**Snakes and Ladders Mat**

View a larger version of the mat.

Your students will have fun playing this game using the mat with Bee-Bot, Blue-Bot, or even Pro-Bot

This mat and a larger version are also available in the Online Emulators that students can use in a browser:

- Bee-Bot Emulator, with a 36-square grid and a die to roll
- Blue-Bot Emulator, with a 64-square grid and a die to roll
- Pro-Bot Emulator, with a 64-square grid and a die, where students can practice different turning angles

The game of Snakes and Ladders originated in ancient India. The phrase “back to square one” either originated from or was influenced by it.

**Skills Learned**

Snakes and Ladders is a simple yet effective educational tool for reinforcing foundational math skills, promoting social interaction, and teaching important life lessons like patience and resilience.

When students play the game of Snakes and Ladders, they can learn a number of valuable skills and concepts, including:

*Number recognition and sequencing*: The numbered squares on the mat help students recognize numbers and their order.*Counting*: Students learn to count the number of spaces they need to move on the mat, reinforcing basic math skills.*Addition*: Students add their current square’s number to the number on the die to determine where to send their robot.*Turn-taking*: This game teaches students the importance of taking turns and waiting patiently.*Probability*: The game involves the element of chance, as students roll a die to determine their moves, introducing basic concepts of probability.*Understanding the rules*: Learning to comprehend and follow the rules of a game is an important aspect of gameplay and social interaction. They understand how the game works, including how to move, what happens when they land on certain squares, and how to win.*Fair play*: Following the rules promotes fair play and sportsmanship, as students understand that everyone must abide by the same set of rules for the game to proceed smoothly.*Problem-solving*: In cases where rules may be ambiguous or situations arise that aren’t explicitly covered, students may need to engage in problem-solving to determine the appropriate course of action within the framework of the game’s rules.*Resilience*: The game can be unpredictable, as students may land on snakes that send them backward. This can teach resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks.

Understanding and adhering to rules is not only essential for playing games but also translates into real-life scenarios where people must navigate systems with established guidelines and regulations.

**How to Play**

Place your bot on Square 1 of the mat, facing to the right, toward square 2. Roll the die that comes with the mat. Add the number you roll to the number of the square you are on. Or, count on from your current square to see where the bot needs to go. Locate the square you need to get to. Move the bot to that square. (The turns don’t count.)

The goal is to get to square 36, following the path of the numbers in order.

You don’t have to land on square 36 exactly, though some rules say you need to roll the exact number to win. According to these rules, the bot would move forward until square 36 and then back up the remaining moves.

If you land at the bottom of a ladder send the bot up to the top of it.

If you land on a snake’s head (don’t worry, it won’t hurt you!), code the bot to go down to its tail using right-angle turns.

You can take turns with another player, or just play by yourself. The winner is the one who gets to square 36 first!

Have fun! (Don’t forget to click X between turns.)

**Lesson Ideas**

Remind students to press **X** to erase the commands the previous student entered.

**Playing with 1 Bee-Bot or Blue-Bot: Variation 1**

In this version of play, students share the bot and take turns moving it along the path to square 36.

- Have 2–4 students at the mat with one robot.
- Place the bot on square 1, facing square 2.
- The first student rolls the die, adds that number to the number on their square, and codes the robot to go to that numbered square. If they land at the bottom of the ladder, they code the bot to go up to the top of the ladder. If they land on a snake’s head, the code the bot to go to the snake’s tail.
- Student 2 presses
**X**to erase the first students’ commands and then rolls the die and follows the instructions above. - Continue with the other students.
- Students take turns until one wins by reaching square 36.

**Playing with 1 Bee-Bot or Blue-Bot: Variation 2**

In this version of play, each student takes the bot on its own journey from square 1 to square 36.

- Have 2–4 students at the mat with one robot.
- Place the bot on square 1, facing square 2.
- The first student rolls the die, adds that number to the number on their square, and codes the robot to go to that numbered square. If they land at the bottom of the ladder, they code the bot to go up to the top of the ladder. If they land on a snake’s head, the code the bot to go to the snake’s tail.
- At the end of her turn, Student 1 replaces the bot with a marker that indicates the position she reached.
- Student 2 puts the bot on square 1, facing square 2.
- He presses
**X**to erase the first students’ commands and then rolls the die and follows the instructions above. - At the end of his turn, Student 2 replaces the bot with a marker that indicates the position he reached.
- Continue with the rest of the students.
- When it is Student 1’s turn again, she puts the bot on her marker and continutes from that location.
- Students take turns continuing their own path until one wins by reaching square 36.

**Playing with 2 or More Bots**

This version of play is similar to the one above, except that multiple robots are in the game.

The trick is to have students mark the position of their robot after their turn and remove the bot from the mat.

Doing this prevents the bots from running into each other on the mat!

- Have 2–4 students at the mat with the robots.
- The first student rolls the die, adds that number to the number on their square, and codes the robot to go to that numbered square. Along the way, they may send the bot up the ladders or down the snakes.
- When it is the second student’s turn, have the first student remove the bot from the mat and place a paper arrow on the square her bot was on to mark the location and bot’s direction for her next turn.
- Have the second student follow the game instructions, replacing his bot with a different colored arrow to mark the spot and direction his bot was pointing.
- After each student has had a turn, the first student places a bot at her marked location, heading in the proper direction and the game continues.
- Students can share bots in pairs or, if enough are available, have one bot per student.

**Playing the Game Online**

If students are using computers in your classroom, have them play in the online Snakes and Ladders Mat in the Bee-Bot Emulator in a browser. It is also available in the Blue-Bot Emulator and in the Pro-Bot Emulator, where students can practice different turning angles.

**Mat Details**

The mat is made of washable vinyl and measures approximately 36” by 36” (90 cm by 90 cm)