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Chutes and Ladders

Classic children's board game produced by Milton Bradley

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Chutes and Ladders: Not as Fun for Young Children

  • Mar 9, 2009
  • by
While I do think Chutes & Ladders is a fun game, I would like to add that it's a more difficult game for younger children to play. It says ages 3 and up, but because the only way you can find the path on the board is to be able to read numbers like "88" and know that "89" comes after it, trying to play this game with my three-year-old son can be hard. 

In case you can't picture the board, it is made up of squares, not a real game path. Each square space is numbered up to 100. There are 10 squares per row, and 10 rows. It looks like a big graph or checkerboard with ladders and chutes and characters strung across it. At the end of each row a small arrow points to the next space up, but the path goes back and forth across the board from left to right on one row, and then right to left on the next, and so on--a structured zigzag that's not an easy concept for preschoolers to grasp even with repetition.

While this is a good way of trying to help him learn numbers and patterns, it is also sometimes a tax on my patience and my husband hates playing Chutes and Ladders because of this. Also, it's not a good-confidence builder for my kid because he doesn't know how to add high numbers and needs constant help. While he can add small numbers, trying to add 4 to 65 is not always that easy for him. He needs a lot of assistance as a result, and he loses interest in the game easily.

I have to admit, if I'm not paying attention even I get confused as to which way I'm supposed to go. I am forced to read the numbers to find out if I have to go right or left in a given row, especially if I just went down a chute and landed in a row not knowing which way it is oriented.

Though I'm sure he will like it more as he gets older, I'd recommend buying this game for a six year old, not a three year old, even though the game is billed as "The Classic Up and Down Game for Preschoolers."

Today, the game has updated graphics from the version many of us remember as a child, and there are licensed versions (like Dora the Explorer). Personally, I prefer the original British snakes and ladders version! I think my son would find it more fun to slide down snakes than chutes...

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March 09, 2009
I agree with your review 100%. My daughter has always found it confusing and I myself always seem to get turned around. I have to say that Chute and Ladders is probably my least favorite board game to play.
More Chutes and Ladders reviews
Quick Tip by . October 29, 2009
Most anti-climatic game. Ever. Does make me nostalgic though.
About the reviewer
Helen Lee Reid ()
Ranked #382
I am a part-time freelance writer and full-time mother living in the Chicago suburbs. My life is fairly boring by hipster standards, as it consists mainly of avoiding the grocery store, cleaning up after … more
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