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  • Madeleine C.

Medical Candyland

Through this craft, adolescents and older school-aged participants become more in tune with how they make individual decisions related to their medical situations. They create and play their very own version of a familiar childhood board game, Candyland, with a twist! By adding advocacy-based questions at certain points in the game, players will be challenged to speak on their ability to make their own decisions.

Introduction Paragraph:

Let’s play a game! Together we will design your own medical version of Candyland. This game will take you back to the simple days of playing this fun, engaging childhood game, while also aiding your confidence when given various medical scenarios. This game will challenge you to be confident in having your voice heard and help you to reflect on the ways that you can make individual decisions.


  • Notecards

  • Markers

  • One large sheet of paper

  • Coins

Before we begin, let’s make sure your workspace is ready to go with your materials. You will need some notecards, markers, coins, and one large sheet of paper. Place these on a flat surface.

Step 1: First, take a large sheet of paper. We will be using this as the board for the game! Just as in Candyland, we need to start by creating a path with colored spaces for our players to travel. Rotate through your colored markers, and randomly design a path. Along this path, be sure to add a few bridges and label them as you like. For example, in Candyland there is a bridge called “Gumdrop Pass”, which I incorporated by making a “Recovery Road”. Instead of a Candyland castle, I drew a hospital. You have the freedom to choose what to name your bridges, the starting point, the ending point, and whatever else you want to add to make it relevant to your own medical experience

Step 2: Then, we will need to make our own color cards which will tell us what color to move to as players in the game. Let’s begin by using our notecards and labeling each with a color, and below, how many spaces of this color to move. For example, making a card labeled “pink” and then two pink squares below, means you move up two pink spaces on the board. Tip: I would suggest making about 5 cards for each color on the board, varying how many squares you put below the color. This depends on how many spaces you have on your board, but you can always reshuffle if you run out of cards!

Step 3: Next, to make this game more reflective of advocating for yourself in your medical journey, we are going to create an addition to this game that Candyland does not already have. Choose one color - I chose red - to be the “scenario question” color. This means that when any player pulls a red card, they have to pick a special “scenario question card”, and must answer this question before moving forward to the next red space. Because I chose red as the scenario question color, I am going to put an asterisk on the red cards and state “grab scenario card”. Your color cards should now be finished!

Step 4: Next, let’s design our scenario questions. As humans, we make decisions everyday. In some ways, this is us advocating on behalf of what we want or don’t want. The scenario questions in this game are based on medical situations, and they will challenge you to decide what you would do if you were placed in this situation. So, in this step, try to brainstorm a few scenarios in medical settings, where you, as the patient, may have to make a decision on your own. Write down these scenarios on notecards. The scenario cards are what a player takes before they can move to the red squares on the board. Example scenario: You are nervous for an upcoming blood draw this afternoon. You do not like the sight of blood. Who could you ask for support or in ways could you prepare to be more confident going into this procedure? Tip: Take a look at how many red spaces you have made on your board. Be sure to make more scenario cards than red spaces, because you may land on them more than once!

Step 5: Lastly, it is time to play! Lay out your personalized game board. Pull together all of your cards, and separate the colored card pile and the scenario pile. Set aside your coins, one representing each player. Tip: Coins are used as one way to represent players in this game, you are welcome to use other small items or even create your own little characters!

Game Instructions

Step 1 - Grab a few friends, and lay out the board game materials!

Step 2 - Select your coin or other item representing you and place it at the starting arrow.

Step 3 - Shuffle the color cards and place them in a pile. Shuffle the scenario question cards and place them in a pile.

Step 4 - The first player will draw a card from the color card deck and move to the closest corresponding color. (If your card has 1 colored square, move to the first colored space that matches the card. If your card has 2 colored squares, move to the second matching space on the board that matches the color on the card. If your card is the color red, pick up a scenario card and answer the question before moving to the next corresponding red space. If you land on the arrow spaces/bridges, follow them to the designated spot.

Step 5 - Win the game by reaching the space closest to the finish picture (for my board, the hospital building)!

Closing Paragraph:

I hope you enjoyed creating and playing with your Medical Candyland board game! Be sure to play this with your friends and family and share with them what you learned about advocating for yourself. Be sure to have fun, but also don’t be afraid to have conversation based on how you answer your scenario questions! An alternative to the medical scenario questions is to create scenarios not related to medical environments, and see how you would respond given decision-making scenarios in other aspects of your life. Overall, keep this project in mind for the next time you want to become more familiar with your own decision making, medical or non-medical.

~ Made by: Madeleine C.

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