Book & Activity: The Sugar Plum Fairy’s World of Lollies and Sweets

It’s Christmas time, and the Nutcracker is in town. I’ve got a lovely festive and joyous play idea to share with you. This activity is a wonderful introduction to the story behind The Nutcracker- a popular story at Christmas time. .

We just love books that are filled with music and rhythm in our house. The Sugar Plum Fairy is a unique book. It is part of the Music Box series published by New Frontier Publishing, which sees authors create child-friendly stories based around classical musical pieces. Read more about the book at the end of this post.

The Sugar Plum Fairy was an absolute winner with Cam. She loved it immediately; she loved the music, the fairy, the dancing and the lollies and she was keen to learn more about The Nutcracker. In all honesty, we had tears to deal with when we returned this book to the library. Sue Whiting writes with such delicious vocabulary, that reading the story makes you crave sweets. The story lends itself beautifully to play.

Cam and I had previously made scented play-dough:

After reading the book with Cam one morning,  I set up an invitation to play. Materials included small jars, icypole sticks, edible glitter, pom poms, cupcake liners, cupcake tray, chocolate mould, cookie cutters, embellishments  and play-dough tools

We had The Sugar Plum Fairy Playing in the background (and every now and then would find ourselves fluttering around the room). You can listen to it while reading this post (It may take a little while to start):

After excitedly exploring the tray of goodies, it didn’t take long for Cam to start making her own lollies.

She started by rolling her own sugar plums:

Cam regularly re-visited the book for inspiration, and asked me to read about how Marcus and Mary would make their lollies.

Each day, Marcus and Mary toiled over bubbling pots of sugary syrup.

Bubble  bubble hisssss!

they folded and kneaded,

Slap slap thump!

And rolled and twisted

swish swoosh

And chopped


She rolled the play-dough:

She chopped the play-dough:

She twisted the play-dough:

She used icypole sticks, cookie cutters and spiralled the play-dough to create assorted lollipops:

She used chocolate moulds to make beautiful looking sweets:

She couldn’t resist the cupcake liners and edible glitter:

Again, using inspiration from the book, I encouraged Cam to get creative and give names to the lollies that she had created.

She couldn’t wait for Daddy to come home so she could sell him some lollies from her Lolly Shop:

But Cam really couldn’t wait to get back to creating new styles of lollies.

Book Details:

Author: Sue Whiting

Illustrator: Sarah Davis

Narrator: Antonia Kidman

ISBN: 978-1921042621

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: New Frontier Pty Ltd, October 2008

Composed by Tchaikovsky, The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is a famous dance from The Nutcracker ballet. Sue Whiting has cleverly used the music and the character from Tchaikovsky’s work to create a story suitable for children. With the help of The Sugar Plum Fairy, two candy makers magically create enough sugar plums for a greedy king.

The book comes with a talking CD, and the original music is integrated perfectly into the story. It is a brilliant way to introduce young children to the beauty of classical music.

The delicious vocabulary and delectable illustrations make this one irresistible book.

Book & Activity: The Sugar Plum Fairy’s World of Lollies and Sweets


  1. Jackie! Oh my goodness, I wish you had been my mum. You’re so, so fun! This looks like the best activity. I bet little miss just LOVED it.

  2. Hi Jackie – Sue Whiting and I read your blog post! You are indeed a fabulous mum. We’d love to send you a signed copy of the book. You could email me your address at studio@sarahdavisillustration and I’ll pop it in the post for you.
    All the best – Sarah

  3. the lollies are so pretty and festive! I have such fond memories of the Nutcracker–my two girls danced in it many, many years ago. now I want to listen to the soundtrack tonight!

  4. This is a beautiful post. Lovely photos. Wonderful book.

  5. Such a fun and beautiful play experience :) Pinned it.

  6. I would love to shop at this lolly shop!

  7. What I love about this activity is that you can re-set it up time and time again, changing only a couple of little materials and your child will be engaged all over again. This is a favourite type of play for us :)

  8. This is awesome. I did play-doh cupcakes a while back which the girls loved but this is even better. Have been meaning to buy some of those chocolate moulds too.

  9. How fun! Love the book, the colors and the creations!

  10. owww, mixing playdough, arrrh, that is my worst nightmare haha. I love how well you have linked this activity to the book! So creative,

  11. I wouldn’t be able to resist edible glitter either! Cam made some delicious looking treats :-) I love that she revisited the story for ideas :-)

  12. What an amazing invitation to play! Cam must have had the best time and formed so many amazing memories.

  13. Cam looks like she had so much fun with this lovely activity! I wanted to join in myself as i scrolled through your pics! I just love how you include play and inspiration through books xxx

  14. Readers of any book about the Sugar Plum fairy should also learn about the celesta. Tchaikovsky used the instrument in the famous song. I love your candy creations! Very festive.

  15. What a lovely combination of fun and reading. I love all of your cute lollies!

  16. WOW! That looks like a lot of fun! Amazing!

  17. Welcome to a new Linky Party for Kid-Focused Bloggers. Monday Kid Corner is a place to share your kid-friendly activities and crafts. Please join us at See you there!

  18. We are following Nurture Store’s ‘Simple Play’ series at the moment and I will be setting this up tomorrow for our playdough play. Thanks for being such a wonderful source of inspiration!

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