Well that’s it, with the Easter holidays now over we can finally get back to the excitement of clock watching and ironing uniform. We have almost done too much this Easter – I am now both broke and worn out! But today I wanted to share with you what turned out to be a brilliant activity this holiday.
Not so long ago my mum and dad bought a 3D Snakes and Ladders game for my son to play when he visited. This was a big hit and he played it on every visit without fail.
On the run up to the school holidays I like to plan out everything we are going to do. As you have probably experienced if you have children of your own, this can be hard. Trying to find things suitable for all ages, not too expensive or substantial enough to fill a whole afternoon can be a task, but that’s when I came up with the idea to make a Snakes and Ladders game of our own.
I bought all I needed from Hobbycraft and for this activity we used:
- 1 A1 piece of white card
- A ruler
- Safety scissors
- A pen, pencil and crayons
- Green card and sticky spots for the snakes
- Corrugated card for the ladders
- PVA glue
- Silk Clay™ for the die and counters
As you can see from the last item on the list we used clay to build our own counters. I thought this would add another creative task for the children and would allow them to personalise their game, but you don’t have to go this far, you could use little toys, Infinity™ figures, or anything else that takes your fancy. Using Silk Clay™ was good fun as it came in really bright colours – you could even get metallic in a slightly different type- saving the need to paint normal air drying clay later. It was fairly easily to use, however we found once two colours came together it was really hard to detach them again, so I would make sure you put pieces in the right place if the look is important to you. There was enough in the 5 pots we had to make 4 counters and a die with a little bit left over. With this clay it does say it can take 2-24 hours to dry, however we found ours took a good two days really to become usable – luckily my son had thought ahead and asked to make them a couple of days before we made the board and so they were pretty much ready for when we wanted to play.
When it came to making the board I helped by drawing out the squares and we all helped to colour the board in. We chose to alternate 4 colours but you could do any colours or themes you wanted. I then let my son fill in the numbers. He really enjoyed this part as he’s been learning to write numbers at school and is always writing them in his little note book. I drew out the snake shapes and with child friendly scissors the children both attempted to cut them out. I had to help my 3 year old, but my son did really well. I then gave them some sticky dots to decorate the snakes with. This was easy and mess free, but you could colour or even paint them if you wanted to. Finally we used corrugated card for the ladders. We chose to do three different sizes and this worked well to stagger how many levels you could jump when you landed on them. It wasn’t long before everything was ready to stick down and then we could play!
This activity was a great success for me, as both children had their parts to play and with so many elements to it, it not only kept them occupied for 2 and a half hours, but they also hardly argued at all – well not until it came to one of them winning over the other!
With supervision this was a great activity for my 5 year old, in fact he hardly needed any help from me. The only thing I feel didn’t work was the type of clay we used. Although the colours and process of shaping it was fun, it never fully solidified like traditional clay and it expanded slightly losing some of the definition. I think I would try normal clay next time and see how this turned out.
Overall I would say this was good fun and easily filled an afternoon, it’s great for when the weather is bad outside and it is suitable for children of 4 and up I would say. We now play this every time my parents visit us meaning great fun all around – although I’m still yet to win!