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The History of Candy Land

Candy Land is one of the most popular and well-known children’s board games available, with over 1 million sets being sold each year. But did you know that the game was invented by a schoolteacher named Eleanor Abbott in a polio ward during the polio epidemic of the 1940s and 1950s? The epidemic had forced children into very restrictive environments; patients were confined by equipment such as iron lungs and healthy children were confined to their homes by worried parents. Abbott contracted the disease herself while in her 30s and created the game to help the children in her polio ward pass the time. Candy Land offered these children a welcome distraction from discomfort and fear as well as a fantasy of movement. Today, it endures as a children’s board game that brings children joy and encourages them to imagine a brighter world.

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