Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Candy Party

Everyone in our family likes sugary treats. But our middle son LOVES them. I have never met a child who can eat candy the way this boy can. So when his birthday rolled around, I knew that a party featuring all his favourite sweets would be a hit with him. And was it ever! You can find our cute invitation here, if you are looking for ideas.

I had my usual fun putting together the festivities.

The Bags:
I kept the treat bags simple, and just added 'I love candy' labels on vibrant paper bags. I used a larger bag than usual since at most of the games the kids would be adding to their treat bags as the party progressed.

The Cake:

I saw my idea for this cake on Pinterest and I loved it. I had planned on making a square cake and buying lots of bulk-bin candies and pressing them into the icing until the cake was completely covered in candy. And I still think that would have been cute. But when I saw the Pinterest cake, I dropped my plans and opted for this. All you do is bake your regular 9" double layer cake, and then after you spread on your icing, you press KitKat bars around the circumference. The KitKat bars are a little taller than the cake, making a nice 'bowl' on the top. Then I poured a party-sized bag of plain m&ms on into my KitKat bowl. The few extras I had, I just scattered around the edge of the cake plate, and I think that looked really sweet. I tied a little blue ribbon around the chocolate bars, which not only looked cute, but kept them from falling down. The only down side to this cake was that it was kind of expensive to decorate. It took 9 KitKat bars to make it around the whole thing, plus the bag of m&ms.

The Decorations:

I found ideas for decorating a Candyland party on the Family Fun website, and while I wasn't throwing a party based on the game, the decorations were easily transferable. This candy is just a paper plate wrapped in cellophane. I made dozens of these in all different colours in an hour. Super cute, super easy.

These over sized lollipop decorations were my favourite. I saved my wrapping paper tubes from this past Christmas and enlisted a couple of friends to save theirs for me too. Then my kids and I worked together to paint them white with just regular craft paint. I blew up assorted colours of balloons, and wrapped them up in cellophane, and voila! Lollipops! I had some in almost every room, and when the party was over a couple of kids asked if they could take one home. Ha!

Fun and Games:

Chocolate Making

We did so many fun things! Our first was to turn our kitchen into a chocolate factory. I bought coloured candy melts at a bulk store and came home and melted them in individual bowls. I got a new package of children's paint brushes and divided them up. (Where possible, I tried to put a matching brush and chocolate together, (ie: red paint brush in the red chocolate) just to help the kids get the right brush back in the right bowl)

At the same store, I purchased plastic candy molds. The kids all got to choose their molds, (some were butterflies, some dinosaurs, some flowers, etc) and then they used the melted chocolate to paint the inside of the molds however they wanted. Once they were done designing their treats, we filled the molds up the rest of the way with regular melted milk chocolate. We did this activity very first because I knew the chocolate would have to have time to set before we could pop them out and put them in their bags, and I didn't want them to not be able to take their creations home. It worked out well, and by the time parents arrived to pick up their kids, the chocolate was firm and ready to go.

Life-Sized Candyland Game

For this game, I went to our craft cupboard and tore out all the colours of the Candyland game board, and then set one up in our home. It wound its way from the kitchen, through the living room, down the stairs, and ended in a great spiral in our play room. At the end of the game I had a bowl of candy popcorn balls, and when each child finished the course, they got to add one to their bag. To play, I just used the cards from our actual Candyland game, and the children themselves were the game pieces.

Licorice Eating Contest

In this game, the kids were put into pairs and given two strings of long, shoe-string-style red licorice. One partner first held up a strand, and the other had to eat their way up to the top of the strand. Then they switched and had a turn doing the other's role. The team that had both strings gobbled up the fastest was the winner.

Pin the Gum in the Gumball Machine

I made a basic, but very cute, gumball machine from felt and white glue. I cut out extra gumballs and the children were blindfolded and had to try to put their gum into the glass ball part of the machine. The great thing about this version of the classic game was that I didn't need any adhesive or tacks to attach their gum to the picture; the felt stuck on its own. (Funny side note - one little party guest saw the game waiting for us in the living room, marched over and was trying to figure out how to get a gumball to get out of the machine. He was trying to turn the felt dial and even asked me for some money to put in. Ha!)

Candy Memory Game - read how to make and play here.

Chocolate Fondue

This was a smash hit! I borrowed a chocolate fountain from a friend and set it up in the kitchen while my husband was managing the candy memory game. I served homemade brownie bites, and marshmallows, as well as the healthier options of strawberries and bananas. The kids went wild and ate until every last morsel had been dipped in warm melted chocolate.

Musical Candy Grab

This game is kind of like musical chairs. I placed prizes in the center of a hula hoop, but only had a couple of bundles available, far less than the number of children playing.

We had them dance to the tune of the Oompa Loompa Song from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie, and when it stopped playing the kids had to scoop up a prize. If they were lucky enough to catch some treats, they were 'out' and put their bundle into their treat bag, and watched as the other children kept playing until everyone had won a prize. We played several rounds until everyone had won.

Since we were going to be playing the game to the tune of a Wonka movie song, I wanted the candy prizes to all be Wonka brand. These are what I found.

I piled them all up and held the bundles together with a length of polka dot ribbon. So cute! I made identical bundles for each child so that there wouldn't be any arguing or hurt feelings over not getting the one they wanted.

Lifesaver Pass

I divided the kids up into two teams to make a race, and each child was given a lollipop to stick into their mouths. Then I slid a lifesaver onto the end of the lollipop stick of the first person in line, and they had to try to pass it down through their team. This was TRICKY but so funny to watch. After the game was over, they all got a package of Lifesavers to add to their stash.

Pixie Stix Drop

This was just a slightly tweaked version of the traditional carnival game of 'clothespin drop.' The children were each given a pixie stix candy and they had to try to drop it into the milk jug at their feet . I had them hold the candy stick at face level before they dropped it to make it more challenging. No bending of knees allowed!

Gumball-in-Spoon Race

Another classic game with a simple candy tweak. Everyone has played an egg-in-spoon race, we just substituted in gumballs for eggs. I gave each child a brightly coloured wooden spoon and a matching gumball. I thought that this way, should more than one gumball fall off and roll away, they could easily find which was theirs, and not mistakenly take another child's.

Candy Bingo

I made up these bingo cards, and replaced the word 'bingo' with 'candy.' It worked out nicely that they both had five letters. I only used numbers 0-10, so that the younger children could identify them when I called out. When we were ready to play, I passed out a handful of smarties chocolates and we used those for our markers. Then when the game was over, they all got to eat them. This game went well for most of the children, but there were a couple who weren't strong on their number or letter recognition skills and they needed some help to play.

Cake Time:

The candles I used were so much fun. They actually burned with different colours of flames. The purple candle had a purple flame, the blue candle had a blue flame, etc. It was so great. One more candle tidbit - the layer of m&ms was so thick that the candles weren't really poking up very high about them, so I stuck them into some gumdrops and put those on the cake. You can't see them, but they are adding some height to my candles. Also in this picture, look at the chocolate milk the kids got to drink with their cake. I dipped the rims of the cups in melted chocolate, and then in sprinkles to give them a candy edge. I thought it was so festive and fun looking.

Candy Shop

I had gone to the bulk store and bought candy, candy, candy. Then I came home, filled up glass jars, and lined them all up on a little table to create my very own candy store. When the kids were done their cake and ice cream, they got to have a turn 'shopping.' They were given a plastic baggie, and told they could fill it up with as much of anything they wanted. I had jelly beans, gum drops, gum balls, sour cherries, lollipops, Giant Whirlypops, gummy worms, Smarties, Reese's Pieces, and licorice ready and waiting for them. Their eyes all got so big when they realized they could pick and choose and there wasn't a limit. Little hands started flying, grabbing fist-fulls of sugar as fast as they could!

Pinata Time

I always do a pinata for my children's parties. They love them. I have had parties where the pinata has been a very time-consuming effort to create something very complex. But not this time. It was a cinch to make a giant candy. Round balloon, paper mache, paint, cellophane. Done. The pinata, of course, was filled with more candy that went straight into their party bags.

Present Time:

Our very last activity at parties is usually the gift opening. I do it last so that the birthday boy or girl doesn't get so distracted by their gifts that they just want to play with their new toys and ignore their friends, or don't want to participate in the party games. So while my son unwrapped his pile of presents, (people are so generous!) his friends opened up the bags they had been filling the entire party long, and munched on a few treats as they watched.

It was a great party, and a huge success. He loved everything, and couldn't stop talking about it for days afterwards.


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  2. Simple to make and beautiful to see. Usually I dont like reading but there are many less blog I go through it in every word. I found your blog too interesting so I read it full. I have Bulk Candy Store and there are some ideas in your blog which can be useful to me.

  3. I'm doing my daughters bday this month candy themed and was struggling with game ideas, thank you soooo much for your post and ideas. Found ya on Pinterest :)

  4. This is such a cool, cute idea! The party games were really useful for a lolly themed youth activity I'm helping to run!

  5. I need candy game ideas!!!
    Please help!!!!!
    - Frantic

  6. I need candy game ideas!!!
    Please help!!!!!
    - Frantic


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