Beyond King Candy’s Land: Board & Card Games

  by Andrew Wolgemuth

This isn’t a post about Candyland.

Well … maybe it is. Gaming with your kid/s has to begin somewhere after all. Candyland seems to be a starting place for many of us, though hopefully your time journeying to King Candy’s castle is brief for the rainbow road through the land of sweets and treats is bland and dry.

Yet it’s a start: even Candyland communicates the key gaming idea of “your turn … now my turn … now your’s.” Kids also pick up on the concept of moving one’s piece along a specific route. And the glory and acclaim of arriving first in King Candy’s remarkable (if unrealistic) fortress teaches the thrill of victory (and the pain of losing).

But – ah! – the fun of moving on to new gaming adventures! There’s so much more to the world than Gramma Nutt, Jolly, Princess Frostine, Lord Licorice, and the other ninnies that inhabit that sucrose-laden rainbow path ramble.

Once I realized that my girls were capable of games beyond Candyland, there was much rejoicing.

Once I realized that my girls were capable of games beyond Candyland, there was much rejoicing. And that’s why this post isn’t (mainly) about Candyland. This is a post about all that lies beyond the land of candy and licorice traps … there’s a great deal of options out there.

For those days when outdoor activities are out, for those times when the TV needs to be on the DL, for low-key fun that just might teach numbers, strategery, and healthy competition, board and card games are tough to beat. In the days to follow, we’re going to highlight our favorites (such as Snail’s Pace Race for beginners and Yahtzee for a slightly older crowd), note what skills they require and teach, and hope that some fun results in your household (as it has in ours’).


Postscript: Board & card games can’t zap energy like an obstacle course, of course.

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Photo by Laura Burkholder. Used by permission.