Monday, January 14, 2008

speed candyland

So the other day my sister and I were talking about things we would like to buy or have bought for our kids because it's something we wanted as a child. We were discussing how we were always enchanted with those huge stuffed animals, but they were always too expensive to get. Now days those big bears with puffy fur are still expensive, but not astronomical and my sister says she has to curb her appetite for plush every time she passes a cute one, especially if it's on sale.

One thing I wanted to own was Candyland. I didn't really know the game. I just loved the bright multi-colored path the little gingerbread men traveled along. And so, when the day came that I had little girls old enough, little girls who had learned their colors (almost) I bought it.

I must admit, there are times that I have greatly regretted that purchase.

I'm going to be brutally honest here: Candyland is unbelievably slow and quite boring. It has a close rival with Chutes and Ladders, which has the potential to be n e v e r e n d i n g, which in my mind, is not a good quality in a game that has no other objective than to get to the end. And so it was with Candyland. And so I devised a way to get through the colored tiles of the sugared empire. Enter Speed Candyland.

Here are the rules:
Take all of the cards and divide them up into 3 piles; 2 squares, 1 square and the character cards. Slide the character cards underneath the rug. They are fun to look at, but ultimately cause too much delay. Take the single square cards and place them underneath the 2 square cards and commence. If you can at all help it, have your child go first and 'let' them draw the double orange card, which gets them over the first shortcut and off to the races.

I find if I am getting too far ahead of my child, I will 'draw' a single card from the bottom of the pile. Because I hold the pile of cards, this is easy to accomplish. I can get away with this because our cards are so beat up, they don't really stack on each other. Also, I wield a little power around here because I am the mom.

If these rules sound unkind and manipulative to you, that's fine. Go ahead and play the regular way and more power to you. For myself, I've found it enormously helpful in my desire to play the game, which is helpful for my relationship with my children. Also, the faster pace makes it possible for me to even sit through sometimes two or three games! I know, I have a short attention span, I guess. (Probably from spending too much time on the computer or something).


  1. Yup, I'll cheat at Candyland and throw the game. I won't cheat to win of course but I'll cheat to lose just to get it over. Now the game du jour is Stratego. I can't ever win.

  2. Brilliant!

    I always wanted to own Monopoly. I was cured of it after I spent a whole evening (on a date) with a couple who were so into the game they wouldn't let us leave until they owned all the property and had all our money. Now, if you can invent a speed Monopoly, I would go out today and buy it.

  3. I really really don't like Candyland. I love the tips for Speed Candyland. I will definitely try it!

  4. Thankyou for those tips!
    Now, how to get Sorry to go faster!
    Although, I can't complain too much, we played 2 board games as a family on New Year's Eve (Sorry and a mythical creature version of Clue)and I won both games!
    It was a good chance to teach being a good loser and a good winner. :)

  5. I'll have to do some thinking for Monopoly- although we used to just divide up all the properties from the get go and that helped speed things up, but it wasn't as fun.

    As for Sorry, at our house you get two players, not four. And (are you suprized?) I stack the high numbers first sometimes, and hide the sorry cards!

  6. I don't like games, but I end up playing often and hope to get beat soundly and quickly... so I love your rules. :)

  7. I love this way of playing. I would always hide the character cards as well. Now that my kids are all older and the grandbaby will be ready in a few years, I'll keep these rules handy.

  8. Okay. This is awesome and diabolical. I do something similar but not nearly as thorough. I take the character cards and put them in the order of the board so you never have to go back. Then I put them in at random in the top third of the deck so we move up quickly. I'm not nearly nice enough to intentionally lose though. If lady luck puts me ahead, then it was meant to be.