Recipe for Life-Sized Candy Land

1. A super-dedicated and crafty staff person. (At least one. Not pictured.)

2. Laminated construction paper for game squares. (Tape them down. They will still be slippery, so make sure to ask kids to walk carefully to each square.)

squares

3. Giant peppermint sticks. (Made with empty wrapping paper tubes and construction paper.)

peppermint

4. Giant lollipops. (Made with construction paper and dowel rods.)

lollipop

4. Giant gumdrops and snowflakes. (Gumdrops were made with papier mache, using a large butter tub as a mold.)

gumdrops

5. A candy castle. (Made from a donated appliance box and other odds and ends.)

candycastle

6. A display of books about candy.

books

7. A team of dramatic teen volunteers to dress up as characters. (Not pictured.) Our volunteers also helped with the prep by making signs and other decorations.

8. Lots of kids looking for something to do on spring break! (Or summer break. Or any time, really.)

Mix liberally and enjoy. :)

Yes, my library hosted Life-Sized Candy Land over spring break and it was a hit! We ran the game in the afternoon (to give us plenty of time to set up during the day) and opened it to all ages (most of the kids that attended were between 3-8 years old, though we did have at least one group of teens come through). As families showed up, kids started on the game board one at a time. I had a mic so I could be heard over the crowd and as I called out colors, everyone advanced forward.

From time to time I’d mix it up a little and say “Go to a square that’s the same color as a banana” or “Go to a square whose color rhymes with the word ‘moo’”. Nothing wrong with including a little literacy activity. We had a great group of teen volunteers and staff that dressed up as the characters from the game and handed out candy to the kids as they passed by their station.

It’s a lot of work to make the props, but then you’ll have them for the next time you want to roll out the game. We photocopied the nutritional information from all the candy we handed out, just in case we had any questions about ingredients (we didn’t). And, though we did include Gramma Nutt, there were no peanuts in the room (we used Circus Peanuts instead).

So, move yourself to a red square, take a gumdrop, and think about offering a life-sized board game at your library!

Has anyone else done a life-sized board game? What game did you do and what tips do you have for us? I did Life-Sized Clue for the teens at my last library.

– Abby Johnson
Children’s Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
http://abbylibrarian.blogspot.com

About abbylibrarian

I'm the Children's Services Manager at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in Southern Indiana.
This entry was posted in Blogger Abby Johnson, Programming Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Recipe for Life-Sized Candy Land

  1. Lisa says:

    What a cute idea!

  2. What a fantastic activity! We are so stealing this for the summer reading program!

  3. Jen says:

    Wow, that is really awesome!

  4. Ian says:

    Abby, these life-sized games you do must be so much fun for the kids. I tweeted this from @nsls and mentioned that I would have LOVED this as a kid

  5. Linda says:

    This is a great idea–you put a lot of work into this. I’m thinking life-sized Chutes and Ladders might be fun to try…?

  6. Alex says:

    I know a youth group that is doing a life-sized Monopoly game this weekend, complete with a real dog and Power-Wheels car!

    I think that life-sized Sorry would be fun – bumping people around and such :-P

  7. Carol Kotsch says:

    Love the idea, but it’s been a LONG time since I played Candyland with my daughters. Did players move one at a time as you drew a color or character for them? Or are there dice involved?

  8. Garnet Craft says:

    Wow! This is such a great idea! I accidently came across your blog and am very glad I did. I plan to use this idea here at our little library. Thanks loads for sharing!

  9. Dina Cary says:

    We are planning this for our spring festival at an elementary school, and these instructions and ideas will help so much! Thank you so much!!!!!!

  10. Gabi says:

    I did this on my sweet 16 on the sidewalk and even us teens had such a great time! I never did this awesome props though, so now that I’m 18 and throwing a life-sized boardgame party, I’ll be sure to make some cute crafts like these to go along. ^^ Paper towel rubes instead of wrapping paper tubes though, covered in white paper and red party streamers ^^
    Thanks for the great ideas!!

  11. Gabi says:

    I did this on my sweet 16 on the sidewalk and even us teens had such a great time! I never did these awesome props though, so now that I’m 18 and throwing a life-sized boardgame party, I’ll be sure to make some cute crafts like these to go along. ^^ Paper towel tubes instead of wrapping paper tubes though, covered in white paper and red party streamers ^^
    Thanks for the great ideas!!

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