Children’s First Game of Candy Land
Introduced in 1949 by Milton Bradley, the game of Candy Land is still one of children’s most popular first games.
Children learning to play a game for the first time often find themselves on a journey through a wonderful land filled with candy. The game of Candy Land (or Candyland) was invented by Eleanor Abbott in the 1940’s. Along with many children, Abbott was a polio patient at the San Diego hospital at the time. In effort to cheer the children (and herself), she created a game in which would take them all into a fanciful world made up of Peppermint forests, Gumdrop mountains, and Lollipop woods.
Abbott’s game was later picked up by Milton Bradley in 1949 and, today, has become a favorite children’s first game. Since movement for the game doesn’t require any reading, and is extremely simple, young children are able to easily play. They learn the basic gaming skills of taking turns, following rules, and striving towards an objective. By drawing colored cards, children and adults move their pieces along a winding and enjoyable path through a delicious countryside.
Candy Land is considered a race game. Each player competes to reach a final and winning destination first. For the game of Candy Land, the goal is the Candy Castle space where players find the Lost King. All players (today) choose one of four colored gingerbread man pieces. In the original version, player’s pieces were simply colored wooden pawns. Either version, players begin and place their chosen colored pieces on the ‘start space’ and take turns drawing cards.
The cards display an image of one colored square, two colored squares, or a specific location of the board. Players will move their pieces accordingly to the matching spaces found on the board. For example, if a player picks a card showing a ‘red square’, he moves to the next red colored square on the board. Two colored red squares would have players move twice (to the next and then the following red square). If a player picks a location card, he moves his piece to that location on the board.
Candy Land is recommended for ages 3 and up. Young children will quickly learn to recognize colors, move excitedly along the board, hope for the picking of teleport cards (which can be ignored if they involve backward movements) and become cheerful when landing on the shortcuts, like that of Rainbow Trail.
The enticing theme found in the game of Candy Land is welcomed by children and makes playing a game for the first time a pleasurable experience. Once children learn the basics, they will be ready to move on to other fun first games, like Hisss or Go Away Monster. Candy Land is only the beginning of a children’s gaming adventure.