Many of you asked about how I ended up creating my very own version of Advent Candyland. Truthfully, I don't know if there is another version out there. But, this is the one that I imagined. If you love it and choose to use it, please leave a comment and let me know.
I'm using this as a teaching tool to explain the symbols of the season of Advent so that our kids can look for signs of God coming into their world. I'll start this conversation by talking about road signs which remind drivers to pay attention to certain things while they drive. The symbols of the Advent season are the same idea. They alert us to stay awake to God being revealed to us. Using the insight from Symbols of Faith, I am using symbols that include a manger, a star, an angel and a candle. I will use these symbols in my Children's Sermons during the season. I already wrote one for the candle reflecting this week's Gospel Lesson.
The Game Board.
Using brightly colored paper, I used the road signs symbols and the Advent symbols to create a laminated game board connected by yarn (which simply makes it easy to set up and easy to store). I am grateful for the magic of the xerox machine that made this an easy process. As you can see, it's a flexible game board.
I plan on purchasing gingerbread cookies to use as game pieces (you know, like the game). If I was really good, I would bake cookies but that might poison the children. We will share some sweets though. Rest assured.
The various symbols are interspersed with colorful question marks (the same colors as the brightly colored paper). These are for the trivia aspect of the game, which you can read about below. The bulk of these questions came from the Joy Game in Burlap and Butterflies, which is sadly out of print. I do however recommend it.
How To Play.
As with the game of our childhood, the children will draw cards with one or two colored squares. If there is one blue square, they move on the game board to the first blue square. If there are two blue squares on the card, they move to the first blue square and then continue to the next blue square. It is the end of their turn and the next team plays. (This is planned for a full room of kids, so we will play in teams.)
If the child lands on a question mark, they get a trivia question. If the team answers correctly, they stay where they are (because they have to wait) but if they get the question wrong, the move backward to the color in the question mark. So, if they land on a purple question mark and answer incorrectly, they would move backwards to the first purple square behind the purple question mark. In addition, there are four colorful Advent symbols. At these points, we will stop together and read the prophetic readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. Game play continues after we hear these prophetic words.
The game is over when the first team reaches the end of the board. Everyone will celebrate. It will be great fun.