This post is going to focus on how you can use common games to help develop your child’s communication skills. Today’s blog is focused on the game Snakes and Ladders! This is a game that most people know how to play that is fun and can involve many players. Have a look at how Snakes and Ladders can support your child’s communication skills:


  • Increase vocabulary by naming all cards put down (colour + number/action)
  • Vocabulary includes numbers 0 to 100, ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘snake’, ‘ladder’

Expressive language

  • Answering questions – ask your child who’s next, what number you will land on or if you will land on a ladder/snake
  • Counting from 1 to 12 (reading dice),

Understanding language

  • Your child will need to learn the rules of the game: break parts of the game to manageable steps
  • You may want to write down some rules (e.g. you need to go up the ladder and down the snake)
  • Remind the players that they can go up the ladder when they land at the bottom of one and going down the snake when landing on its head
  • Support your childs understanding of size concepts by talking about how long or short the snakes and ladders are.


  • Incorporate literacy by spelling the numbers each player rolls (e.g. ten)

Social skills

  • You can model appropriate play skills – e.g. winning/losing statements, turn taking
  • You can also model inappropriate play skills and allow your child to see what this looks like and to correct your behaviour – e.g. cheating, big reactions to losing
  • Remembering rules and following them – remind your child about certain rules and to follow them while playing
  • If your child demonstrates inappropriate play skills, talk through the possible consequences of these behaviours (e.g. if you scream after losing, others won’t want to play with you again)
  • Use emotional regulation strategies if emotions become heightened to help calm your child before talking through the possible consequences of these behaviours
  • Discuss strategies your child can use to calm down when playing games

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