Always make sure that you check first for any food allergies or intolerances. Also check to make sure there are no food issues that might be a problem like physical eating or swallowing disorders, anorexia or bulimia.
You will need donuts. We suggest using specialty donuts like fruit loops or maple bacon. Try donuts with interesting textures and flavors. We bring about six donuts to try per person and cut them into bite sized sample pieces.
Have group members try and rate each donut individually on a piece of paper.
Score the results while group members watch a video on personality/character traits. Let them know that the purpose of this activity was to see how they react when they are asked to try something new or something that might be uncomfortable to them. To Score: Group members first choice is given three points, their second choice is given two points and their last choice is given one point.
Junior High/High School: https://youtu.be/IB1FVbo8TSs
Start a discussion about personality traits. First have group members identify barriers they had during the activity, "I don't like mint." or "I don't like the texture of crunchy foods." Talk about those barriers and how they overcame them. Then discuss if these barriers move into things they do in their life and how their personality may affect that. Talk about the video clips and then challenge them during the week to find ways to push through moments of hesitancy or moments they may take over and dominate in a group setting, etc.
Junior high and high school aged teens can also take a free personality test to see if the test also reflects some of the barriers they may experience: https://www.16personalities.co...
Identify what the top three donut flavors chosen by the group were. You can even give a prize to those who chose the winning flavor.
Some fun donut gifts:
Donut Stress Balls
Donut Backpack Clips with Stress Ball
Small Donut Toys
One of the group members is refusing to try a flavor: This rarely happens because usually within a small group it seems like group members seem to be more willing to try new things when you are sitting around a smaller table. However, if they refuse you might use encouragement to try the flavor and if they still refuse encourage them to not score that flavor since they didn't try it.
Group members like the activity, but aren't engaged in the discussion: This can happen sometimes. They get really excited about the activity or start having a great time with each other and you start to stress that they aren't learning anything, right? I'm often FLOORED by the different directions this lesson has taken through the years. Sometimes when I relax and sit back I realize that no matter what I try, the group learns something...maybe just not in the way I wanted. I had a group of high functioning elementary autistic students that were struggling with trying new things in the classroom and became prone to meltdowns. I thought that my focus was going to have to go to coaxing them even to try the donuts! They tried them, but what I noticed was they often wouldn't interact with each other much during group. They were much happier being on their own and this particular activity for whatever reason got them noticing each others silly faces they made when they tried a donut they didn't like. They were asking each other "what do you think of that donut?" or "what are you going to choose as your favorite donut?" I about cried. They were working together, asking each other questions, and the discussion moved to talking about how they worked together as a group and how they noticed others, etc. You just never know how an activity will go and I've realized over the years to celebrate the victories I see and focus on what direction the group members might be moving because the next lesson I was able to work on more group activities together which targeted the areas in the class and at home that was causing the meltdowns....it just took a little detour to getting there.
What Can I Substitute For Donuts? In a pinch, I've used the Beanboozled game from Jelly Belly. It works pretty similarily to using donuts.
What Settings Are Best for This Activity? I've used it for morning meet and greets, icebreaker activities, church and youth group activities, counseling small groups (I usually wait and do this lesson the second or third time we meet), and we've even had a family lesson on it.
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