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Sunrise Readers Books 1 and 2

Snakes and Ladders Word Game

Games make learning fun!

Snakes and Ladders with words!

This simple, age-old favourite game will keep your learners busy – learning, practising, reinforcing and HAVING FUN! Did you know: “Snakes and Ladders” originated in India, where it was played by children for centuries. In 1892, the game was brought to Britain and a few years later, to the USA, where it was known as “Chutes and Ladders”.

Snakes and Ladders needs very little explanation as nearly everyone played it as a child. You will remember that you throw the dice, and move your counter forward the same number of squares. If you land on the square containing the foot of a ladder, you quickly climb up that ladder to the square at the top. If you land on a square containing the head of a snake, you slip down the snake and land on the square containing the tip of its tail. The difference in THIS game is that each player must read the word in the square she/he lands on. The words in this particular game are those introduced in the first two Sunrise Readers – Book One (Friends) and Book Two (Work and Play).

The game is specially used to give learners practice with the words they have learned so far. They may play the game once the teacher/parent has introduced all of the words for Book Two and the learners are beginning to read that book. (See the Sunrise Readers simple Teacher’s Manual – available via free downloadable PDF. Link supplied again below.)

All you need is the free downloadable snakes and ladders game board, some counters (keep those plastic bottle tops and recycle them!), and a dice. If you don’t have dice, you can make your own using the dice template supplied below.

This game can be played as an individual, but to have the most fun, it should be played in pairs or groups of three or four. As a teacher, print as many game boards as you need, and you can keep the whole class busy playing this word game at the same time!

You will need:

  • Print and laminate the A4 Snakes and Ladders board game.
  • A counter (or bottle top) for each player.
  • A dice. (You can make one out of cardboard if you need to.)
This game contains all of the words introduced in Sunrise Readers Books One and Two.

How to play:

  1. Four people can fit around a small A4 snakes and ladders board. This game can be played in pairs or threes too.
  2. Players take it in turns to roll the dice.
  3. The player with the highest number goes first, the person with the second highest goes second and so on.
  4. The player moves the counter the number of spaces shown on the dice.
  5. The player reads the word on which her counter lands. Then the group reads the word together.
  6. If a player lands on a snake’s head, the player’s counter slides down to the square at the snake’s tail.
  7. If a player lands on the bottom of a ladder, the player’s counter climbs up to the square at the top of the ladder.
  8. The first player to reach the finish is the winner!

You can change the game according to the ability of the players. For example: When playing the game for the second time, learners may be asked to

  • read the word aloud.
  • make a short sentence with the word. Thank you to Twinkl for the template for this game. Visit

Free downloadable PDFs for this game:


  1. Eve Mbire-Chigumba on Feb 22, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    Having being raised on Sunrise readers I absolutely love your resources. Where are the actual sunrise readers books sold? Are they available to order online?

    • Sunrise Readers on Feb 28, 2022 at 9:42 pm

      Hi Eve! Thank you for your inquiry. If you are in Zimbabwe, please contact SchoolBooks4Africa – Emerald Office Park, Block E, 30 The Chase, Harare, Zimbabwe +263 8677 189607 or email sales@schoolbooks4africa. Best regards

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