Candyland Party -4yr- Backyard Candy Lands!
Alecia in Bryan, OH, USA
I decided on a Candy Land theme for my daughter's 4th birthday. I decided to do this, mostly because she has quite a few friends that are boys and I was struggling how to incorporate boy stuff into a princess party! This party turned out GREAT! I used quite a few ideas from this site along with some others. I think the more I do parties like this, the more I find out what works, and what doesn't. This party really ran smooth.
FOOD/TABLEWARE: We invite quite a few people to these birthday parties, adults and children. I always provide a meal for the adults; we have many family and friends that really care a lot for us and I always think this is the least that I can do. I didn't want to try to do a candy theme to all the food so I came up with Rainbow Pass Pizzeria. At FIRST I was going to have a lot of different kinds of pizza, veggie pizza, fruit pizza, chicken club pizza, pepperoni pizza, taco pizza, chocolate pizza, etc. But when you offer a wide variety people tend to eat more. This was also going to cost more because of all the different ingds. SO I ended up ordering pizza from a local chain(call around to get the best price). I also made veggie pizza and fruit pizza. We just had a generic fruit punch and coffee for the drinks. I was going to make finger jello in rainbow colors, but didn't get around to it. I don't like to spend money on special tableware, so it was solid colors. The cheapest place I have found BY FAR to get this is the Dollar Tree. I think I bought packs of 20 plates for $1. I bought red, blue, and purple packs of plates, napkins, cups, and flatware. I bought everything I needed for around $12.
INVITATIONS: I created a post card type invitation. I put a border around it that looked like the pathway in Candy Land. I got some clip-art pictures of Mr. Mint and Queen Frostine, along with some gumdrop mountains. The front said You're invited to join us in Candy Land for XXX's 4th birthday! (the words Candy Land were in the actual Candy Land font) . Then I just listed the date, time, place, rsvp, at the bottom. On the back it said P O S T C A R D across the top, and had a line going vertical down the center. Then it said Lunch will be served at the Rainbow Pass Pizzeria(our kitchen). *Children* Be prepared to make your way through the Peppermint Forest, Gumdrop Mountains, Peanut Acres and more as you earn some sweet treats! These looked GREAT! I could have gotten a generic birthday party invite but there are 2 big reasons why I design my own. One - I usually design a postcard type invite making the postage cheaper! Two - I find that if the invitation is as creative as this one, the kids(AND adults), tend to get super excited prior to the party! Like you do right before Christmas! It's worth it to me, to do this.
DECORATIONS: Keep in mind, I try to do things as cheap as possible. The decorations that I will describe, took a lot of time, and I'm sure there might be easier ways to do things, but I just don't have a lot of money to spend. Understand that I have access to corrugated material. If you don't I suggest asking a furniture store for their big boxes, and also saving pizza boxes, and cereal boxes. The first thing I did was start making squares out of corrugated to make a pathway. (you can use the tops and bottoms of pizza boxes). I then spray painted these red, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, and pink. It was wintertime when I was working on this so I kept newspaper on our garage floor, and would set out 8-10 squares, and spray paint, then do another batch the next day, etc. I ended up using about 130 squares to make the pathway.
After these were spray painted I took a screw driver and poked holes in all 4 corners(yes, this took time, I did this while watching tv!). I measured out exactly where I wanted the pathway to go in our yard, and sectioned it off on paper. Then I tied the appropriate number of squares together. The reason that I did this, was so that they wouldn't blow away, and it would be easy to lay out the pathway on the day of the party. I did decorate the pink squares to correspond with each section.
For the gingerbread square, I traced a gingerbread onto cardstock(a coca cola box)-cut this out and glued that on.
For the peppermint square, I used red and white paper to make a candy cane. The gumdrop square I cut a gumdrop shape out of teal paper, and covered that with glue and sprinkled clear-sugar-like glitter to it.
For the peanut square, I drew a peanut shape onto light brown paper(this is all from my scrapbook scraps), and then drew lines across and diagonal so that it looked like a peanut.
Then I did a square for a lollipop, snowflake lake(this one was an ice cream cone), and I made up a chocolate square(even though there isn't one on the game itself).
For the chocolate swamp square, I just drew a fudgesicle onto brown paper and put a popsicle stick under it. Okay, I'm going to describe the decorations by section.
Gingerbread Tree. We have a pine tree next to where I wanted to start our pathway. The pine tree is trimmed up so that you can walk underneath it. I made gingerbread ornaments to decorate this tree. I saved coca cola boxes, oatmeal boxes, etc and broke them down and then traced gingerbread men onto these. I cut them out and using a black marker, drew a face and lines across where the arms/legs are-to make them look like a gingerbread man. I punched a hole out of the top. I hot glued 2 together and then trimmed up the edges that way they were 2 sided. I put string through the hole, and voila! Gingerbread ornaments!
The other decoration for this was purple balloons that were blown up and attached to the branches(last minute-b/c they kept popping!). I also made a sign that looked like momma gingertree from the game. My daughter colored this in for me! I traced and cut out purple letters saying Momma Ginger tree and glued those onto the sign. *tip-IF you have letter stencils, try tracing your letters backwards so that they look better from the front when you cut them out!*
Peppermint Forest. I made corrugated candy canes that stood about 3 feet high, I painted them white and then painted the red stripes on them. I hot glued dowel rods to the backs so they would stand up. (try to get big boxes to use). I also borrowed my sister's and mom's Christmas trees. We had 3 christmas tree's in this section. I had made a few pipecleaner candy cane ornaments(twist red and white together then shape into a candy cane). We decorated the trees with those, and also used red and white crepe paper as garland to go around and around the trees. These were pretty impressive! I also made a sign which was a big candy cane(18 inches or so) with a rectangle title box in the middle which I glued red letters saying Peppermint Forest. The signs were all affixed to dowel rods. I also made peppermint bowling pins for the bowling game. I collected water bottles and spray painted them white, then took red duct tape(which I cut down the middle) and taped the duct tape around the water bottles, so they were peppermint striped.
Gumdrop Mountains. I drew up 3 big gumdrop mountains(stood about 40 tall or so)onto a big sheet of cardboard. (Can probably use a refrigerator box) I painted them blue, orange, and pink and while the paint was still wet sprinkled clear colored glitter on the whole thing. We have a plastic slide(the short kind for toddlers) that I wanted to use as gumdrop mountain. I tied this to the side of the slide. I also made gumdrops out of 2L bottles. I cut the bottom part off of a 2L bottle and rinsed out. I took acrylic paint and carefully painted this and then sprinkled with the clear glitter. I tried to spray paint one and the spray paint just RAN for some reason. So, I hand painted them. These looked SO AWESOME! I had about 14 or so in different colors. I also made a Gumdrop Mountain sign I painted a picture of gumdrop mountains(basically 3 mountains, overlapping) and I used light purple lettering that said Gumdrop Mountains.
Peanut Acres. One of the two sections that we actually had a character for. My husband drew Gramma Nut onto corrugated and I painted her(with my daughter's help!). She looked great! I also made peanut bushes(again out of corrugated). I painted these a light green color and then took squares of light green tissue paper and glued these all over the bushes. Now, if I were to do this again, I don't think I would waste time painting the bushes I would just do the tissue paper. I hot glued empty peanut shells all over the bushes. I bought a bag of shelled peanuts and saved the peanut shells after we ate some of the peanuts. I also had a basket lined in green tissue paper sitting next to Gramma Nut(used this for a game later). I also made BIG peanut shapes out of corrugated and drew the lines on them. I just set these on the ground all over the place. I didn't have a sign for this but could easily have used one of the big corrugated peanut shapes, and just put light green lettering on it saying Peanut Acres.
Lollipop Woods. The only decoration I did for this was the sign and the big lollipops. I made lollipops out of corrugated(save the top/bottom of pizza boxes and cut these into 8-12 circles). I spray painted the circles and then painted swirls on them. I hot glued a dowel rod to the back and stuck into the ground. The sign was just a big arrow that I painted yellow. I cut smaller circles out of my paper scraps and drew swirls on them, then put these on the sign, with white paper strips(for the stick part). The lettering on this was a pink color.
Snowflake Lake. I painted a big blue lake shape onto corrugated material. Then I took stickers of snowflakes, and other things found in a lake(fish, alligator, boot, boat, etc), and put these all over the lake. I cut blue squares out of paper(to match the color of blue on the lake), and attached the square so it would cover the sticker. I only put one piece of scotch tape across the top so that I could lift the square up to look under it. This was for a game later. I attached this to our chain link fence. I had a HUGE piece of blue fabric that I bought at the thrift shop last year I threw that across my daughter's turtle sandbox to look like snowflake lake. I also made snowflake shapes out of cardboard, and painted these white and put some glitter on them. I read somewhere about making snowflakes by stapling the rings together from a 6-pack of soda. I didn't do that but that might be another way to make snowflakes. The snowflakes were attatched to dowel rods and put into the ground around snowflake lake. I also made a sign reading Queen Frostine's Snowflake lake. It was a rectangle turned on its side that I drew a HUGE ice cream cone onto. The back ground was purple, with the ice cream cone part white and then the lettering was light pink and somewhat frilly. It looked terrific!
The last place I did was Gloppy and the Chocolate Swamp. I did make a Gloppy monster which I actually freehanded he was easy to draw I drew him on a big sheet of corrugated-and he stood about 4 feet tall! The swamp itself was just a brown tarp that I turned under to make a swamp-like shape. I saved Hershey candy bar wrappers through the summer(smore-time!). I drew the leaf and stem part of a flower on cardboard and then glued the Hershey candy bar wrapper to the top so it looked like a Hershey flower. I made about 12 Hershey plants! I glued short dowel rods to these and pushed them into the ground around the lake I pushed most of them through the grommets in the tarp to help hold it down. They looked awesome! I also took the TOP part of a 2L soda bottle and covered it in cheap aluminum foil to look like a giant Hershey's kiss! I made white tails coming out of the top part. I put these around the lake too. I made a chocolate swamp sign for this too. I just drew a fudgesicle type plant and a hershey's kiss (using foil)-and then lettering in a dark brown coloring saying Chocolate swamp.
I got burnt out making decorations and couldn't even begin to think about making the castle! SO I made a sign that said Caution: Candy Castle is down for repair. King Candy has provided Candy Land cake for being so understanding! Yeah haha I got lazy! No one really seemed to mind though! Okay I was GOING to decorate my downstairs bathroom to be Licorice Forest, and it just didn't happen. I ran out of time. But I made a sign for that saying Beware: Licorice Forest ahead. I was going to just string black and red crepe paper all over the place and maybe some black and red balloons. I was also going to borrow my mom's black Halloween tree decoration and decorate it with snack size licorice candy. The kitchen was also going to be decorated into the Rainbow Pass Pizzeria. I was going to make a rainbow pass out of different colored balloons and hang them all over. Again I kind of ran out of time.
GAMES: Set-up. When the kids arrived, I had them decorate their goody bags with stickers and crayons. I REALLY wanted them to stay out of the sections. I had cut gingerbread men shapes out of coca cola boxes and glued these shapes to plain gift bags(with handles). I also cut and glued a rectangle to the bottom of the bag, so they could write their names on it. For the adults, I had all of the adults put their name on a piece of paper and into a basket, prior to game time. When they asked why I told them it was for clean-up crew! At each station an adult name would be drawn for an adult gift bag. At first, my husband kind of wanted me to have the kids PLAY the actual Candy Land game this worked for about 30 seconds. The kids were too excited to care and really we just drew the picture cards in the order that I had them in and we just went station to station.
Gingerbread Tree. I hung purple plums from our evergreen tree and told them that they had to pop a plum to get their prize. Some were using pine needles, others were sitting on them, this worked out well. Their prize was a gingerbread koosh ball from Oriental Trading(OT). My daughter then drew an adult's name the adult prize for this was a bag of gingersnap cookies. I put this into a purple gift bag with a cardboard gingerbread man glued to the front of it.
Peppermint Forest. The game for this was bowling. I had a big square of cardboard on which I set up my 9 peppermint-bowling pins. Each person had to bowl a strike(could bowl as many times as it took). The prize was candy cane pencil's that I got on clearance right after Christmas from OT. You could get these personalized so I had them read Mr. Mint's Peppermint Sticks. They were so cute! I think I got 2 dozen of them for $2.99! The adult prize was a bag of peppermint star candy, and peppermint patties, I put these in a red gift bag with a candy cane(made from scrap-paper) on the front.
Gumdrop Mountains. The game for this, was called the Gumdrop Drop. Each child had to climb the slide there's a small platform they could lean over, and THEN the slide. So while standing on the platform, they had to drop a gumdrop(I bought a large box of Dots candy) into a wide mouthed jar. When they got one in the jar, they could go down the slide and look under a gumdrop mountain(the upside down 2L) for their prize. The prize for this was a Gusher's fruit snack. I was going to do mini boxes of Dots candy but my daughter would have a hard time chewing those and it was cheaper for me to buy the boxes of Gusher's(which I got on sale!). The adult gift was a bag of red licorice and a bag of black licorice. This was in a red bag with two-twists of licorice that I drew, on the front. Since I couldn't think of anything gumdrop themed to do for the adult bag I just said it was found in Licorice Forest!
Peanut Acres. For this game the kids had to stand behind a line and throw a peanut into Gramma Nut's basket. Once they made it, they got their prize, which was a snack size of Nutter Butter cookies. The adult gift was a bag of roasted peanuts in the shell. I put this in a light green gift bag with the picture of a peanut on the front.
Lollipop Woods. We played Lollipop, Lollipop. I had that song burned onto a cd when I pushed play, the kids had to dance around all of the lollipops. When the music stopped, they had to touch a lollipop, I then drew a card, and whoever was touching THAT color of lollipop got their prize. I had made up cards of all of the different colors of lollipops. I did this until everyone won. The prize was a multicolored lollipop-which I bought from OT. The adult prize was a bag of tootsie pops, which was in a yellow gift bag with a pink lollipop on the front(again made out of scrap paper).
Snowflake Lake. For this game each child had to flip up a blue square on the Snowflake Lake gameboard until they found a Snowflake. Once they flipped up a snowflake, they got their prize. The prize was a snowflake notepad(got at OT on after Christmas clearance!). The adult prize was ice cream toppings, I got a new one that was a rootbeer flavored syrup, then I think I included a can of chopped peanuts, and a jar of maraschino cherries. This was in pink gift bag with an ice cream cone drawn on the front.
Chocolate Swamp. The game for this was like hot potato. I used this song called I love chocolate from Choo Choo Soul CD. The kids had to sit in the swamp in a circle. They passed a chocolate bar until the music stopped. When the music stopped, whoever had the chocolate bar could get unstuck from the swamp and collect their prize. The prizes for this were chocolate pudding cups. The last child to get out, got to keep the candy bar also. The adult prize was some nice chocolate. I think I bought some Ghiardelli(sp?) Dark chocolate squares, and milk chocolate squares. I put this in a green gift bag with a fudgesicle drawn on the front. Believe me the mom's were kind of fighting over this one! Haha! Once we were finished, I read the Caution: Candy castle is closed sign and we did cake.
CAKE: Okay, my mom made a big cake, I would say the size of 2-9 x 13's side by side. The whole thing was frosted white. We took a toothpick and drew the pathway on there. We frosted the pathway the different colors(I have seen some use Starburst candy for this, or fruit roll-ups cut into squares). We drew the gingerbread tree on there freehand. Then I had some miniature candy canes which I stuck into the cake for the peppermint forest. Next was some Dots candy to symbolize gumdrop mountains. After that I broke some nutter butter cookies in half and put those in for peanut acres. We did some lollipops for lollipop woods. My mom painted a blue lake and purple star-tipped all the way around it. She then free-handed a few white snowflakes onto the lake. Chocolate Swamp was chocolate frostning. I then cut a hostess cupcake into the shape of Gloppy. We drew a face on him, and stood him up using toothpicks, right in the middle of the swamp. For the castle we piped frostning into 3 ice cream cones and set those up in the corner. My mom actually put the symbols of some of the areas onto the pathway too. She put Happy 4th Birthday, Kharma onto the Pathway squares. She does a border then around the top and bottom this looked great!
THE END: After the cake, my daughter opens presents and then she always walks around and gives everyone a hug to thank them for coming. This party turned out GREAT. In breaking this down I want to say for the decorations I spent the most amount of money on dowel rods and paint(which I still have leftover). I did have to buy some crepe paper, balloons, and gift bags. With everything that I did though I think I spent under $70 in decorations(including plates, etc). Food is another story. I spent about $110, which included all of the pizza, which fed up to 40 people. The favors for kids and adults was roughly $70(enough for 12+ kids, and 7 adult gifts). Overall my party ran me about $250. I could NOT have done it without all of the wonderful tips I have gotten from this website. I greatly appreciated reading everyone else's ideas, and am very thankful that people take the time to type these up!
BirthdayPartyIdeas.com - Birthday party ideas to help you plan your kids birthday party celebration.
NutcrackerBallet.net - Nutcracker information, performance directory and ballet reviews.
FreeParkConcerts.com - Find the best summer concert in the park near you!