the addition of traps or collection spaces also affects the difficulty.
Since the types of games vary in difficulty, teachers can select a
specific type of path game to best approximate the cognitive level
of specific children in the class.
Short path games are designed to help children transition from
grid games to longer path games. Two identical paths are provid-
ed so that two children can parallel play. The two paths may be
opposite each other on one game board or on separate game
boards for younger children who have trouble sharing a single
board. The paths should be straight and clearly delineated to
avoid the perceptual confusion that curves sometimes cause. The
paths generally consist of 10 to 12 spaces each, since more than
twelve spaces can be overwhelming, while fewer spaces look like
a grid rather than a path. A 1-3 die or spinner is used to
determine the number of spaces to move, since a 1-6 die may be
too challenging for children in this transition stage. In addition, a
1-6 die could end the game in only two rolls!
Long path games are used when children are ready for more
challenging games. They contain 25 to 50 spaces along a curved
path and may involve a variety of traps and bonus spaces that re-
quire the player to roll again, go back one space, or follow more
original directions that the children themselves design. One or
two 1-6 dice are used since children who can play long path
games can usually quantify to six and may be ready to start
adding two dice together.
Continuous path games do not have a definite start and finish
point. The path has 25 to 50 spaces and is usually shaped in a
square, oval, or circle. One or two 1-6 dice are used.
Collection games are variations of short path, long path, and
continuous path games. Collection pieces on short path games
encourage children to play them for a longer period of time.
When collection pieces are used on a short path game, a shorter
path may be desirable. Long path collection games may include
special spaces where children stop and collect counters, or
children may collect counters at the end of the path. Players may
compare each other’s quantities of items they have collected, or
they may record their quantities on a piece of paper or on a
graph. Long or continuous path collection games can provide an
additional challenge for kindergarten children.