Snakes & Ladders

Climb to Emotional Maturity

The School of Life has taken Snakes and Ladders and turned it into a great game about emotional life: the ladders represent all those moments when you learn how to be more of a grown-up, the snakes the times when you end up acting, against your better nature, like a tantrum-prone toddler. Depending on where you land, you pick up cards that outline, with humour and wisdom, the ingredients of emotional maturity - and ask you to share insights from your own life. As we play, we’re entertained, amusingly educated and subtly invited to continue to try to grow up - a goal that, as the game kindly implies, none of us ever quite master completely.


  1. Start the game from the bottom left-hand square, marked number 1, and go to the top left-hand square, marked number 100. The first to finish wins.
  2. Every player chooses a coloured counter. Take it in turns to roll the dice, with the youngest player starting. On your turn, move your counter forward the number of spaces shown on the dice.
  3. The board is accompanied by two packs of cards: one with the snakes on the back, one with ladders on the back. Shuffle both packs before starting the game. If your counter lands at the bottom of a ladder on the board, pick up one of the ladder cards and read it out to the group: it’ll specify one of the stages of emotional maturity - and ask you a big question. Answer it, then move up to the top of the ladder.
  4. If your counter lands at the top of a snake on the board, pick up one of the snake cards and read it out to the group: it’ll specify one of the stages of emotional immaturity - and ask you a big question. Answer it, then slide down to the bottom of the snake.
  5. The first person who can advance their counter to the square marked with the number 100 is the winner - that is, they have made all the right moves towards emotional maturity in the fastest time. We suggest rolling the exact number to land on the 100 square to finish.
  6. The game offers us a chance to reflect on our own always tenuous hold on emotional maturity. Discuss frankly with the other players some of the ways in which you have been either mature or immature over the years. What have you learnt about becoming a more psychologically grown-up person? What still trips you up to this day?

Contains Game Board, 26 Snake Cards, 26 Ladder Cards, 6 Counters, 2 Dice | 197 x 197 x 35mm | Instructions included | Suitable for 14 years +

Snakes & Ladders

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