Chalk Candyland

Hey, I woke up early, I get to schedule a post! This is sort of an ‘art activity’. For us it was an art activity and a party game. Rebecca is now 5! OMG! This is where I’m supposed to post pictures of her as a new born and a 5yo, but personally I think newborns look like alien larva. Was that the sound of 100 people unsubscribing? I realize I am deficient in some baby hormone, but I love my little parasites very much! They are the center of everything I do these days, so maybe I should upgrade them to symbiotes! Sidetrack! I should just leave these things out, right?

Back on track.

For the Board:
Materials – $4 enormous bin of sidewalk chalk (you really need at least 4 sticks of every color for a good sized board, and I was doing skimpy scribble coloring for many squares.)

Time – This probably took us a couple hours of mixed lazy/focused drawing with some kids helping in interesting ways.

Board Construction – I drew a wiggly line, then went down it drawing outline boxes of the appropriate color, wedge shaped around the tighter curves and generally wonky approximate squares. I was aiming for about 18″ which is a nice size to stand in the middle of. After I drew the whole board in outline we worked on coloring it in. It took a while. Towards the end my husband started drawing in monochrome spirals and checker boards and stripes. Rebecca started making short-cuts. It was her birthday so I just let her handle that part of the game design. There was one that went from square 5 to just about the end, woo!

To play you also need colored dice or spinners or something – We bought a bag of little wood cubes, put them all on the table and put a blotch of red on each side. Then mom turned them all over to another side and somebody put a blotch of a different color on that side. Repeat.

Game Play:::: I wanted this to be something the kids could play in parallel without having shove-y competitive races. So everyone had their own die, and they rolled and moved along to the next matching colored square at their own speed, there was no turn taking, and whenever you got to the end you got a prize. Everyone was starting at different times, whenever they showed up to the party, so that was another factor that cut down on the competitive factor. Which was a factor for me since I wanted to make something that under-5′s would all enjoy with minimum tears since it was a birthday party. Practicing loosing is great at home (fast turn over and repeat games like tic-tac-toe really help) but our preschool teacher says that kids aren’t really developmentally ready to handle loosing until 8.

The prize!!! At the end was my husband the Candy King, complete with his ring pops and his chest of candy treasure, mostly ring-pops and candy necklaces, mixed in with Mardi Gras beads we got thrown at us in New Orleans. The kids got to take any one thing out of the chest. The candy was the more powerful motivator. Some kids went around and around, but the whole board probably took them 5-15 minutes depending on age and concentration (and whether they insisted on throwing the dice 15 feet away…), so the actual sugar consumption was not that high. It was fun though!

The real candy consumption came at the end with the candy catapult. Coming up soon?

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