1. Overview

Sight Words Snakes & Ladders is a twist on the classic Chutes & Ladders board game, incorporating some reading into the game play. The game gives children many opportunities for sight words repetition, while the board game format keeps it fun and engaging.

sight words snakes and ladders
Sight Words Snakes & Ladders

This game works best with children that are already familiar with the Snakes & Ladders game. Trying to learn both the game and the words at the same time can be too much, particularly for younger children.

The game is most fun when played in a small group of 2-4 players, but a child can also play the game by himself.

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2. Materials

The game requires just a few basic items: a game board, game pieces, and a die.

  • Snakes & Ladders Board
  • Printer
  • Cardstock paper (approximately 110 lb / 200 gsm)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Game Pieces (checkers, coins, blocks, etc.)
  • Die

To make the Snakes & Ladders board, print out a Snakes & Ladders board and print it on four sheets of cardstock paper. Trim the edges off the four sheets and tape them together with clear tape. Using tape allows the board to be folded for easy storage in your sight words file when not in use.

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3. Activity

Play the game as you would regularly play Snakes & Ladders. But when the player moves their game piece to a new spot, they must read each word along their path in order to progress. If they are unable to read one of the words, then they stop on that word until their next turn.

Video: How to Play Sight Words Snakes & Ladders

The player(s) begin by placing their game pieces on the START square. The first player rolls the die and moves forward that number of spaces. On each space the player needs to say the word written on the space in order to keep moving. If they don’t know a word or can’t say the word in less than 10 seconds, then their turn stops and we do a quick correction to help them learn the word.

If a player rolls a number that lands them at the bottom of a ladder and they get the word correct, they may “climb” to the square at the top of the ladder. If a player rolls a number that lands them on the head of a snake, then they “slide” down to the square at the snake’s tail.

The game finishes when all the players get to the FINISH square, with the first player to the end being declared the winner. You do not have to roll an exact number to finish the game.

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4. Printable Snakes & Ladders Templates

You can create your own custom Snakes & Ladders board, or use one of our pre-made boards. As you notice the students start to learn the old board, print out a new board that changes the order of the words to keep them from memorizing the positions of words.

4.1 Custom Sight Words Snakes & Ladders Boards

Use the Sight Words Snakes & Ladders Board Creator to create your own custom set of boards. This generator lets you use select from both existing sight words lists (e.g. Dolch & Fry) as well as allowing you to add custom words (e.g., current vocabulary words, names, etc).

To download a template, right-click and select Save As.

These Snakes & Ladders boards are provided under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Basically, you are permitted complete license to use the resources, provided you leave the attribution hallmark (our logo) on the resources. We would be happy to see the materials used in the classroom, in the home, as part of your tutoring business, or however you see fit. You do not need to contact us for permission to use the materials. We want you to use them!

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51 Responses to “Sight Words Snakes & Ladders”

  1. jeanet ferrante

    You guys are awesome!!! This is by far the best compilation of sight word materials I have seen in several years of teaching. Thank you so much!

  2. DeLaine Brown

    This sight is such a wonderful resource. I am a reading tutor for primary grade kids and your materials help so much. They are so flexible to use and adapt to my needs and the kids love them. Thanks so much!

  3. Rayhanah

    I’m absolutely excited about your website. I would really appreciate it if you could email me any new ideas from time to time. Thanks

  4. Melissa

    This game was really good for my child.

  5. Lisa Mcfarlane

    These are oh sooooo awsome

  6. lerato

    please assist me to make my children to be good readers

  7. kip

    Thank you sooooooo much for this Snakes and Ladders game and blank template. I can use this template in so many other ways such as math.

  8. Stephanie

    Love it! Thank you once again.

  9. Pat Robbins

    THANK YOU! grade 2 teacher

  10. Angelina

    Fantastic, just what I needed to assist my struggling readers. Thank You.

  11. shipra

    I want to print the snakes and ladders,but is it 4 pages?
    how do I get all the stuff in a single A3 or A4 size?
    pl do let me know.

    ADMIN – Hi Shipra,

    Our Snakes & Ladders board is sized to print out on 4 letter-size (8.5″ x 11″) pieces of paper. Just print out the 4 pages, trim off the white edges, and tape them together! You will end up with a board that is approximately 21.5″ wide by 16.5″ high.

  12. UnIn

    Thanks you for your resources! It is awesome πŸ™‚

  13. odie

    wow! this is great!

  14. FC

    These are fantastic! Thank you so much!

  15. Amy

    These materials are great. Thanks very much …

  16. Monica

    This is horrible. The numbers are not in the right order.

    ADMIN – Hi Monica,

    As the numbers on the board clearly indicate, you are supposed to start the game at the bottom left corner and move to the right across the first row. Then you move up one space and move left across the second row. Then you move up again and to the right across the third row, and so on. This is exactly the same procedure as for the classic Chutes & Ladders board game.

  17. Patty

    That’s great! Thanks a lot!!! πŸ™‚

  18. Janice

    You guys are awesome!!! Thanks a million

  19. rubina

    thank you so much….it’s immensely useful and a fun way of learning.

  20. Christine Kirk

    I can’t thank you enough. This is a great hands on tool for learning sight words.


    Thank you – I look forward to using this with my son!


    Thank you ,Thank you ,Thank you very much .

  23. Maria

    This is so helpful! Such a blessing for everyone! Just printed out the Snakes and Ladders board game. Thank you so much! =) More power!

  24. Ellen

    This is a good idea wish i thought of it hope it helps my 5 year old

  25. Sheri

    This is a great resource. I am wondering if there is a way to use a smaller font for the words so that I can adapt in for my Grade 6 science unit?

    ADMIN – Hi Lauri,

    Our templates generators aren’t smart enough to shrink the font when you use phrases or sentences. You can however download and use the blank template, and add words in whatever size font you need.

  26. Meghan

    Thank you so much for all these wonderful resources – as a special ed teacher, I have so many different groups and different words. Now I am able to make different games for all of them! Amazing!

  27. Kristina

    These games are awesome! Thank you. Is there a way to change the font? As I created the Snakes and Ladders game board, the font that shows up is similar to verdana but the game board shows something similar to comic sans. Then when the game board prints, it prints with verdana font and the letters are squeezed together. I have done this before and didn’t have any problems. I’m looking to print with comic sans font or something similar. Thank you.

    ADMIN – Hi Kristina,

    We use a special font that is designed to be easy for children to read. But, sounds like it isn’t displaying right for you – if you send us an email with the board you created as an attachment, we can figure out the issue and get if fixed for you.

  28. carol

    Beyond awesome & so useful. I put 1-2 math facts on a board so they can have specific practice.

  29. Anita

    Lovely resources. Thanks it is great!

  30. Rona Faga

    This is such an amazing site!!! Blessed

  31. Nana

    Great work game.

  32. Roopasampada

    Super idea’s…fun way of teaching.

  33. Ana Cruz

    This is a great resource to help our learner readers! Thank you so much!!!

  34. Jummy

    I love this resource. I just created a snake and ladder on chemistry vocab words, but forgot to save it, is there a way to retrieve the document? thanks

    ADMIN – Hi Jummy,

    Sorry, we don’t have any way to save games on the website. The only way to save is to download it and save it to your desktop.

  35. Sonia Yazbek

    Thank you so much for this (Fry’s Snakes and Ladders). Can’t wait to print them and play with my students! πŸ™‚

  36. Clementine

    All the kids with motivation problems regarding reading love this game !

  37. lily

    These printables are so fantastic! Thank you very much!

  38. Giang

    Thank you so much for this.

  39. Kat

    Loving it!!!!! If you could just please make lower case by default for the fields where we create custom words? Now, when I start typing, it always starts with a capital.
    And could you have an option of black and white as well? Thanks a million!

  40. Maggie Holley

    I work with Congolese refugees on tutoring reading. These games have been fabulous because they are easy to use, leveled with our readers, high quality, and fit our shoestring budget!! We cannot thank you enough!

  41. Asha Thomas

    I would like to know what the 4.5 snakes and ladders template is about. I mean, is it a combination of both Dolch and Fry words lists? Thanks.

    • Sight Words Admin

      Hi, Asha. Yes, you can customize the words you would like to appear on your Snakes & Ladders board (Fry and/or Dolch). See Item 4.1 on this page for details. Cheers.

  42. Asha Thomas

    Ok.. i have a doubt regarding the 4.5. Is it a combination of both dolch and fry words list. Some words are repeated in both list that’s why I asked.

  43. Mamta

    Amazing materials in love with them thanks a ton to the makers πŸ™

  44. Crystal

    Can you explain your correction procedure?

    ADMIN – Hi, Crystal. You may refer to this page for our correction procedure. Thanks for stopping by!

  45. Apkallworld

    Thanks for the game. It’s always great to have another trick up your sleeve for when the technology fails.

  46. Apkalldone

    The game gives children many opportunities for sight words repetition, while the board game format keeps it fun and engaging! love this game!

  47. Jason

    Thanks for that my dear friends!!!

  48. beth

    Oh wow, I cannot thank you enough for this great resource! I am exhausted and spread so thin from all the work of teaching full time and tutoring after school. I expected I was going to type in all the words, but was so pleasantly surprised to find links to the appropriate age/grades. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you can read, thank a teacher! πŸ™‚

  49. Evi

    Thank you so much, it makes my children very excited to learn more vocabulary and practice their pronunciation.


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