For this sensory game, players use touch and taste to (literally) savor the moment. With the sense of sight temporarily switched off by a blindfold, the other senses are heightened, focusing the player’s attention even more in the moment.
For our fruits, I chose pineapples, blackberries and grapes. Playing blindfolded made the game particularly thrilling for my older daughter who loved it so much that she wanted me to play it as well.
I had never done a mindful eating exercise and really enjoyed feeling and tasting each piece of fruit with deliberate attention. It was pleasantly surprising to recognize textures and flavors of each fruit I hadn’t noticed before.
For instance, I hadn’t realized that some parts of a pineapple could feel a little rough, almost like sandpaper, while others are soft and grooved. I had never realized that the smooth skin of a grape had almost a silky texture to it. And the three flavors of each fruit were so distinct as well. I noticed a burst of flavor with the pineapple, whereas the blackberry was almost tart and grainy and the grape was juicy and sweet. No wonder pineapples and grapes are a couple of my top favorite fruits!
- A blindfold. You can use a sleeping mask, scarf, bandana or any length of material
- Three types of fruit, like berries, grapes, melon or pineapple, cut up in to bite-sized pieces (amount depends on number of participants)
- A separate dish for each fruit
How To Do It
- Prepare the fruit and put into separate dishes
- Blindfold the first player
- Place the dishes within reach then ask the player to pick up a piece of fruit from the first dish
- Have them feel the fruit and describe its texture
- Now, have them taste the fruit and describe the flavors while they eat (don’t ask them to identify the fruit yet!)
- Repeat with the other fruits
- Once all three fruits have been tasted, ask the player to identify each fruit in order of tasting – this is a fun memory recall twist on the game!
- What did you notice you did differently when you were blindfolded versus when you eat regularly with your eyes open?
- What sensations or tastes did you notice?
- Which fruit was your favorite to taste? Why?
The Science Behind the Smiles
Sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain and is important for development in young children. It’s also a great way to soothe anxious or frustrated emotions when they arise by focusing attention and encouraging mindfulness.
Cognitive Development and Sensory Play (Michigan State University)