Play Plan : Ludo

General Information

  • Prerequisites: Counting
  • Play arena:
  • Number of players: 2, 4

Game Overview and Basic Rules for Play

Ludo is a classic board game for two to four players. The objective of the game is to bring all the 4 tokens into the home triangle. While playing ludo, children develop creative ways of solving problems, forming strategies and calculate probability. It teaches good sportsmanship, teamwork, the importance of taking turns, decision making, and furthermore instills in children the spirit of competitiveness in a proper way. It is an effective tool which develops a child’s numeracy skills as well as their positional language.

It is a modified and simpler version of an Indian game called ‘pachisi’. Each player is assigned a set of 4 tokens with different textures. The first player to bring all the tokens to the finish block wins the game.

Play Session Plans:

Session 1: Introduction and Practice game using single token

  • Introduce the board to children. Allow them to explore the board.
  • Explain the seating position of the players. If there are 2 players, they would sit opposite each other.
  • Explain the position where each player would place their 4 tokens before starting the game.
  • By holding their finger, make children explore the path in which they would have to navigate the board before reaching their home triangle.
  • Demonstrate how to roll the dice and read the number on top of the dice.
  • Explain the rules of the game. The facilitator can choose to introduce Rule no. 1, 2, 4 & 5 only and start the practice game (mentioned below) and then continue to introduce rule no. 3 as and when the game is progressing.
    1. Players take turns to throw the dice in a clockwise order. A player must throw a 6 or 1 on the dice to move a token from the starting position onto the first square on the track. The token is now said to be in ‘play’ and can start moving on the board.
    2. The player rolls the dice again and starts moving the token in the direction as shown earlier. Then the dice is passed on to the next player.
    3. When the player throws a 6, they are allowed another turn to throw the dice. If a player does not throw a 6 in their turn and has no piece in ‘play’ on the board, then the player forfeits their turn and the next player takes their turn. If a 6 is rolled three times in a row, the player loses his turn.
    4. When a token has circumnavigated the board, it proceeds towards the home triangle. A token can only be moved onto the home triangle by an exact throw.
    5. The first person to move all 4 tokens into the home triangle wins the game.
  • Practice Game: Inform players that for this game, they will be using a single token instead of 4 tokens. Now, place the token at the start position and begin playing as explained.
  • Facilitator would observe whether children are using any strategies of their own while playing the game.

Session 2: Playing the game with 2 players (4tokens)

  • Ensure that children have understood the rules well and they are comfortable with the board. Inform that today they would play with all the 4 tokens instead of 1 token.
    • The first player rolls the dice and checks if the number shows six. If no, then hand over the dice to the player sitting on the right.
    • If yes, then pick one token and place it on the starting position. Roll the dice again and start moving forward by counting the number of spaces as shown on the dice. Ask children to recite as they move forward.
    • They continue to play the game and the first player to place all the 4 tokens into the home triangle wins the game.

Session 3: Playing the game with 2 players with more rules

  • Once children are comfortable playing with all the 4 tokens on the board, introduce the following 3 rules here:
    • If a token lands on a square occupied by an opponent’s token, the opponent token is returned to its starting position. The returned token may only be reentered into play when the owner rolls a 6 or 1 on the dice again.
    • If a player’s token lands on another of their own pieces, they are doubled and form a “block” which cannot be passed by any opponent’s pieces.
    • Doubled tokens may move half the number if an even number is thrown e.g. move 2 spaces if a 4 is thrown.
  • Continue to play the game keeping in mind the new rules.
  • At this point, the facilitator can teach some of the strategies of the game while leaving the decision making to the players themselves:
    • For example, after starting the game with one token, if they get another 6, it is up to them to either take out another token to the start position or they can continue running the token which is already out.
    • It is advisable to open all the tokens, as soon as one gets the chance.
      Analyse what number can lead one to the best place and what number will let you send the opponent home.
    • Keep the token which is nearer to the victory at some safe place and move it with bigger numbers. Invest smaller numbers on pieces that are just beginning to run out of house.
    • If you have a number that is no good in any of your pieces, move the piece that is nearest to the starting point.
    • Be confident about yourself, take time to think the best move possible, think, rethink and then play.
  • Continue playing until all the 4 tokens and by following all the rules and strategies.

Session 4: Playing with 4 independent players

  • Start the game as usual after ensuring everyone is thorough with the rules of the game and has played with one opponent several times.
  • Let children decide who will and start how they want to proceed.
  • Ask children if they remember the strategies shared already or they can come up with new strategies if they want to while playing the game.
  • Continue until all the players reach the end point. The first player to move all the tokens to the home triangle wins the game.

Session 5: Playing with 4 players, teamwork

  • Inform children that this time they are forming teams of two players and playing the game.
    Rules for team playing are:
    • Players from the same team do not “cut” each other’s tokens.
    • One player can remind his/her team mate to kill any opponent which is closer to
  • The facilitator would make note of the strategies used by the children while playing the game or they should be allowed to share their strategies after they finish playing the game.