Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kidding Around: Life Sized Chutes and Ladders

For this month's Thrive Thursday blog hop, I am sharing a life sized Chutes and Ladders program I did yesterday at our monthly program Kidding Around. I was inspired to do this program by Amy at the Show Me Librarian and Anna at Future Librarian Superhero. I basically followed the same plan Amy and Anna did at their programs, with a few minor changes. It was surprisingly fun, easy and inexpensive. The only money I spent was for a bag of fun sized candy to pass out if kids made it through the game board twice.

Supplies used:
Colored paper
Masking tape
Candy, tattoos and leftover goodies
Books leftover from summer reading

Set up: 
Here is the gameboard I created. It is 7 pieces of paper long and 7 wide. I used yarn for chutes and masking tape for ladders.

One of the minor changes I made involved the spinner. Instead of a premade spinner or online version I made my own using a template I created. I printed it out on tagboard, then used a brass fastener to attach an arrow I cut free hand. Amazingly this homemade spinner held up until the very last spin by the very last player! My spinner used numbers rather than colors, which I liked because it helps reinforce math skills.

Another way my program was a little different from Amy's and Anna's programs is I did two rounds of prizes. The first was a book, which they could pick from my leftover summer reading stash. The second was their choice of candy, sticker or assorted goodie.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Having numbered name tags for each child definitely comes in handy.
  • 12 kids is probably the maximum number I would have participate. I had 8 and I think much more than that would be a little chaotic.
  • K-2 was a good age group for this program. The kids seemed to understand the game pretty easily and have a lot of fun.
  • Masking tape arrows that show the direction of game play are very helpful for some kids.
  • The second round of prizes I did was somewhat unnecessary. By the end of the second round, some kids had to leave and our time was running out. If I were to do this program again I would stick to one kind of prize.
For more great school age program ideas head on over to this month's Thrive Thursday roundup. It is hosted by Angie at Fat Girl Reading. You can also learn more about Thrive Thursday at the Thrive Thursday blog, or check out Thrive Thursday on Pinterest and Facebook!


  1. My first post, yea, finally getting to my New Year's Resolution to contribute ideas in gratitude for all of the ideas the online librarian community has shared with me. Thanks to all of those ideas, last fall my library did a series of programs based on the Big Games concept. Here is my Chutes and Ladders board: Because we were doing a series of programs, we needed materials that could be quikcly set out and taken down multiple times. This board game is based on a checkered mat I bought. I used a black Sharpie to write on the light squares, and a silver Sharpie to write on the dark squares. We found the kids were happiest using giant game pieces, rather than being giant game pieces themselves, so we brought out some 6" foam disks the kids used as markers. We had a giant dice for them to roll. It was a lot of fun, lots of movement, and so easy to set up and take down, and it's ready to go for any future Big Games events.