The following post is by Kathy Simmons from Nanny Services

Candyland is probably the simplest candylandboard game that exists.

It is made for very young children, and as long as it has been around, young children have been enjoying the fun it provides.

There are several reasons for Candyland’s ongoing popularity.

  1.  Bright colors – Red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple; these six basic colors make up the squares on the path that winds across the board from start to finish. The images surrounding the path contain those same bright colors that kids love.
  2. ‘Sweet’ images – It is ‘Candyland’, after all. The board is covered with images of lollipops, candy canes, gumdrops and sugar coated sweet things of many varieties. There are also several special places along the path that are designated with their own sweet images and pulling a card from the stack with the matching image will move you to that ‘sweet spot’. Just looking at it could give you a sugar rush.
  3. Shortcuts – As just mentioned in No. 2, pulling out a card with a sweet image on it allows you to move immediately to that space, which can either move you quickly ahead or quickly backwards. Uncertainty about what card will come up on your turn is part of the fun-filled anticipation of the game.
  4. Equal opportunity – Candyland is not a game of skill, like checkers. Every player has the same equal opportunity of winning regardless of their age or education. An adult doesn’t have to ‘let the kid win’; the kids have just as good of a chance of winning as an adult does.
  5. No counting – Many board games require at least counting skills to move around the board. Even small children who do not know how to count the spaces as they move can play Candyland; all you need to know is your colors.
  6. No reading – There are no words on any of the cards that are drawn from the pile; there are only blocks of color or images that match an image on the board. This is just another plus for preschoolers who want to be able to play board games like their older siblings or parents.
  7. Two or more players – Candyland can be played with only two players or it can accommodate a small group of players, and it is just as much fun with two as it is with four. This means that a single child only needs one parent or one other child to be able to play.
  8. Short and quick – Small children have short attention spans. Candyland caters to this by making the path to victory short and sweet. (Pardon the pun!) Preschoolers would much rather play a short game over and over than to play a game that takes an hour or more to reach the finish.
  9. No adults required – This is a factor about the game that both adults and kids appreciate; kids can play this game easily without any help at all from adults. There is no complicated assembly and it is easy enough for one child to explain it to another.
  10. Simple rules – The rules to the game are very simple and easy to remember and follow. 1. Players take turns. 2. On your turn you draw one card from the pile of cards. 3. One colored square on the card means move to the next square of that color on the path. Two colored squares means that you move your marker to first one and then the next square of the color on the card. A picture card means that you move your card to that picture on the path. 4. The first one whose marker reaches the end of the path is the winner.

 Candyland is not likely to ever lose its place in the world of preschoolers.

There is not a more perfect way to introduce preschoolers to board games than Candyland.




Is Biting Normal for Preschoolers?

During his preschool years, my younger brother would bite his brothers and sisters. He bit us when we wouldn’t give him what he wanted. Unfortunately for my parents, he also would bite the neighbor’s children, kids in the playground, and just about anyone  when he didn’t get his own way.

In those days, a biter was considered a troubled child whose parents did not know how to control him.  By the time he was three he had a reputation in our neighborhood. As he would approach the playground with my mother, other mother’s would grab their kids and move to a different play area.

My parents were mortified by his biting and at a loss to get him to stop. Our pediatrician was called into the situation and was also at a loss to know why this bright, friendly, otherwise likeable boy would resort to biting.  All kinds of behavior modifiers were tried, including making his brothers and sisters bite him back. Nothing worked. Then, he stopped. Just a month before he started Pre-K…he stopped biting and he never bit anyone again!

The other day I came across an article by Dr. Som, a pediatrician, whose posts I’ve referenced in past blogs. My mother and father would have been so relieved to have read her article about preschoolers and biting.

So…for all of you who may be worried about a preschooler who bites here is an excerpt from Dr. Som’s post that will put preschool biting in perspective and hopefully put your minds at ease.

Biting is very natural and all children around the age of 12 months begin to experiment with biting Mom or Dad. Then they might try biting siblings or friends. The behavior peaks around 24 months and then declines. Three year old children rarely bite because they have gained social competence and the language skills to mediate frustration.

Please know that all children bite. No matter how you handle the behavior, your child will outgrow it by three years old. How you react may affect how quickly the behavior stops.

To nip it in the bud

  • A simple, “biting hurts” will do. Nobody should be called bad. No shouting.
  • Give affection and attention to the child that was bitten.
  • Briefly ignore the biter. Time out may not be necessary as ignoring the child sends a clear message that biting is an antisocial behavior.
  • Let the biter say sorry or hug the person he has hurt.
  • Anticipate biting and offer distraction or offer words that the child can use instead.
  • If the skin is broken, see your doctor about the need for antibiotics or a tetanus shot. Usually soap, lots of water, and maybe a cool compress are all you need.
  • Choose a daycare with good staffing ratios, at least one adult to four children for toddlers. A quality provider engages the children, minimizes boredom, recognizes fatigue and understands that biting happens.

Biting is almost never a sign of abnormal development in an otherwise normal child.

Visit Dr. Som’s site at


The 3 S’s of Preschool

In her article on the 3 S’s of Preschool, Tracy Rasmussen identifies three skills important to a child’s functioning in preschool: Self-care, Sitting Still and Sharing. These are not academic subjects; these are life skills that help a child fit in, get on with other children and do well in a new environment.

Ms. Rasmussen suggests practicing with your child by having him or her sit for short periods of time at home such as when having a snack or being told a story. Story time is a good time to introduce sitting in a circle.

Play dates are a good way for children to practice sharing. If children have older siblings, they are used to the idea of having to share…they may not like it, but it is not a new concept for them.  Only children often are not faced with sharing on a regular basis until school. Time in the playground, park or frequent play dates is where they can practice sharing.

Self care, especially being able to put on one’s coat, jacket or sweater without assistance, is a tremendous help to the teacher, as well as giving a child a sense of independence. When a teacher has to help most of the children in the class with their clothing that cuts into teaching time and  play time as well.

To read Ms. Rasmussen’s article in its entirety, please visit:


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