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Active Toys Garden Snakes & Ladders

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2 Reviews

Brand: Active Toys / Type: Giant sized snakes & ladders game

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      20.04.2012 15:37
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      A great fun game to play in the garden, but a bit pricey to buy.

      Having barbecues through the summer time, we like to throw a few odd ball things into the mix occasionally, and as kids often come with parents sometimes it's nice to have something fun for them to do and to be honest, most of us adults rather like being big kids again too though many of us may not like to admit it!

      We've borrowed things like swing ball in the past and had a kick about in the park behind with football (well others have, being limited to walking slowly with a stick sort of puts that one out the window for me), thrown a Frisbee around etc. the usual stuff. This giant version of snakes and ladders was passed on to us by a friend as they were moving to a smaller location and just wouldn't have use for it. It's been quite popular at times with kids and adults alike.

      To be fair, although we have the space in our garden for this when its not full of people, our lawn isn't actually very flat and this does really need a flat surface to play it on. This means that generally when we play this, we open the back gate and take it out into the play area behind the house where there's more space and a flatter area, leaving the garden for the actual barbecue. It does mean that other local kids come and ask to join in sometimes but that's part of the fun for visiting children so we don't mind that either.

      Quite simply with this, all you get, is the board and a big inflatable dice and some pegs to hold the board down. There are no counters needed because you stand on the board and are your own counter. You don't get a pump with this, so you either need a ball/bike pump to pump up the dice, or a good bit of puff to do it by breath alone.

      The board is rather flimsy and lightweight - it's designed to be used and then put away rather than something you'd leave out in the garden through the summer I'd say. A bit of a gust of wind and you'd find it blowing away I reckon. It comes with pegs (a bit like tent pegs) that you put down through the holes on the corners into the ground, but even that doesn't always hold it right through a game (especially with youngsters bouncing around on it). The board is about 9-10ft on a side I'd say, and has 9 squares to a side.

      The game is played just like any other snakes and ladders game. You roll the dice, count the dots and move your counter - in this case yourself. If you land on a snake you go backwards on the board, if you land on a ladder you go forwards.

      Overall, for a fun game to play with kids on a summer's day this is a good giggle. It's better than a regular board game because everyone's outside and having fun joining in together, and also as you are your own counter, you can play with more than the traditional 2-6 players although it does get a little crowded with a dozen kids all stood there especially when two are trying to occupy the same space.
      As I said at the beginning this was passed on to us by a friend, but they retail around £40ish which is quite steep for something that is just made out of plastic really. Having said that, although I don't know that I'd want to fork out that much for something like this, it does have quite a lot of appeal so it's not really a bad investment overall.

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      • More +
        11.04.2011 17:13
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        It's not quite Giant Connect 4 but it's still a laugh!

        Ever since I played Giant Connect 4 at a pub party a few years ago I've wanted one. As you can see, I've got one step closer with this Giant Snakes & Ladders but I still (unfortunately) haven't managed to get hold of the oversized game I really wanted.

        It's a very simple idea; an oversized Snakes & Ladders board with a large inflatable dice. There are no counters included as *you* are the counter. This game was obviously devised to be played in the garden (or whatever 'outdoors' you have available) and being made of a rubbery plastic it's ideal as any dirt can easily be wiped or even hosed off. I wouldn't advise you keeping in laid out in the garden however as the board itself is so flimsy and lightweight that it would likely blow away if left out in anything other than very still conditions.

        Setting the game up is a simple case of laying the board on a flat area in the garden. The dice takes some puff to blow it right up, luckily Mark has a pump which fits this perfectly as I wouldn't fancy pitting my 20-a-day lungs against this baby!  There's a trick to blowing it up too, a simple trick admittedly and that is not to put too much air into the dice. Why? Because if you blow it up too much the edges will become too rounded, leading to lots of squabbling (mainly between me and Mark) when the breeze pushes the six you rolled to a two. Not good.

        The board itself is around ten foot square and is brightly coloured to appeal to young children. It's pretty much an elephant of a Snakes & Ladders board, with the one difference being that this one only has 81 squares rather than the one hundred which feature on a normal sized board. Which is good as Snakes & Ladders can drag on a bit so 19 fewer squares is a bit of a bonus!  There are plenty of snakes and ladders printed on the board, including one huge snake which will take you all the way back to square three. Sod that, I avoid that particular snake at all costs even if it means cheating!

        The board can get a bit flappy even while you're playing, unless you all happen to be near the edges or corners play may well be interrupted by the odd gust of wind. There are small holes punched into the plastic on each corner so presumably that's a way to secure it, but really they are so close to the edge that I'd worry about the board ripping if I used tent pegs or anything like that. As it stands we either use it on particularly windless days or else use a couple of rockery stones on each corner, which isn't ideal but does the job usually.

        The kids love this game, it's one of very few items we own that we can all agree on. Any combination of us can play at any one time, the board being big enough for the five of us to get on (baby obviously doesn't play yet) without constantly elbowing one another. Hollie, at three, gets so excited when she sees us laying the board out that she literally dances and she would honestly play it for hours a day if any of the rest of us had the time for that level of play!

        I can't remember how much we paid for it, I'm thinking around the fifty quid mark which is expensive for what it is but I suppose this is such a niche product that the expense is (sort of) justified. We've had ours for just over a year now and it's lasting well despite being played with plenty of times and even left outdoors (folded up) through both hot and cold weather. 

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