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Game-inspired party theme sends kids to Candy Land
There is a reason why the expression, "like a kid in a candy shop" exists. For the kid who would love to live in the classic board game Candy Land, the game can easily be turned into a fun birthday party.
Kids who simply request a candy bar - a table filled with various candies, sometimes all in one color- for their party may appreciate this creative twist on the idea.
The best part for parents is that it isn't hard to transform a house into this sugary place. The best part for the birthday kid is he gets to go to a candy shop to help pick out supplies.
First, kids will need to know they are invited. An invitation is best when it gives party goers and idea of what the party theme is. A paper lollipop is easy to make out of construction paper and provides a surface for the information needed.
- Construction paper (at least two different colors)
- White paper
- Three to four circular items (dishes, cups, containers)
- Popsicle sticks
Using the circular items as guides, draw circles of varying shapes on the construction paper and cut them out. Alternating colors, glue smaller circles on top of the larger ones to mimic the giant spiral circle lollipops. On the back, glue the popsicle stick to and edge for the stick.
Use the white sheet of paper to write who, when, when and where for the party. (You can type this information on the computer and print it out, if you prefer.) Then, (using one of the guides) cut a circle around the information and glue it to the back of the lollipop. Write the invitee's name on the front of the lollipop either on the pop or the popsicle stick.
Ideas for decorations are right on the game board- lollipops, gumdrops, peppermint, gingerbread men.
Create giant gingerbread men out of cardboard boxes or cereal boxes to greet children at the door. (Cereal boxes are easier to cut into the gingerbread man shape) The gingerbread men are easily decorated with leftover t-shirt paint.
To create the rainbow path, construction paper can be taped together and placed along the floor. For a little more work and time, an old sheet can be cut and painted to make a path.
Pool noodles are great for making a Peppermint Forest. Simply wrap each noodle with red and white duct tape to make them look like giant peppermint sticks.
Stairs to a second floor can become the Gumdrop Mountains. For this transformation, use large paper shopping bags and paint. Cut open the bags for a large canvas and paint gumdrop hills in different colors. (If you don't mind the potential mess, add a little glitter to each gumdrop to make it look like the sugar coating.) Then, cut out the shapes and use mounting putty to stick the backdrop on to the walls of the staircase.
Balloons can double as lollipops. Tie a white streamer to the end of each pop and stick the lollipops to a section of wall to create the Lollipop Woods.
Just like the actual game, the party will need cards to direct what happens. Parents can make large cards with white cardstock paper and construction paper. The images for the special spots can either be enlarged, printed out, cut out and glued to a pink square on the card, or a parent can draw the image. Separate the finished cards into two decks- the colored squares and the special spots.
The colored squares deck will be what the kids draw from first to determine their team. (Obviously, the cards need to be made so the teams are even.) Once everyone is on a team, the special spot deck is used. Each spot has its own party game with a candy twist.
At the Gingerbread Tree, the kids play pin the decorations on the gingerbread man. Draw the outline of a gingerbread man on a poster board or cut open paper bag, and make decorations out of construction paper. A rolled up bandanna can be used as a blindfold.
At the Peppermint Forest, kids use a hockey stick wrapped in red and white duct tape to slap a "mint" (a hockey puck also wrapped in duct tape) into a goal. At the top of Gumdrop Mountains (aka the child's bedroom or playroom), the kids play hot potato with a playground ball or soft toy that looks like a gumdrop or gummi bear. At the Lollipop Woods, the kids play a balloon relay (the game in which they pass a balloon to each other without using their hands).
At the conclusion of each game, the kids all win the corresponding candy to be used as toppings for their visit to the Ice Cream Floats. Each kid gets a scoop of ice cream in a small bowl and decorates it with the toppings.
For this party, the local candy store is first place to visit for food, prize and favor choices.
The cake can be the goal of the game, Candy Castle, which means a variety of candy is needed to decorate it. The child may enjoy decorating the cake, or at least directing where each candy should go. Ice cream cones make great towers, by the way.
Tip: I baked one half of the cake mix in a square pan and the other in a round pan to provide a more castle-like base and easier placement of the cone towers.
For a special drink, parents can get cotton candy. Just fill clear cups with cotton candy then pour lemonade over it in front of the kids. The kids will be amazed as the cotton candy dissolves and changes the color of the lemonade.
Be sure to get the ice cream and candies that correspond with each of the spots to visit during the game for party game prizes.
Candy is expected in this party's favor bags. Pixy Sticks, a gingerbread man, popcorn, gummi bears, vintage candy and even a mint are great choices. Non-candy choices could be kids' modeling clay and food shaped erasers. Parents may also want to see if the candy store has coupons to give to the party-goers.
The owner of a candy shop suggested a special goodie- marshmallow ice cream cones. Just fill a small cone with melted chocolate, and place a marshmallow on top. Allow the chocolate to harden so it sticks the marshmallow to the cone to look like ice cream. Then, add a spoonful of melted chocolate, sprinkles and a small red candy to put the finishing touches on the ice cream cone.
To keep the favors on theme, get white bags and glue on colored squares (cut from construction paper) to look like the game's cards.
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