Candyland Party (7-8yr) Candy Buffet
Elaine in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
This summer I held a Candyland bithday for my kids and got a lot of great ideas through this site. It was a joint party for my 7yr old son and my 8 yr old daughter in my backyard with about 30 kids, most of whom were their classmates. Since I invited all their classmates (and have had difficulties with RSVPs in the past) I made it simple for parents by creating the invitation styled like a typical school form with a tear off slip at the bottom to send back to class. Their teachers helped me by collecting the slips and returning them to me.
For decorations, I knew I wanted to do something fun, colorful, and yet simple and low-cost. I decided to focus on the primary Candyland colors. I made some giant sweets by blowing up balloons and wrapping them with clear wrap and attached curling ribbons on each end. The Hostess With The Mostess gave me this idea - although she used paper lanterns. I bought disposable plastic plates from the dollar store in the primary colors and turned them into giant M&Ms. These also doubled as goody bags for the kids (I simply cut them down when it was time). I hung these up so they dangled all over my pergola. They looked incredible.
To make the giant M&Ms:
1. I cut about a quarter off one plate and then taped another plate of the same color to it to create an opening in the back for that was big enough for kids to stuff candy in.
2. I then punched holes on either side and tied a ribbon onto the M&M as a handle.
3. I couldn't find an M&M font online so a friend drew our the M" with a marker and I photocopied enough for all the goody bags. I then cut each "M" out and taped it on the plates so they looked just like giant M&Ms. For my kids' M&Ms we actually drew the M&M character faces on. I wanted to do this for each child but it was too time consuming.
The kids ate on picnic blankets on the ground. The tables with food was covered in bright solid colored tablecloths. I decided to make the kids eat first so we could do it while kids were arriving. I had hotdogs all premade and wrapped in bright yellow and green napkins. To keep it simple I just gave each kid a bag of chips and a juicebox. We also had a Make your own Ice cream sundae bar with lots of candy sprinkles. The cake was a rainbow cake made out of cupcakes I got for $10 at meijer's grocery store.
Because I had so many kids I split them up into 3 groups to play the games. I created a life-sized candyland game by cutting up squares out of bristol board. I only made about 30 or so squares. I arranged this "game board" under my pergola (with all the cute decorations). I made a giant spinner using a huge flat flower (garden décor) I got from the dollar store. I cut the different colored bristol board down to size and taped it over each petal. I then took the spinner from our twister game and attached it to the middle of the flower. It looked adorable. The kids played the game in pairs because of time constraints. The winners got to take a piece of candy from the candy buffet.
Next the kids played Cranium Hullaballoo which is a fun color orientated game that we had bought. The kids also played some trampoline games and some of it involved throwing colored balloons around. In between they also ran around played on my swingset and my trampoline.
We also played "Pass the Candy". I made a giant sweet out of a balloon and wrapped it with multiple layers of solid color wrapping paper. This was set to music (just like "Pass the Parcel" and as they unwrapped each layer they had to do something silly. I also used this as a way to line the kids up for the candy buffet. (in hindsight I would have let them go have their turn at the candy buffet while the game was going on instead of making them wait until all the kids were done. The line up was the worst part of the candy buffet)
Finally the highlight of the party was the Candy buffet. The kids got into a line (using the "pass the sweet" game above and I handed each a M&M goody bag. They then got to pick out their candy 5 pieces at a time (so I could make sure I had enough) and went to the back of the line until all the candy was done. The candy buffet was the most fun to create. I browsed a lot of websites and everyone was saying you had to have tons of candy to make a good display. I just couldn't see spending that much on candy.
I ended up using about enough candy to fill a big tin of popcorn. I didn't want to use too many glass containers because I had so many little kids so I got plastic wineglasses from the dollar store plastic bowls anything I could find that was either clear or in a bright primary color. I had lollipops displayed in glasses bundles of sweets in plastic bowls it looked like a huge display. Color was very important. I propped a tabletop up on milk crates so that it was kid height (I did NOT want "accidents"). It cost me really little and it was the "wow" factor of the party. I did not use massive glass jars - smaller containers created a more fun impressive display.
For giveaways they got their goody bag full of candy as well as a box of pick up sticks (fit perfectly in my colorful theme) and colorful bobblehead sharpeners. (These were also used to accent the candy buffet table. It ended up being a lot of work but incredibly fun and relatively simple. I'm not too crafty but managed to pull it off looking fantastic. I think I ended up spending only $100 or so on this party. "
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!