snakes/chutes and ladders


Recently, we started playing Snakes and Ladders using a board in the schoolyard. We use our bodies as game pieces and we don’t have a die, so we use an imaginary one, dramatically rolling it in our palms and tossing it on the ground. This means, of course, that you can make up whatever number (between one and six) you want. Raspberry enjoys going down snakes and manipulates her numbers so she can always go down a snake, sometimes creating a vicious cycle. It’s hilarious. Who knew a rigged game of Snakes and Ladders could be so entertaining?

The Snakes and Ladders game is merely an rigged, outdoor version of the Chutes and Ladders game we have at home. For quite a while, Raspberry was all about playing the Chutes and Ladders game we found on the curb. Some days, I swear we would play ten games, a handful of them consecutively. I grew up with Snakes and Ladders and the idea of Chutes and Ladders just makes me laugh. The blurb on the box says the game will teach a child “the rewards of good deeds and the consequences of naughty ones.” The game has images of kids performing good deeds and getting monetary rewards, or doing things like drawing on the walls and getting put in the corner. As a proponent of unconditional parenting and a non-believer of rewards and punishments, the descriptions makes me both laugh, shake my head and be mortified all at once. Raspberry has asked about the pictures on the game and why one event leads to another and we try to be honest with her, telling her that this is what some kids experience, but I’m not sure if she gets it because she keeps asking why. We don’t play Chutes and Ladders as much as we did a few weeks ago now. I’m sort of glad for it, because sometimes, those games last forever, especially when you get in an unlucky repetitive cycle of ladders and slides, or even longer when the stuffed friends join in.

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