For some boys and girls, Candy Land is their first board game. The game is color-themed and does not involve reading, which is great for young children. The rules of the game are simple and easy to learn. However, you can also make variations that are more difficult for adults to play.
Part 1 of 2: Preparing for the Game
Step 1. Prepare the board
To prepare the Candy Land board, open it and spread it out on a flat surface. Make sure the board is placed where all players can reach. A large table or carpeted floor can be a great playing surface.
Step 2. Shuffle the cards and stack
Make sure all cards are face down so that no player can see the contents of the card at the top of the pile. Place the card in the center so that all players can reach it.
Step 3. Place the gingerbread pawns in the square
The Candy Land board usually includes four gingerbread character pawns. Each player selects a gingerbread pawn and places it in the starting box on the Candy Land board.
Step 4. Let the youngest player start first
Ask all players to state their birthday to find out who the youngest player is. That player has the right to play first, then the turn continues to the player to his left. Continue turning clockwise throughout the game.
Part 2 of 2: Playing the Game
Step 1. Take a card and move the pawn to the nearest color
At the start of your turn, take a card and look at its contents. Each card will have one color square, two color squares, or an image. Each of these cards allows you to do something different in a turn.
- One color square: Move the pawn to the nearest color square on the board that is the same color as the drawn card.
- Two color squares: Move the pawn to the nearest second color square on the board that is the same color as the drawn card.
- Draw: Move the pawn forward OR back towards the picture box on the board that matches the picture on the drawn card.
Step 2. Take shortcuts whenever possible
There are two shortcuts on the board that let you move faster if a pawn lands in one of these special spaces. These two shortcuts are at the Rainbow Trail and Gumdrop Pass.
- The shortcut boxes on the Rainbow Trail are orange and those on the Gumdrop Pass are yellow. If you land in one of these spaces, follow the shortcut up to the box above it.
- You have to land exactly in the shortcut box to be able to use the path. You can't wear it if you're just passing through.
Step 3. Forfeit your turn if you land on a licorice box
There are three squares of licorice on the board. If you land on one of these boxes, it means you lose your turn. However, your turn is not forfeited if you just pass this box. You have to land exactly on the licorice box to lose your turn.
Step 4. Continue until you reach the finish
The first player to reach the multicolored rainbow square at the end of the board makes it to Candy Castle. The first player to reach Candy Castle wins the game!
Step 5. Make games easier for young children
If you are playing with very young children, feel free to use a variation of the rule that allows players to discard all cards that make them move backwards on the board. If the child draws a card that causes the pawn to move backwards instead of forward, discard the card and draw a new card.
Step 6. Add complexity to the game for adult players
If you are playing with a person or child who is old enough, feel free to use a variation that allows players to draw two cards per turn. Choose one card to use and discard the other.