Tween Night: Taste Test Challenge

November’s Tween Night was for the brave! Tweens tried 9 differents foods, guessed if it was Pepsi or Coke, and tried to guess Pringle flavors, all while blindfolded!

Set Up & Supplies:

Preparing for this program was a lot of fun! It started with a trip to the grocery store to search for weird food items. Our library’s policies on food safety limited my selections to prepackaged food. This did not feel like a hindrance. I was able to find plenty of options. Another thing to keep in mind is allergies. I completely avoided nuts and tried to purchase what I thought were safe foods.

I shopped for 9 random things for the first round, and then shopped the chip isle for the second round. I ended up leaving with:

  • Trix cereal
  • Twinkies
  • Raisinets
  • Cookies and Cream Poptarts
  • Sour Punch Straws
  • Powdered Donuts
  • Orange Popcorn
  • Red Velvet Oreo
  • Outback Beans (I had never heard of these. They are black licorice beans)
  • Coke
  • Pepsi
  • Pringles (Original, Loaded Baked Potato, Salt & Vinegar, Dill Pickle, Pizza)

Other things I needed for this program were food safety gloves, table clothes, plastic cups, paper plates, napkins, blindfolds, answer sheets, and pencils. There was also a water fountain nearby if they needed an in between drink.

I also made numbered signs to hide the food behind to add to the mystery.

The night of, I decided to set up the tables in an U shape. As a former caterer, this made sense to me, because it allows easier, smoother food serving.

Time to Taste:

There was a good mix of anticipation and nervousness in the room as we got started. The kids would blindfold themselves, and my coworker and I would put a piece of food on their plates. Once everyone had eaten their sample, we announced that they could take their blinders off and write down their answer. It took a couple rounds to get this down, but soon we were getting through the foods no problem.

The first portion was 9 different foods and a 10th round for Pepsi vs Coke. I may have went too easy on them. They were confident with their food answers, and as was revealed later, they were right! The only food that really threw them for a loop was the black licorice beans. Most of those got spit back out immediately. Which, from my standpoint, was hilarious.

The big upset of the night was the Pepsi vs Coke round. The majority was wrong on that one. A big shocker for the tweens!

To finish the night was the Pringles showdown. We had five rounds for five different flavors. The Dill Pickle chip was a love it or hate it. We got some groans out of that one. They identified all of them except the load baked potato.

What I learned:

Set up for this program started with a pretty big hiccup. I didn’t know until I was putting everything together that the blindfolds I had ordered never arrived. I don’t know how I missed this, but I knew I had to find a solution fast. My answer to the problem was to cut old table clothes into strips. It worked just fine. The kids never knew that something didn’t happen as planned. It was also a good chance to practice flexibility and improvisation.

This program was a small one. I had a turn out of 16. It probably felt even smaller because October’s Tween Night was so large. I was initially borderline bummed about it, but I realized that was ridiculous. It felt like quality time spent. Also, this program drew in faces I had never seen at my programs! That’s a win in my book.

Shout Out!

This program was inspired by Ontarian Librarian. Check out her blog! It’s fantastic!

Her version of the Taste Test Challenge.