Monday, February 28, 2022

Family Games with Citrus!

Citrus fruits: there's no doubt that kids and adults alike love to eat them.  And here at Florida Fruit Shippers, we love to send fresh-picked, delicious fruits of the most delicious caliber your way.  But what if there were a way to maximize the enjoyment of your fruits, beyond peeling and eating them?  In this week's blog, we are going to look at some ways your fresh citrus can also be incorporated into family fun and even educational activities!

The Citrus Memory Game

Citrus fruits are loaded with memory-boosting bioactive polyphenols, which are particularly high in oranges.  Grapefruits, by comparison, have more Vitamin A than oranges, and Vitamin A has been shown to keep cognition sharp.  What better way to flex those brain muscles than to play a memory game!  In this game, one person is the caller. Each of the other players are assigned a citrus fruit, which they will hold in their hand. For example, mom can be an orange, dad can be a grapefruit, one child can be a tangerine, and another child can be a Honeybell.  If there are more than four people, other players can double up with any of these fruits.  The caller will then call out six fruits in a random order. For example, he or she might say "grapefruit grapefruit orange Honeybell!" After the caller says the order, the group must lift their fruits in the correct order.  If someone lifts their fruit at the wrong time, they are out, and must give their fruit(s) to one of the other players, who is now responsible for two or more fruits as the game progresses. The winner is the one left with all of the fruits!

Orange Tic Tac Toe

Cut three oranges in half. Each player takes three halves. One decides to be the "face up" side, and the other decided to be the "face down side.  Draw a tic tac tow grid on a large, clean piece of paper, or use edible items such as celery stalks to create a grid on a clean counter, table, or cutting board.  The first player places an orange half face up in one of the grid spaces.  The second player follows by placing an orange half face down on another.  The game continues until all of the grid spaces are filled, and if either player succeeds in making a straight line with their orange halves, they win.

Sensory Water Play

Babies love to explore the world through their senses: sight, smell, taste, and touch. A simple tub filled with water and slices of citrus fruits is an excellent way to introduce your infant or toddler to a whole gamut of sensory experiences: the bright colors of the rind and pulp, the bumpy texture, the sweet and sour tastes, the uplifting citrus aromas. Babies who can sit up on their own can even sit right in the tub for an immersive experience, while older toddlers might enjoy interacting with the tub as a "touch tank" to reach in and explore. Older kids can take it a step further by incorporating their imaginations: cut up circles of oranges can become sea monster eyes, or grapefruit slices can be Mickey Mouse ears.

"Kneed" An Orange?

Now here's a game for the more athletically-inclined friends and family members in your orbit: The Orange Knee Game!  For this one, you will need two hula hoops placed at about five meters from the starting point, and six oranges.  This game can be for two, four, or six players, with each player assigned to one of two teams. Each player gets three oranges, which are placed on the floor on the starting line in front of them.  The goal is to pick up each orange, one at a time, between the knees, and figure out how to waddle, walk, or jump the orange to the inside of their respective hula hoops.  Players are not permitted to use their hands--only their knees! The team that gets all of their oranges inside the hula hoop first is the winner.  Or, if you don't want to compete, you can simply do this game as a way to work on your athletic prowess.

So, in the words of our own FFS founder, "who says you can't play with your food?" Here's to enjoying your fresh citrus in lots of new and fun ways--and then you can enjoy the delicious reward!


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