Candyland Party -1yr- Gameboard Cake
Rael in Grayslake, IL USA
I came up with the idea to have a Candy Land party when I was brainstorming for a way to incorporate my son's name, Andy, into a theme. Thus, Andy Land was born! My goal was to make a life-sized candy land while at the same time celebrating Andy's first year. There were a few kids under the age of two, but most of the kids, including my daughter were 3, so a candy land theme worked great for all ages.
Invitation: I made the invitation myself on the computer. I scanned the candy land logo off of the box and removed the C" to make Andy Land. I found a candy land background showing the path candy etc off of Hasbro's website. The left edge had squares in red purple orange blue yellow green and pink to represent the path and give the invitation a finished look. The invitation read "Someone sweet is turning one. Come to Andy Land for treats and fun!" I printed the invitations on 4x6 photo paper. I used candy cane stickers on the envelopes.
Decorations: The main decoration was the game itself. I wanted to make the whole room (we rented a multipurpose room) into a life-size game. For the path I trimmed construction paper into squares (Save the scraps. I'll tell you why later). I was able to find a good deal on the paper at a store with teacher supplies. I brought the game cards with me to match the colors exactly. Most of the colors came in a primary colors pack and I bought the pink magenta (purple) and tan (to make peanut gingerbread ice cream cone) separately. Since the cost of laminating is so expensive I found a roll of clear self-adhesive contact paper online. It was very time consuming but I laminated every square (around 130) separately. This was important to me so they didn't rip as the kids walked on them. Also I wanted to be able to use them again.
The pink squares were fun to make. I used different colors of paper and glitter for the gingerbread man candy cane gumdrop peanut lollipop and ice cream cone. I also made special squares for the licorice spots and the rainbow square for the end. I used easel paper to paint a rainbow trail and I used leftover construction paper to make the arrow signs for each area like peppermint forest lollipop woods etc. To secure the squares to the floor I used double sided tape (Sam's Club sells in a big pack). For the gingerbread tree I used my own ficus tree and decorated it with sparkly purple ornaments from Hobby Lobby and gingerbread ornaments which I made from leftover tan construction paper.
For the peppermint forest I borrowed candy cane lawn ornaments from my neighbor and stuck them in red and green beach buckets filled with sand. I hid the sand with snow blanket. I found the buckets at Michael's Christmas section. The party was in November so there was a lot of Christmas stuff to choose from. For the gumdrop mountains I covered KFC buckets with white paper painted them and then glued white glitter on them to make them look sugary. To represent peanut acres I decided to make Baz (Gramma Nut's dog). I bought a basket and lined it with a red bandana (the bandana also makes the ears and tail of the dog). I hot glued felt foam and pipe cleaners to make the dog's face. I filled the basket with Nutter Butter cookies and circus peanuts. For the lollipop woods I found wooden lawn stakes with wooden circles attached (Michael's). They were on major clearance because they were actually sold as a Halloween craft for painting witches and pumpkins. I painted the circles in bright colors and the stakes in white. I stuck the lollipops in sand buckets as well. I used a small chocolate fountain (bought online) to represent the chocolate swamp. I put it on a round table so the path could go around it.
The cake table and the baby's high chair were in the snow flake lake area of the game. I also hung paper snowflakes from the ceiling. I was going to use the snow blanket and a bubble machine to make it more snowy looking but I ran out of time. When you rent a room the set-up time goes quickly!
For the Kandy Castle I used a play tent and filled it with ball-pit balls to make it look like gumballs. I hung a metallic purple curtain (from a party store) in front of the tent. I even had a baby version of the candy land game for my son. I made a small path off in the corner with foam squares and threw some candy-like toys on the path like a lollipop drum (we own from Kindermusik) and a ball-popper walking toy. I had a toy castle at the end of the baby path. He mostly played with the gumdrops in the big game anyway! I had the Candy Land game board out on the cake table along with candy of course! I used bunches of balloons in the colors of the path as centerpieces weighed down with bags of gumballs. I used solid table cloths in orange blue pink and green. The plates and napkins were red blue and green (Christmas colors were on sale). I dedicated one wall to the birthday boy. I cut 6 pieces of poster board in half and used the leftover scraps of colored construction paper (from the game squares) to create mattes for my son's pictures.
So for each month of my son's first year there were one or two pictures on what looked like giant candy land playing cards. They were hung in order from 1-12 months. Above the cards I hung banner letters that spelled Andy Land. These are the letters that hook together with brads. My local party store sells them by the letter so you can make custom banners. This wall was probably my favorite part of the party décor.
Activities: When the kids arrived at the party I had them decorate their own treat bags for the game. I bought a baker's dozen of white bags (Michael's). Before the party I stenciled their names on the bags using a candy cane letter stencil with red and pink markers to make it look like the candy land logo. I cut out red green blue and yellow gingerbread men to look like the game pieces (a cookie cutter makes a good stencil). The kids glued on whatever gingerbread men they wanted and also used foam candy stickers.
For party music I made a playlist of candy songs like Sugar Sugar and Lollipop etc.
Game: We played Candy Land of course! We used the real playing cards for taking turns. When the kids got to a pink square they got real candy for their bag. They got a homemade gingerbread cookie at the gingerbread tree a candy cane in the peppermint forest gumdrops in the gumdrop mountains licorice at the licorice squares nutter butters and circus peanuts in peanut acres lollipops (Oriental Trading) in the lollipop woods marshmallow ice cream cones at the ice cream square. When they made it to the castle they got a gold paper crown (purchased at a party store). They ended up going in the castle to eat their treats right away which was funny and made for some great pictures! I also had candy land bingo and a pinata shaped like the number one. We didn't have time for either and they certainely didn't need more candy!
Costumes: The birthday boy wore a shirt with a gingerbread boy on it. My daughter wore a cute pink dress with a gingerbread boy and girl. I even found a vintage candy land shirt for myself on Ebay. I made a King Kandy hat for the birthday boy by hot gluing purple satin gem embellishments and faux fur to a gold paper crown. He wore the crown during the cake smash.
Party Snacks: We had pizza salad and breadsticks delivered to make it easy. We had snacks for dipping in the chocolate fountain too like marshmallows Oreos strawberries angelfood cake and pretzels.
Cake: The cake was so fun to decorate and it looked just like the game board! I had a bakery make a ½ sheet cake and frost it light green. I also had them pipe on white frosting in the upper and lower right corners to represent the peppermint forest and ice cream mountains. I made the path myself out of fondant. You can buy it premade in the candy land colors. A tiny square fondant cutter was very handy too. I used mini candy canes peppermints gumdrops lollipops peanut brittle circus peanuts licorice gingerbread men sprinkles M&M's and skittles. I used a big Hershey's kiss to make Gloppy. I made the castle out of graham crackers candy and a sugar cone upside down. I also put two of the plastic game pieces on the path.
Favors: The kids had lots of candy to take home but they also got a Candy Land coloring book a plastic gingerbread man cocoa mug (Oriental Trading) a peppermint tambourine (Oriental Trading) and a foam gingerbread ornament craft to make at home (Hobby Lobby).
There is so much you can do with a Candy Land theme. Everyone had a great time including the birthday boy! The best part is that we can play it again even if it's in the driveway at summertime! Though this was for a one-year old it could be used for many ages. "
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