Yesterday was our Life-Sized – not “life-seized” as I posted on Wednesday; proofreading’s dumb – Candyland and it was a success! We have been planning this for a few months with our Volunteen Advisory Board (VAB). In the fall, we asked them if they wanted to put on a life-sized board game for little kids and they thought Candyland would be really fun. I had seen a few libraries that had done it on Pinterest and was especially inspired by the Villa Park Library, the Wayne County Library, and Teen Librarian Toolbox’s roundup of live action games for this event. Thanks all for your great ideas! So we’ve been working on it in our VAB meetings since December. Sadly, a lot of the VAB kids who started working on it weren’t able to make it but it still was a great success!

We had six amazing teen volunteers who came to help us set up and run the program and about a dozen or more kids who played through the game. Tuesday Clare made the lollipops and I spent Wednesday morning doing final crafting while Clare graciously covered my desk shift. Thursday afternoon we scrambled to assemble it. Clare made signs and did the whole layout and finishing touches.

I was up here for like 3 hours working on it Wednesday.
I was up here for like 3 hours working on it Wednesday.
Lollipop/Peppermint forests; ice cream sea; assorted candies.
Lollipop/Peppermint forests; ice cream sea; assorted candies.

Despite the fact that this was a lot of work, it wasn’t really that expensive in the grand scheme of things. We used a lot of craft supplies that we had lying around the teen office like cotton batting from a summer program for the fluffy ice cream sea waves, some balloons, wrapping paper roll wrappers from coworkers, wigs and hats we had, and costumes we brought in ourselves. We had our Volunteen Advisory Board members make the game path/tiles out of construction paper and the cardboard rectangles that come in our book deliveries. For the craft supplies that we purchased it was the cellophane for wrapping, jars and modeling clay to hold up the lollipops, and plates for the peppermints. I wasn’t keeping track but I’d say we maybe spent like $75/85? Not too bad for a bigger, more elaborate program.

We used a house the Children's room had an candy-fied it.
We used a haunted house the Children’s room had (that’s why the window says, “ahh!”) and candy-fied it. That’s Clare in the background in her daughter’s old prom dress and my Effie Trinket wig!

We didn’t have all of the locations and characters from Candyland but we did have the Lollipop Woods, Peppermint Forest (couldn’t these be combined, Candyland?), the Candy Castle, the Ice Cream Sea, and Gloppy, the molasses swamp creature of nightmares. I think our Gloppy is pretty cute though:

Made with boxes, chairs, an old brown blanket, and construction paper eyes. Easy peasy.
Made with boxes, chairs, an old brown blanket, and construction paper eyes. Easy peasy.

We had teens dressed up as Princess Lolly (with my senior prom dress making a cameo!), King Candy, Lord Licorice, and Queen Frostine played by Beth, our head of Children’s Services who is amazing and helped with the little kids, and then Clare, my spectacular fellow teen librarian. I offered but they beat me to it! I also made the gingerbread me-me* cutouts for the kids to wear as they played.

I didn't have any parents' permission to post these so everyone gets candy faces!
I didn’t have any parents’ permission to post these so everyone gets candy faces! Princess Lolly is in the yellow dress next to the Lollipop Woods. Gloppy and Leah, who is passing out the deck of cards, and the ice cream sea are in the background.

It was a great time. It made this week a bit stressful between the TARDIS-building Wednesday and this yesterday but it was really fun. I think the kids and teens had a good time and it did look really cute. A lot of staff members including our boss and administration said that it was cute and that we did a nice job. That’s always nice to hear!

Happily I’m off today since I’m working tomorrow. I was pretty exhausted yesterday after all of the prep and running around.

If you’re thinking of doing this or another life-sized board game at your library I’d say go for it. We are going to save a lot of it so we can do it again. Just make sure you have enough time and help to pull it off. It doesn’t have to be costly; you can do a lot with paper, cellophane, and some general crafting supplies!

So get going. You’ll have a blast!

*I always called the things you move around the board in “Sorry!” and other games me-mes. I’m not sure how Child Anna would spell that but that makes sense. I asked my board game expert boyfriend what they are usually called and he said tokens or “meeples.” “Meeple?” I’ll like with me-me.

2 thoughts on “Candyland!

  1. This is the best ever! Since Ethan loves candyland right now, I love this idea even more. What a great event. Probably you could take it on the road to children’s birthday parties and make back that $75 too 😉

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