It really doesn’t get much more fun than this friends!
The “heavy lifting” part of this program is all of the preparation. Actually running it is not too labor-intensive.
Here’s how we set up….
We used pieces of taped-down construction paper for the gameboard.
The other option – if you know you are going to do this more than once – is to buy pieces of felt. If you use felt, it doesn’t rip like paper, it’s not slippery like laminated paper, and you don’t have to tape it down! If there’s any way that you can afford felt….go with this option. Otherwise, paper works just fine!
Starting Line: Two wrapping paper rolls (wrapped in white and red crepe paper) at the beginning. The font is Candy Cane from dafont.com
Gingerbread Plum Trees: I printed these gingerbread men on cardstock and taped them to sign holders.
Peppermint Forest: Red tablecloth scattered with shiny red basket fill, and peppermint candies (made from tissue paper and cellophane.)
Gumdrop Mountain: We had some colored bins at the library that I turned over and covered with balance dome cones to make the “mountains.”
Or you can twist them on a wall or in a doorway like this:
Lollipop Woods: We made “lollipops” from wrapping paper tubes and balloons. You can find the instructions on trendytree.com.
Instead of painting the wrapping paper tubes white, we just wrapped them in paper towels. And instead of buying a roll of cellophane, I purchased the cellophane basket bags that they sell at Dollar General or Dollar Tree (this link is to buy an entire case of bags, but you can buy them individually at the store for $1-2!)
We stood the lollipops up in an empty tissue box wrapped in tissue paper. (The tissue boxes were weighed down with crayons….use what you have!)
Snowflake Lake: We put out white batting for snow and sprinkled it with some shiny snowflakes leftover from winter decorations. We also had Anna & Elsa from our Frozen program and decided to get some more use out of them. They were our “snowflake princesses.”
Or hang some large tissue snowflakes from the ceiling. Ours were from Oriental Trading but don’t seem to be available any longer. Here are some similar ones from Amazon.
Candy Castle: The finish line was rainbow crepe paper! Again, you could hang the crepe paper from the ceiling or in a doorway instead.
Here’s links to the clipart that we used:
This is the order that they appeared on our gameboard.
- Gingerbread Plum Trees – Gingerbread cookies
- Peppermint Forest – Peppermints
- Gumdrop Mountains – Gumdrops
- Licorice Lagoon – Licorice
- Lollipop Woods – Lollipops
- Snowflake Lake – Peppermint Patties or Marshmallows
- Candy Castle – Candy bracelets and gummy rings
A note on the candy: Look for individually wrapped candy as much as possible! Our cookies, gumdrops, and marshmallows were not wrapped, so we put them in snack baggies. We did not want lots of little hands reaching into a bowl of candy! Alternately, if you can get enough volunteers to have one person at each candy station to hand out candy, then you wouldn’t need to bag them.
HOW TO PLAY
We had children play in group of 2-5 (hopefully accompanied by an adult who could hold the spinner.)
A coworker made these oversized spinners out of cardboard and colored paper. We then purchased some of these plastic spinners from Amazon and glued them to the center. The plastic spinners weren’t quite big enough for our oversized cardboard pieces, so I glued a piece of laminated black card stock to the top of each plastic piece. Mollie made her’s smaller to fit the spinners. They are made from cardstock and then laminated.
Here’s a printable one for you:
We handed each group a sheet of paper with the printed rules on it, as well as a brown paper sack to collect their candy. Here were our game rules:
Each group (2-5 people) gets 1 spinner.
Each player should get one brown sack (to carry your candy.)
- Spin the spinner. The color you land on is the color you move to on the gameboard.
- Take turns spinning within your group.
- Each time you pass a candy bucket, take one piece (or baggie) of candy!
- The first person in your group to reach the Candy Castle wins.
- When you’re finished, turn in your spinner for the next group to use.
- HAVE FUN!
Before or after you play, decorate a headband & your brown candy sack.
Since everyone can’t play at one time, we had a craft table where kids could make a headband and decorate their candy bags.
One last note: When setting up the gameboard, don’t forget to make your shortcuts – “Rainbow Trail” and “Gumdrop Pass.” We used more balance dome cones to make these shortcuts (as you can see in the picture above.) Just make sure that your shortcut doesn’t skip a candy stop – otherwise no one will want to take the shortcut and miss out on candy! I speak from experience 🙂
This program was such a hit with everyone who participated. Even after the candy had run out, we had kids asking if they could go through again just for fun. This was *gasp* even a hit with the tweens!
Let us know if you try a Life-size Candyland program! We’d love to hear what you come up with!