When you start with chocolate and add kids, timers, blindfolds, spoons, and straws…you get a special kind of wild magic. I’ve heard of other libraries doing chocolate challenges with teens, and I decided to make it my own with a Chocolate Olympics Summer Reading Kick Off Party for all ages. I had 7 stations (most run by excellent teen volunteers) and 1 event. Here’s how I did it!
Paper Bag Decorating
Just like Halloween, kids would need a bag to hold all their chocolate prizes! Very simple set up – just paper bags and a bunch of markers for decorating. I think having the bags helped limit the number of chocolate tummy aches that night – instead of immediately eating all their prizes, they could save them for later!
Smartie Organization Challenge
Two competitors face off in this tasty test of speed and fine motor skills. In the middle a mini pie plate is loaded with 10 assorted Smarties (for any American readers, Smarties are basically M&Ms). Competitors each have one plastic spoon and 4 colour coded cups. On the count of 3 they must race to organize the smarties by colour, using only their spoon. Once they are completed, they get to keep their organised smarties.
Put a bunch of chocolate pudding (4 snack packs worth) into a large ziplock bag. Seal the bag tight (i.e. use clear tape in addition to the ziplock). Spread out the pudding. Put Pictionary words in a bowl or tub. Kids have to pick a word from the bowl, trace it through the plastic bag into the pudding. Once someone guesses their word the drawer wins a mini chocolate bar. It’s goopy, mess-free fun!
Cocoa Spoon Race
Tape off two zig zag pathways on the ground. Put two cups at the finish line (I used real cocoa pods that I borrowed from a local chocolate shop, but cups or bowls will work too!). Fill a large cup with M&Ms, or any other little chocolate bits. Two competitors each get one tiny spoon and one M&M to balance. They must race back and forth down the pathways, depositing M&Ms into their cup for 5 rounds. Once one of them gets to 5, they both stop and keep the M&Ms in the cup.
Straw and Marshmallow Towers
This one is easy! Put a bin with marshmallows and straws in a taped off area and challenge everyone to build the highest tower. The highest free standing tower (made ONLY of marshmallows and straws) will win a prize.
BeanBoozled Roaming Station
Get a BeanBoozled Dispenser (half the jelly bellies are nice flavours like chocolate and pear, but the other half are disgusting like wet dog food, dead fish, and spoiled milk). Halfway through the event, wander around challenging kids to try their luck. I was surprised to find that every kid already knew about BeanBoozled, and followed me around like a roaming mob trying to get another gross tasting jelly belly.
What’s In The Jar
Fill 5 jars with chocolate and candy items, counting as you go. Number each jar. Make 5 boxes with corresponding numbers. Let kids submit ballots with their guesses and names. The winners will get to keep the jar, but more importantly they get to compete in the…
Blindfold Taste Test Challenge!
This was the highlight of the event. 15 minutes until the end of the party, I grabbed a microphone and announced the winners of the What’s in the Jar contest, seating them at 5 spots at the front of the room. Each was given a sheet of paper, a marker, and was promptly blindfolded. There were 5 rounds of chocolate tastings each brought out in little cups – Rolo, Crunch, Twix, Big Turk, and Orange Kit Kat. They would sniff and taste each bit of chocolate while blindfolded, then take their blind folds off to write down the name of the chocolate bar. We revealed their guesses and kept score between each round. One kid knew every single one!
What I Bought
A phenomenal local chocolate shop called Nigh’s Sweet Shop donated hundreds of dollars worth of chocolate prizes for this event – chocolate gift boxes, a chocolate calculator, chocolate themed piggy bank, chocolate lip balm, and even a chocolate pizza! They also created chocolate medals and their house made M&M style candies, which we used for the spoon race and smartie organization challenge.
In addition I bought:
- jars from the dollar store
- 100 mini chocolate bars (Hershey’s and Nestle packs)
- 6 fun size Twix (for taste testers)
- 6 fun size Crunch (for taste testers)
- 1 pack of mini rolos (for guessing jar and taste test)
- 1 pack of Big Turks (for guessing jar and taste test)
- 1 pack of Kit Kat bites (for guessing jar)
- 1 Orange Kit Kat bar (for taste test)
- 1 pack of licorice (for guessing jar)
- 1 pack of colourful marshmallow candies (for guessing jar)
- 5 packages of marshmallows
- a bunch of straws
All in all, a very fun, successful evening, with 56 participants and chocolate galore!
What events did you run at your Chocolate Olympics event?