Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Bean Boozled

If you dare.

Work on um... socialization skills

In the box: Varies depending on the container you buy.

From Jelly Belly comes the jelly bean game called Bean Boozled. Not for everyone, this game will require you to eat jelly beans that may be delicious or may be absolutely disgusting. In public. Without throwing up. If you don't think of this as a therapy game, consider it for your next party, especially if older kids are involved. I stumbled onto this game in the candy section at Wal-Mart (during the Easter season of all things - jelly beans). There is a Christmas version game that is called Naughty or Nice and an individual pack that is not a game. I've also seen them in the Halloween candy section at the grocery store this year, many small bags to hand out with just a few beans to a bag. The "trick" may ultimately end up on the trick-or-treater who unknowingly pops a few without reading the bag first. 

There are 10 different colors of jelly beans to a game. Each color comes in two different flavors. For instance, the two flavors for the green jelly bean are lime and lawn clippings. It is impossible to tell the two apart by looking and they don't smell different. You will only know which one you got when you chew into it. On each turn, all players will eat one of the same color jelly bean. You will either get a spinner (see image above) to choose the jelly bean color each turn, or you can just take turns picking. Some people will get the regular Jelly Belly flavor and some people will get the gross flavor. Here are the flavors that came in our plastic jar:
  • Black - Licorice vs skunk spray
  • Brown - Chocolate pudding vs canned dog food
  • Green - Lime vs lawn clippings
  • Blue - Berry blue vs toothpaste
  • Pink speckled - Tutti fruitti vs stinky socks
  • White speckled - Buttered popcorn vs rotten eggs
  • Orange - Peach vs barf
  • White - Coconut vs baby wipes
  • Green speckled - Juicy pear vs booger
  • Yellow speckled - Caramel corn vs moldy cheese
I see that they have new versions and some new flavors, so yours may vary. Some of them were actually tolerable, like the lawn clippings and toothpaste. However, it took me forever to get the taste of the stinky socks out of my mouth, even after rinsing my mouth and brushing my teeth. And a speech therapist that was playing refused to go on after eating canned dog food, it was that bad to her. My biggest fear was the black jelly bean - skunk spray vs licorice. I couldn't believe the negative anticipation that built up, worrying about it a little more as each person took a turn choosing a flavor combo. So when it came to me, I chose it just to get it over with. Fortunately I got licorice, and I love licorice. Although I know people who hate licorice so much that they might opt for the skunk spray.

The game may be played while keeping score, if you get the "good" flavor you get a point. However, you will have absolutely no control over which flavor you get as they both look exactly alike in each category, so keeping score seems pointless to me. 

Try this:
  • Keep a few "spit bowls" handy or give each person his own paper cup. 
  • Watch each person's face as they chew and see if you can guess which flavor, instead of everyone eating at once. Try to keep a straight face on bad ones and gag on good ones. Then get a point for each person you fooled.
  • Don't move it around in your mouth too much after you have chewed into a bad one. The fewer taste buds it hits the better off I think you'll be.  

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