Life Size Candy Land
We did a life-size Candy Land game at two of our library branches this year. We were inspired by a lot of other library renditions, but found Sunflower Storytime's post particularly helpful.
We got particularly lucky when I found out the school where my aunts teach had Candy Land props they had purchased (probably from Stumps or Shindigz) in storage and were willing to loan them to us. We got several things from them, but had to make the rest ourselves.
For our game, we had 9 stations set up, with corresponding candy. We had:
The Gingerbread (Plum) Tree, home to Plumpy - Ginger Snaps
Peppermint Forest, home to Mr. Mint - peppermints
Licorice Lagoon, home to Lord Licorice - Twizzlers
Peanut Acres, home to Gramma Nutt and her dog - Nutter Butters
Lollipop Woods, home to Princess Lolly - DumDums
Gumdrop Mountain/Gumdrop Pass - Gumdrops
Snowflake Lake, home to Queen Frostine - marshmallows
Chocolate Swamp, home to Gloppy - Hershey kisses
Candy Castle, home to King Candy - peach rings
One of our children's librarians made this tree from cardboard. The laminated poster of Plumpy was a loan from the school. I cut the gingerbread men shapes from brown cardstock on the Cricut and had them on the floor and hanging from the ceiling with fishing line.
The same children's librarian made Mr. Mint. The stand-up candy cane with round base is actually a candy cane ring toss game we purchased from Oriental Trading for our Santa Train visit.
My aunt painted Lord Licorice. The Licorice Lagoon sign and candy game piece were loans from the school, and I taped the red and black streamers to the bottom for a little extra pizzazz.
Gramma Nutt was another laminated poster on loan, but I hot glued her onto a foam board to make her stand. My aunt painted her dog. Since their sizes were off, I tried to distance them, which worked out well for stretching the decorations out along the "game board."
I also cut peanut shapes with the Cricut and drew lines on them with a Sharpie. Like the gingerbread men, these were placed both on the floor and on the ceiling.
My aunt painted Princess Lolly. We had a sign for the Lollipop Woods on loan, which is not pictured. The lollipop tops were on loan, but they had no sticks. I hot glued dowels from Hobby Lobby to make them work.
To make the lollipop stand, I purchased a few of these balloon stands from WalMart. You can fill the base with water to weight it. Since the stick wasn't long enough for the lollipops, I found a dowel at Hobby Lobby that would fit inside (5/8 x 36"). I hot glued them into the base for extra support.
Our children's librarian painted Gumdrop Mountain. The gumdrops are plastic sand pails from Amazon, with the handles popped off. We used some of the borrowed game pieces to make the Gumdrop Pass shortcut.
For the shortcuts, we wrote "Enter Gumdrop Pass" on a corresponding "game board" color and if the player happened to land on that particular square, they could take the shortcut. We also had a "Exit Gumdrop Pass" square labeled.
We also had a Rainbow Trail shortcut, which we used our Oriental Trading Story Time tunnel for. It was between Plumpy and Mr. Mint.
TIP: Place arrows around shortcut exits pointing which direction to proceed.
Another librarian painted Queen Frostine. She used a coffin box as her canvas, so she was quite tall. We paired the cupcakes with ice cream cones. The prince with the ice cream, I guess, is from newer versions of the game. I wasn't familiar with him but stuck him in there since we had him. We also had snowflakes on the ground. We purchased the inflatable ice cream cones from Amazon.
The Chocolate Swamp was home to Gloppy, painted by another librarian. The chocolate lady was another one I didn't know but added her.
I made the giant Hershey Kisses by covering funnels in aluminum foil and attaching a small rectangle of white tissue paper at the top.
Last was King Candy. The candy props were made from paper lanterns covered in colored cellophane, or painted paper plates covered in cellophane. You can't see it well in this picture, but we also had a candy garland made from toilet paper rolls covered in tissue paper with the ends tied to look like candy.
TIP: Use a rainbow piece for the final step. Some kids were adamant about waiting to spin a yellow before ending their game.
Outside the room, we had a paper bag decorating station set up. They needed the bags to collect their candy in as they played the game, and letting them decorate them kept them entertained while they waited their turn.
We just pulled craft materials we had on hand to set it up. We didn't spend any extra money on this aspect.
Some of the bags turned out really cute!
We also had a table set up outside with the actual Candy Land board game on it for patrons to play while they waited their turn to go inside.
Once inside, participants were given one of our homemade spinners (printed on cardstock with a spinner attached). They carried the spinner with them throughout the game, as it told them what color to go.
They took their decorated paper bag with them, and anytime they passed by a candy station, they were permitted to take one piece or baggie of candy with them, sticking it in their bag for later. We had 4 kids at a time going through the game.
The colored squares are just construction paper that we laminated and taped to the floor with packing tape.
It was a success and definitely something we'll do again. It's a lot of prep work, but once you have the stuff, it's a breeze. We set it up with ease at one of our branch locations.