Jim Denison on The Remarkable Story Behind Candy Land and What You Can Do to Change Lives

Candy Land is one of the most popular children’s board games of all time, selling an average of one million units a year. I played it for hours with our kids and have begun doing the same with my grandkids.

But I did not know the story behind the game, a narrative that is remarkably relevant to our time.

Michelle Hastings plays Candy Land with her daughters in 2007.

In 1948, retired schoolteacher Eleanor Abbott invented the game in a San Diego hospital. She had been diagnosed with polio. During her convalescence, she was surrounded by children suffering from the same horrible disease. She wanted to create a game that would entertain them during their painful and lonely days.

Candy Land became so popular among the young hospital patients that Abbott decided to pitch it to Milton Bradley, one of the leading toy-manufacturing companies. It quickly became their best-selling board game.

The game was especially helpful during polio outbreaks. Children left alone in hospitals without their parents would often be overcome with feelings of abandonment and homesickness. But even those as young as three years old could play the game since it requires no reading or writing, only the ability to identify colors.

During the height of the polio epidemic in the 1950s, children were prohibited from congregating at public pools, lakes, or parks to prevent the spread of the disease. Most board games were designed for all-family play, but Candy Land could be played by children who were confined indoors alone.

What did Eleanor Abbott do with her royalty income from her best-selling game?

She donated it entirely to charities dedicated to serving children in need.

Three ways to change a life (including your own) 

As we wait for social distancing restrictions to ease, we should not waste the days until they do.

As I noted in this morning’s Daily Article (“John Krasinski hosts a national prom”), God knew about this pandemic before it began and intends to redeem it for his glory and our good. If you’ll ask, he will lead you into ways of serving him and others that were not available to you before the outbreak.

One of the fears we all face every day is that our lives won’t count for something significant. None of us wants to leave the world the way we found it. Each of us has a God-given desire to make a difference that matters.

As I was reading Acts 20 recently, I found it to be a powerful model for maximizing our impact in these challenging days. Consider three principles.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Jim Denison