This photograph was taken at Fatehpur Sikri, India in August 1996. Despite the poor quality, the photograph shows a huge ludo type game marked out in the courtyard. Games would be played using sixteen slaves from the harem, dressed in appropriate colours, as pieces - the use of children as pieces might produce an interesting school activity.

The game is usually played by four players each having four pieces; those sitting opposite each other play as partners. Pieces are placed on the central square (the throne) at the start and they travel down their own limb, then anticlockwise round the board before returning to the middle via their limb.

At about the end of the nineteenth century the game was modified by the introduction of a cubic die and the provision of separate starting points for each player, but the central square was retained and became "home". Thus the game of ludo was born and introduced into England in 1896 (one hundred years before this photograph was taken).

Younger children practise counting by playing games such as ludo. Older children might investigate other aspects of the game:

How long would a typical game of ludo last? ... Investigate.

Reference: "Board Games Around The World" Robbie Bell and Michael Cornelius. Cambridge University Press 1988 ISBN 0 521 35924 4

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