Snakes and Ladders on a Periodic Table

Resource Info

Basic Information

The traditional board game of Snakes and Ladders can be played on a periodic table of chemical elements to reinforce the concepts discussed.

00 hours 30 mins

The chemical logic you use in placing the snakes and ladders on the periodic table will help you decide which concept you wish your learner to recall and retain. Some of the suggested properties of elements that can be reinforced are: componds formed, radioactive decay, octet rule,

Activity Steps: 

Here is a periodic table, courtesy

Take prints of the attachment shared below on an A4 sheet. For the periodic table an A3 is preferable but not necessary.

Playing with an old die is boring. Try to add more spice to it!. Here's a suggestion.

Here are some samples of snakes and ladders. Cut them out. Make more if you think you need.



Rules of the game

  1. You begin from the top left of the periodic table. Your aim is to reach the element number 109. (Please keep your learners informed that as of May 2017 we have 118 elements.) The game proceeds from Hydrogen and the pieces move along the increasing element number. Unlike the usual game this one proceeds from top to bottom.
  2. You throw a die and whatever number it throws up you move your piece to the concerned element.
  3. The above 2 rules are nothing new. You are provided with snakes and ladders of varying size. You need to create a rule that is based on concepts learnt. For example, a ladder from 11 to 35 is fine, as Sodium reacts with Chlorine to make table salt. Similarly, as Uranium decays to Lead. a snake from 92 to 82 is chemically apt. When you reach any Noble gas, gift yourself 8 more points respecting the 'octet rule'.  The element number 76 is the most dense. How about losing a turn when you reach 76, 'respecting' it's denseness.
  4. What rule would you make for the lanthanide and Actinide series? It is up to you.

Please note, the same game an English teacher may place the ladders according to the meaningful words the symbols of the element create. For example, Iron to Tungsten is FeW, Gallium to Indium is GaIn, Bismuth to Nitrogen is BiN. Of course it doesn't make sense in the strictest chemical way. It is fun!

The icing on the cake for this game is Tom Leherer classic The Element Song.


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