up 100 squares and using up old stickers to "decorate" the board, glueing on paddlepop sticks and pipecleaners to act as the snakes and ladders. Mr 5 also helped to draw on the paddlepop sticks to make them more like "ladders".
There are so many opportunities for fine motor manipulation, pencil control, writing, pincer grip and bilateral coordination if you make your own board. The kids will love to create and will be more inclined to play their OWN board!
Whilst it is not possible to make such a "detailed" game board in a therapy session, I have made a FREE printable that I use with the kids I see for OT. I encourage writing numbers to fill in the missing ones from the printable as well as drawing some additional snakes and ladders.
I love to incorporate play into therapy sessions and there is much more motivation to write numbers on a game (which they can take home) than just writing them without a reason.
Download your FREE PRINTABLE Snakes and Ladders HERE!
Here is why I love "Snakes and Ladders":
* Number recognition and writing - In creating the game ... number writing and pencil grasp may be practised. In playing the game... there are opportunities for number recognition and naming , sequencing numbers and counting out spaces to move.
* Fine motor skills - I use small objects such as pom poms, blocks or checkers as our game pieces. Picking up the pieces often requires a pincer grasp. Controlled release is also needed to place the pieces on the correct square. If your child is practising separating the two sides of their hand, then you could get them to hold the dice under their 4th and 5th fingers as they move their marker. A dice is usually used in play and this is great for encouraging the palmar arches of the hand as the dice is shaken prior to rolling.
* Visual scanning and tracking - Keeping track of your own game piece and opponents as they move up, around or down the game board.
* Social Skills - When playing the game, children need to take turns and wait. They also learn how to "win" and "lose". This may a good opportunity to practise emotional regulation skills if a child has difficulty "losing".
* End point - The game is finished when someone reaches 100 on the game board. Having an end point is important for kids who benefit from clear boundaries and structured play.
* Children and adults of all ages can play this together.
* It's fun and unpredictable!
Mr 5 recently taught his grandfather how to play "Snakes and Ladders". I was surprised that he had never played before. It was certainly a heart melting moment for me!
Do your kids love "Snakes and Ladders"?
Have you downloaded your FREE PRINTABLE GAME BOARD?
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Hi, I'm Cindy and I am an Occupational Therapist. I enjoy working creatively with children to see them reach their potential. Read more about me here.
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Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should be used for educational and entertainment purposes. The activities are safe for most children, however, you should consult an Occupational Therapist or health professional to address specific movement, sensory or other medical conditions. This blog does not replace formal therapeutic professional advice given by a health professional or medical practitioner. Reviews and endorsements of products will only be made based on my expertise and personal opinion; and deemed worthy of such endorsement. The opinions shared in sponsored content will always be my own and not that of the advertising company or brand. Content, advertising space or posts will be clearly identified if paid, affiliated or sponsored. Affiliate links may be found throughout this website in advertising. This means that if you follow through with a purchase from these links, Your Kids OT will receive a percentage of the sale. Your Kids OT undertakes to meet the requirements of the "Social Media Policy" as published by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Further information about this policy can be found here.
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