How to Play Candy Land
For generations, boys and girls have enjoyed Candy Land as one of their first board games. The game is color-themed and there is no reading involved, which makes it a good game for young children. The rules are simple and easy to learn, but you can also use slight variations to make the game easier or harder to play.
Part 1Preparing to Play
To set up the Candy Land board, unfold it and place it on your playing surface. Make sure that you place the board somewhere that everyone can reach it. A large table or a carpeted floor make good playing surfaces.
Make sure that all of the cards are facing down so no player can see what they will pick up off the top of the deck. Place the cards somewhere central so that all players will be able to reach them.
The game comes with four gingerbread character pawns. Each player should choose one of these gingerbread pawns and place it on the start square of the Candy Land board.
Have all of the players announce their birthdays to determine who is the youngest player. That player gets to go first and then play passes to the left. Keep the turns moving in a clockwise fashion throughout the entire game.
Part 2Playing the Game
At the start of your turn, draw a card and check to see what is on it. Each card will either have one color square, two color squares, or a picture. Each of these cards allows you to do something different on your turn.
One color square: Move your pawn to the first color space on the board that matches the color square on the card you have drawn. Two color squares: Move your pawn to the second color space on the board that matches the color square on the card you have drawn. Picture: Move your pawn forward OR backward to the picture square that matches the picture card you have drawn.
There are two shortcuts on the board that will allow you to move ahead faster if you land on one of these special spaces. The two shortcuts are located on Rainbow Trail and Gumdrop Pass.
The shortcut space on Rainbow Trail is orange and the one on Gumdrop Pass is yellow. If you land on one of these spaces, follow the shortcut path upwards to the space above it. You must land on the exact space to use a shortcut. You may not use a shortcut if you are just passing by it.
There are three licorice spaces on the board. If you land on one of these spaces, then you lose a turn. Keep in mind that you do not lose a turn if you are just passing by a licorice space. You must land on the exact space to lose a turn.
The first player who reaches the multi-colored rainbow space at the end of the board has made it to the candy castle. The player who makes it to the candy castle first wins the game!
If you are playing with very young children, then you can use a rule variation that allows players to discard any cards that would send them backwards on the board. If a child draws a card that would send his or her gingerbread pawn backwards instead of forwards, then that child may simply discard the card and draw a new one.
If you are playing with older children or adults, then you can use a rule variation that allows players to draw two card per turn and choose which one to use. This variation adds an element of strategy to the game play. Players draw two cards per turn, select one to use and then discard the other card.