This game has been a classic for generations, and with good cause. From my point of view, as a mom who bought Candy Land for my son before he turned three, it's one of the better games for young children. It's not even about the candy--it's about kids being able to follow the game at a fairly young age.
Many board games for small kids, like Chutes and Laddes, require counting knowledge. They include a spinner and numbered spaces. Now that my son is age four he can count and recognize most numbers, but Chutes and Ladders can be confusing because the board zigs and zags back and forth, and the only way you know which way the path goes is because the spaces are numbered. Now my son can read the number 65 but he can't quite figure out that 66 is the next number in the sequence, and that means he needs a lot of assistance playing Chutes and Ladders. This makes the game more trying for me and less of a confidence-builder for him.
Candy Land, on the other hand, doesn't require anything like that. It features cards with colors on them, and it doesn't take much for kids to realize that their marker goes on the next colored space. They can learn this pretty quickly. Candyland does require some thinking skills, but not enough to make the learning curve difficult for the little ones. My son got the game just before he turned three and was able to play it right away with very little help from us.
My son loves getting the card that will take him onto the Rainbow Trail, or getting one of the "candy" cards that shoots you forward or takes you back. It's an easy game to play and learn, and because it's usually not too long it doesn't tax your child's attention span (or yours) too much. On the other hand, it does seem to help them stay in one place for longer than you might expect and focus on one thing.
Another nice thing about Candy Land for parents is that you can lose a few pieces without losing the sense of the game. If you lose a card or two, it's not that big a deal. If you lose all the "candy" cards it might be harder, but to date I haven't had that problem, even in hotels where you borrow a game from the front desk and expect cards to be missing.
By the way, for those of you who really haven't played the game since you were kids--today, you can get the game in numerous licensed iterations (Diego the Animal Rescuer, etc.) These are usually a few dollars more expensive than the regular version, which does have updated graphics and markers from the game some of us knew as kids. Also, the game is celebrating its 60th anniversary this fall with the release of the Candy Land: Sweet Celebration version.
Overall, Candy Land makes a nice gift for small kids because although many games say they're suitable for ages 3 and up, this is a game actual three-year-olds can play and enjoy.
Candy Land was always one of my favorite childhood games. I used to love how you would go through all sorts of different type of Candy Towns and meet all the Candy Land residents. Sadly though, I wish I hadn't played it a few months ago, because playing it now pretty much killed my childhood memories. I was babysitting two boys a few months ago and we finally decided to play the game Candy Land. Inside, I was so excited. I hadn't played the game in YEARS! Honestly, I couldn't … more
I am a part-time freelance writer and full-time mother living in the Chicago suburbs. My life is fairly boring by hipster standards, as it consists mainly of avoiding the grocery store, cleaning up after … more
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Candy Land, is a simple racing board game. It has become a cultural icon in the US, where it is among the first board games played by children because it requires no ability to read and only minimal counting skills.