Let me tell you about my new favourite thing: Tween Club. I’ve been running a free weekly program for grades 5 – 8 for five weeks now. Some weeks it’s all glitter and paint and giggles. Some weeks it’s intense, ridiculous challenges. And other weeks it’s the Taste Test Challenge. I will post later about the way Tween club works, and the reasons why libraries need to engage tweens now more than ever, but for now, here is my Taste Test Challenge Program Outline.
I set the room up with a big U-shape of tables and chairs in the middle. Each of the 25 seats had a paper plate, pencil, a scarf/blindfold, a Taste Test Challenge Score Card, and a Chip Rating Page. Water was also available.
Round 1: Blindfold Challenge
For the first challenge, everyone put their blindfolds on. Volunteers put a food item on everyone’s plate. Everyone ate the item. They took of their blindfolds and wrote down their guess. Then they put the blindfolds back on, and were served the next item. This repeated 10 times until they had tasted everything. Then everyone traded pages and we revealed the correct answers.
You could serve anything during this round! I recommend avoiding allergens, and doing a mix of yummy treats and unexpected foods. Here’s what I had:
- Mashed potatoes
- Sour Patch Kids
- Kit Kat Orange
- Cookies and Cream Pop Tarts
- Pringles Dill Pickle
- Pringles BBQ
- Pumpkin Flavoured Pop
In order to get the point, the kids had to write the exact correct flavour. It amazed me how many kids knew they were eating Cookies and Cream Pop Tarts!
Round 2: The Great Chip Champ
Everyone had a Chip Rating Page and a pencil. They ate the first chip and rated it out of 5. To make it silly and fun I encouraged everyone to think about the crunchiness, the potato quality, the saltiness. Then we gave then the second chip to rate, and so on until they had rated all 5 chips. Volunteers tallied the score and we crowed Pringles Regular the king of chips!
When picking your chips you could go a couple different ways. I decided to buy 5 different flavours of Pringles so it was really about rating the flavour. You COULD buy 5 different brands of regular, or 5 different brands of sour cream and onion, or 5 different cheezies! You could go wild and order 5 international flavours of chips. If you do your own version of the Great Chip Champ, let me know in the comments!
Round 3: The Gross Out
This was the most anticipated event by far. Kids had to eat a prepared disgusting combo of foods, and try to identify the ingredients. My concoctions were:
Chocolate Mint Potatoes
- mashed potatoes
- Cocoa Powder
- candy cane bits
- mashed potatoes
- green food colouring
- pumpkin pie syrup
- bits of sour patch kids
After School Snack Stew
- apple juice
- crumbled up chocolate chip cookie
- I microwaved this all together to it was a big goopy mess.
They absolutely loved it, and it was a real challenge! Two girls got perfect on the blindfold rounds and were able to identify the Chunky Slime ingredients and were crowned the winners. They won a bag of pre-made water beads and a bag of books and treats.
I have loved a lot of programs, but I have to say, I might love this one the most. And the Tweens certainly loved it the most. If you give this program a try, let me know!
What flavour combinations would you put in the Gross Out Challenge?
9 thoughts on “Tween Club: Taste Test Challenge”
[…] Two local pizza places had donated large cheese pizzas, and we were going to taste and compare. I love creating events that are both serious and silly at the same time – it’s a kind of humor that works well with this age group. I encouraged them to bite […]
I’m a librarian out in CA and we are looking to do a program similar to your Teen Taste Test but have some questions about food allergies and general safety. I see your note above but, since we can’t avoid all allergens, do you have any recommendations for getting around this issue safely?
Hey Amanda, great question! I would suggest avoiding major allergens: no nuts, no raw fruit, no milk, no meat. If you do serve something with an allergen, you could announce the ingredient before serving. You could have kids sign up in advance, and have parents fill out a form about allergies. Hope your event goes great!
Thank you, Karissa! That’s what I was thinking but I wanted to hear from someone who has done it. Thank you for your insight,
I loved this post 🙂 I am planning on doing a test testing program this Saturday at my library. Were the kids blindfolded when taste testing the chips and gross out round? Thanks!
Hey Lois! I’m glad this could help.
The kids were not blindfolded during the chip and gross out rounds. It was tough enough without.
I hope your event is a hit!
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