To think that snakes and ladders is a really rubbish game.

(48 Posts)
Molehillmountain Fri 15-Feb-13 10:11:14

And it definitely shouldn't be allowed near small children. The one I've just done with ds has two snakes in the final row. Never done it before but I actually cheated on his behalf. Orchard games we love you!

DumSpiroSpero Fri 15-Feb-13 10:12:02

And it's boring as hell.

We were supposed to play it backwards for DD's homework last week - no chance!

Fallenangle Fri 15-Feb-13 10:14:58

Play it backwards, for homework! What the ...?

Molehillmountain Fri 15-Feb-13 10:15:04

Yes! Dull game, the only reward is finishing and then you get a snake (a long one) at 98. Beautiful wooden board or not this one's going to the charity shop. Unless it's unfair to inflict it on someone else.

Llanbobl Fri 15-Feb-13 10:16:55

biscuit It teaches them about taking turns, basic counting and that you can't always win.

Just wait til they're older and bring home the board (or bored, depending on you POV) game they've designed - forget the biscuit, you'll need wine

DumSpiroSpero Fri 15-Feb-13 10:18:03

She's Yr 3 - they are learning to count back from 100 in different chunks ie: 98, 96 etc or in 5's.

If I thought she'd struggle I would have had a bash, but we used to count backwards from 100 to get her to sleep as a toddler, and did it in 2's and 5's as well when she started getting too used to the basic way so she's been able to do it for years.

MsVestibule Fri 15-Feb-13 10:18:33

YABU! It's simple enough for very young children to play with without adults, it helps them learn to count, it teaches them the concept of taking turns and winning/losing.

sukysue Fri 15-Feb-13 10:18:41

It's fine if you are winning hehe!

Fallenangle Fri 15-Feb-13 10:22:31

Yeah, I got that it was about counting backwards, but doesn't the down the snakes and up the ladders just confuse. When playing backwards do you go up snakes and down ladders?

kim147 Fri 15-Feb-13 10:25:53

Thing is though - how many children add or subtract the number and then do a single jump. Most just count the squares to get there.

But YY to turn taking and winning / losing / no cheating

Catsdontcare Fri 15-Feb-13 10:26:11

I use three dice in the shaker when we play makes it go super quick!

BertieBotts Fri 15-Feb-13 10:26:12

We have a Peppa Pig one which has a massive snake and massive ladder, but arranged in such a way that you can't bring yourself back if you get the snake!

We play it fairly often though and sometimes change the rules of which you go up/down. At least it doesn't take long so even if it is boring you don't have to sit through it for ages.

woopsidaisy Fri 15-Feb-13 10:33:02

Whaaaaat? It is a brilliant game. You lot have been on the iPad too long!

BalloonSlayer Fri 15-Feb-13 10:39:50

The trouble is it's pure chance so if you have won twice in a row and a small DC is getting upset it is very hard to cheat to let them win.

Scenario: you need 4 to win.

You: < throws dice > What have I got? Four? Whoops dropped it. Silly Mummy, better throw again.
DC: You don't have to, Mummy.
You: No no no, that's OK, need to be fair
DC: But you didn't make me throw again when I . . .
You: Well I'll just throw again shall I? < throws dice >
DC: You got FOUR!
You: Oh! < weak smile > Now, lets see, < moves counter furtively > One, Two, Threefour. Oh still one to go.
DC: Mummeeeeee! You didn't do it properly. Go back and do it properly.
You: Oh...kay... One, Two, Three, Four. Oh I've won again.
DC: Waaaaaaaaah!!!! I NEVER win!!! I'm rubbish at this.
You: DC darling, I keep telling you it's just luck, there's no such thing as good or bad at this game.
DC: I hate this stupid game < throws board on floor, storms off in tears >

Whereas things like Monopoly are a bit easier to let them win (only once in a while, mind) "Ah no, I am a bit bored with having Park Lane AND Mayfair, don't think I'll bother this time."

kim147 Fri 15-Feb-13 10:41:55

We've started Settlers of Catan. That involves negotiation, trading and planning ahead.

DS (7) will find those skills particularly challenging. But useful for life.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 15-Feb-13 10:46:02

Snakes and Ladders we only played at Christmas - ie parents full of goodwill and content to play board games from some compendium <outs self as Victorian> one of us had got as a gift.

After Boxing Day it was always, "Play with your sister... No not now, maybe later never".

exoticfruits Fri 15-Feb-13 10:47:29

I think it is great-it teaches so many things-most important of all that you can't always win.

Fallenangle Fri 15-Feb-13 10:47:49

Kim, teaching a 7 yr old to negotiate etc. Mine can only do prima donna. Where can I get this game.

Molehillmountain Fri 15-Feb-13 11:04:33

Kim-settlers is such an amazing game! I love it! It is the complete opposite to what I hate about snakes and ladders-the game itself is interesting and although you can have setbacks and frustrations, you have some input into what you choose to do and even if you lose at the last minute, the game can feel worthwhile. Must get onto it with my seven year old...

kim147 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:10:07

DS is very good at negotiating - normally about time or sweets. We've been playing our own rules but decided to follow the proper rules now.

His biggest problem is attention - if he's not into something, he loses interest. If he is into it, he is definitely into it.

SkinnybitchWannabe Fri 15-Feb-13 11:15:27

We love playing it..I've even got an app on my phone. please don't throw me out of MNs because I have..I need you lovely lot to get through the day

TheBigJessie Fri 15-Feb-13 11:50:16

Snakes and Ladders was constructed to be unfair. It's actually a game that was made to model getting to Heaven and the huge consequences of small sins, which could undo years of virtuous living.

As you just may have seen with those two snakes at the end!

kim147 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:52:09

That is one fact I did not know grin
Religion gets everywhere.

Molehillmountain Fri 15-Feb-13 11:57:32

I'm not surprised-it's a nasty game. And I don't believe that you train children to love games by playing ones that are hard and frustrating to win. I'd love to know your settlers rules, Kim. I really struggle to say it in English-we were introduced to it in Dutch!

GazpachoSoup Fri 15-Feb-13 12:26:45

Whaaa??!!! Snakes and Ladders is a great, classic game. You can't beat a good old fashioned, traditional board game. Never mind all this Angry Birds type app crap on phones you get nowadays!
Traditional board games are great as they get the whole family playing together.
If the kids don't always win, so what?! It's great to play them as it's one of life lessons - no, you can't always win and have everything, and have to sometimes accept gracious defeat and not fling the board to the other side of the room in a temper tantrum as you haven't got your own way
I play traditional games with my kids. None of the letting them win type stuff. If they snooze, they lose. grin

Fallenangle Fri 15-Feb-13 13:13:21

Jessie. That explains it, my life has been mostly snakes.

kim147 Fri 15-Feb-13 13:16:47

You need to roll the right numbers grin

Molehillmountain Fri 15-Feb-13 14:05:46

In life, optimism and hope can turn the biggest, fattest snake into a ladder. In the board game, not so much!

Buzzardbird Fri 15-Feb-13 14:11:38

I like the way Lola in Charlie and Lola book plays.

"Everyone knows that snakes are not really slippery and Dad says you can't climb a ladder until you are 23!" grin

peeriebear Fri 15-Feb-13 14:12:58

Aw we like snakes and ladders because the littlies have as much chance of winning as the biggies.

gatheringlilac Fri 15-Feb-13 14:13:56

MolehillMountain - I think you and I may be sisters of the heart.

Google "Moksha", or "Moksha Snakes Ladders". I think I had my penny drop moment when I was playing snakes and ladders with one of the infants after having been to a yoga class. Sure enough, that is the origination of the game.

gatheringlilac Fri 15-Feb-13 14:15:28

Oh, I misread you, MolehillMountain. I thought you said that, in life, optimism and hope can turn out to be the biggest, fattest snakes! I think it's fair to surmise we have fairly differing viewpoints. grin

GregBishopsBottomBitch Fri 15-Feb-13 14:18:09

It gets better if you add bits on the squares about winning money.

TheBigJessie Fri 15-Feb-13 15:29:07

GazpachoSoup
Whaaa??!!! Snakes and Ladders is a great, classic game. You can't beat a good old fashioned, traditional board game.

I vigorously contest you on this. I refer you to this shop! www.gameskeeper.co.uk
Don’t limit yourself to "old fashioned, traditional" games. It’s like confining yourself to books written before the 1940s.
Reward innovation, and enthusiastic games designers, who are working with technology to publish games that take advantage of modern printing technology!

If the above shop seems like too great a range to choose from, have a look at the winners and nominees for this prize: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiel_des_Jahres#2012_awards.

A third option for you is to subscribe to Spielbox, a magazine which reviews boardgames. They publish an English edition.

BarbarianMum Fri 15-Feb-13 15:37:21

The thing with games that require skill, as well as just luck, is that the older children always tend to win. At least when the players are 3, 5 and 7. Not so much fun for the younger ones.

At least with Snakes and Ladders the game is open.

FillyPutty Fri 15-Feb-13 15:49:00

It's one of the worst games ever, reasons being

(a) there are no choices at all, just blind luck
(b) it can go on for hours relative to the interest that anyone could have in rolling dice over and over again, due to snakes on the final row.

There are some good traditional board games, such as backgammon and chess, but snakes and ladders is not one of them.

Dahlialover Fri 15-Feb-13 16:05:57

I found mine played it properly once, got frustrated and angry, then learned to cheat. Then it got worse. We had to throw it away.

I bought a Snail Pace Race where they got to take it in turns, learn colours count etc and not fight, then they fed the wooden snails on toy food.

They really liked Headache Rummikub monopoly and risk and moved on to settlers.

letsgomaths Fri 15-Feb-13 16:17:17

Does anyone remember the classic version of Snakes and Ladders with pictures of children, to show actions (good and bad) having consequences? I wouldn't play this because I can't bear to look at some of the pictures.

http://www.pointlessmuseum.com/museum/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/spearsnakescomplete.jpg

For example, the enormous ladder had a girl planting seeds at the bottom, and enjoying the flowers at the top.

But one of the snakes was a boy chasing a pig, and then we see him bending over for a beating. Not sure if that would get through censors these days!

amillionyears Fri 15-Feb-13 16:21:54

We ended up scribbling out one snake and adding in one ladder.
Much better!

Just because a game is designed badly, not how you would like it, doesnt mean it cant be altered, and then played more often and more enjoyably .

letsgomaths Fri 15-Feb-13 16:23:48

Indeed, with some modern games, especially those Lego ones, altering the game rules is encouraged.

Hoaz Fri 15-Feb-13 16:40:56

My Grandad told me the rules stated that Grandads could go up the snakes. It was ages before I realised and it's one of my fondest memories.

He also taught me how to cheat at patience!

Molehillmountain Fri 15-Feb-13 17:57:24

Oh-gathering :-( I was really looking forward to having a "sister of the heart" . Can I be one anyway? I'll ignore the examples I was thinking of!

Pandemoniaa Fri 15-Feb-13 18:03:55

I still recall the awful frustration of Snakes and Ladders from my childhood. I also remember stern lectures about "being a good loser". Unfortunately, the game seems to be designed entirely for children who are at precisely that age when it's already an uphill task encouraging losing with good grace. The board can be so easily kicked across the living room too.

I was a bad mother. Snakes and Ladders was banished from our house.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 18:04:56

It is an extremely boring game, but it is good trial run for real life. wink

Molehillmountain Fri 15-Feb-13 18:23:26

Pandemoniaa-I would say you're a good mother. I'm not against them learning to lose with good grace but I think that's a more manageable lesson when the game itself is worthwhile. My friend was talking about how "good" her six year old dds birthday party had been for her-apparently she'd spent a lot of time crying from not winning games. I know she needs to learn - but one or two win/lose games if its really tricky for her. Otherwise all they learn is games are rubbish and I don't want to play.

letsgomaths yes the spears game Snakes and Ladderes is the one I had as a child. It has Ludo on the back. Funny I loved the pictures and kept it. My DC play with it and never comment on the non pc element. I don't beat the crap out of them or make them say their prayers grin.

amillionyears Fri 15-Feb-13 19:11:38

Hoaz grin

MsVelvet Fri 15-Feb-13 19:33:52

I love playing snakes and ladders with my daughter, its daughter her that you can't always win and if you don't better luck next time. Although playing more than 4 games in a row is a bit tiresome and i have forgotten to go up a ladder on occasion so she can win haha

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