When it comes to finding fun and engaging activities for children, the possibilities are limitless and you can find ideas everywhere you look — let’s begin by looking in your home pantry. Food items can provide hours of play and can be a tasty way to introduce new concepts and ideas. Popcorn is no exception! In both popped and kernel form, popcorn presents engaging young minds with infinite things to see, taste, and do.
We will now take a look at over 50 wondrously wacky and wild things you can try with popcorn with your kids, whether at home or in the classroom. Next time the weather is too severe for outside fun, you will have plenty to do indoors to stave off boredom.
Science And Literacy Activities To Do With Popcorn
Let’s begin with a few intellectual applications for popcorn that can help your kids learn and grow.
Milk and Popcorn
Take two glasses of the same size and fill one with milk all the way to the brim and the other with popped popcorn, also all the way to the top. Ask your child how much popcorn they think they can add before the milk spills. Then surprise them by adding the entire cup of popped popcorn to the milk without spilling a drop.
Guess How Many?
Empty a bag of popcorn into a glass bowl and take turns guessing the number of kernels inside. The winner gets to choose from the amazing flavors of popcorn listed further in the article.
You have probably seen what happens when you mix vinegar with baking soda, but have you seen what happens when you add popcorn kernels to the action? Sit back and turn on the music because these kernels are about to cut a rug.
Make a Birdfeeder
There are two ways to do this fun craft. The first is taking popped popcorn and stringing it on long threads and hanging it outside. The other is to take peanut butter and smear it across a common toilet paper roll before rolling it in the popcorn. Now you can sit back and observe which types of birds come to eat.
Try to Sprout the Kernels
Place the unpopped kernels in a bag with cotton balls and moisten the balls with water. Continue adding water to this baggie over the next few days and see what happens. By the third or fourth day, small green shoots should begin to appear. These can be planted as soon as they grow a leaf.
Look up some fun facts about popcorn and make a trivia game with true or false answers. The winner gets to select the flavor of popcorn.
Take time to try detecting popcorn with all five senses. This can be before, during, and after the popcorn is cooked.
Learn Where Popcorn Comes From
Take time to watch a YouTube documentary about the story of popcorn. Where did it originate? Who was the first to eat it? And where does it come from today?
Give everyone a bowl of popcorn and play charades. The object of the game will be to arrange the popcorn in “drawings” that depict simple objects or items, like “book”, “apple”, “train” or “copacetic”.
Popcorn Word Search
Find a popcorn word search online or make your own.
See how many words you can find that rhyme with “pop” and how many you can find that rhyme with “corn”. Then you can come up with a short poem as an ode to this delightful snack.
Build a Boat
Build boats to ferry popcorn kernels across the waves. You can make boats out of anything you find in the house from old milk cartons, paper, plastic bottles, or whatever you want. The cargo ship that can carry the most popcorn across the paddling pool, bathtub, or kitchen sink is the winner.
Learn to Use Chopsticks
If you have not learned the fine art of chopstick use, here is a great way to start. Try to transfer all the popped popcorn from one bowl to another or see how much you can transfer in a set amount of time. Ready for a real challenge? Try round 2 with unpopped kernels.
Find Out What Makes Popcorn Pop
Do some research on the physics of the popcorn kernel and why it pops in this impressive way. Learn all about the starchy endosperm and its purpose to the kernel.
Guess the Weight
Popcorn is pretty lightweight, but how lightweight is it really? Take turns guessing how much popcorn is needed to outweigh a book, a shoe, a cat, or even yourself.
Have your children trace out letters and write them with popcorn. See if you can write out an entire word with popcorn.
Play Sink or Float
Play a game of sink or float. Collect some interesting items from around the home and gather near a paddling pool or bucket of water. Make sure popcorn is in both the popped and unpopped state as part of the game. This game can be especially surprising for smaller kids.
Crafts To Do With Popcorn
Sometimes they will be messy, but these crafts are always a lot of fun. Here are some of the top popcorn-related crafts to keep yourself and your kids occupied.
Using paint or food dye, paint your popcorn in all the colors of the rainbow. Then use these as media for decorating a big poster board in the subject of your choice. This is a great way to teach kids about primary colors and mixing colors.
Paint a tree trunk and branches on a large piece of card or poster board and color it in, then make some painted popcorn to use as the leaves. Glue the colored popcorn to the board.
Popcorn is light and fluffy, just like the wool of a sheep. Why not draw out a sheep and use the popcorn kernels to illustrate the wooly beasts?
This is a classic way to decorate a Christmas tree but is a fun project for any time of the year. Just grab some needles and make all the popcorn you can. You can create an assembly line to make an especially long line of tinsel using dental floss as your string. If it isn’t Christmas, you can color your popcorn tinsel with any festive colors.
Empty all the unpopped kernels into a canister of some sort and decorate the outside to your liking. You have now created a musical instrument and can begin the basics of rhythm and beats. Go ahead and put on some music to practice with.
Here is a fun way to get messy. Use butter, marshmallows, and any other ingredient that suits your fancy to stick massive wads of popcorn together. Begin fashioning it into shapes and forms you like — then eat them for a tasty and aesthetic treat.
Thanksgiving Corn Craft
Thanksgiving is a great time for this project. Use unpopped kernels to make a mosaic of corn and use real leaves as husks.
You can use the popped and unpopped popcorn to accentuate the festive season on Thanksgiving. You will find it provides an especially rustic appearance as a centerpiece for your table.
Draw Some Popcorn
This is not nearly as easy as you may think and a great practice for older kids learning form, composition, and shadows. For younger kids, put on a blindfold and see who can draw the most realistic popcorn depiction.
Paint with Popcorn
Instead of brushes, use popcorn to apply paint to paper. You will find that popcorn creates some impressive textures and patterns. This is going to get very messy so be sure you are using paint that will wash out easily. This is a good project for perfecting fine motor movements.
Fun Recipes with Popcorn
Now get ready to have some fun and eat some popcorn too!
Popcorn Trail Mix
Popcorn is an especially healthy snack when prepared properly, which is surprising because it is such a popular snack. Go ahead and make your own trail mix by adding popcorn to a mix of nuts, raisins, and dried fruits.
Popcorn Goody Bags
You can fill paper bags with popcorn to make a small, healthy goody bag. Before you place the popcorn in the paper bags be sure to decorate the bags nicely and add a sweet message.
Look for all the ways you can set popcorn in bar form including marshmallows, molasses, honey, butter, and many other ingredients.
If you have enough contestants, give both sides an assortment of ingredients and see which team can come up with the most impressive popcorn-based recipes in a given amount of time.
Using popcorn and any other finger foods you can think of, create monster faces on a white plastic plate. See who can come up with the most original ideas.
Drizzle your popcorn with caramel, honey, melted marshmallows, or whatever you like.
Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
Take a regular bag of popcorn and sprinkle it with brown sugar and cinnamon, along with some delicious white frosting. It tastes just like a cinnamon bun but with a delicious salty zing.
Peanut Butter Popcorn
Using corn syrup, brown sugar, and peanut butter, make a smooth mixture that can be used to top your popcorn for a tasty treat. Make this even better by adding chocolate chips and other candy pieces.
Popcorn Taste Test
Make an assortment of popcorn with different flavors and colors, place these in bowls, and blindfold the contestants. See who can accurately distinguish the flavors!
Find Your Favorite Brand
Buy a bunch of different popcorn brands and mix-ins, and arrange a full taste test to determine once and for all which is the best flavor of popcorn. You can maximize the results by making this a double-blind taste test.
Active Play and Group Popcorn Games
Up for some activity and competition? Put those sneakers on and get ready for some popcorn fun.
Popcorn Relay Race
Split the group into two teams. Provide each team with a tiny cup with which they will fill a very large bowl. See which team takes the longest to fill their bowl. For fun, make it a hopping race, backward race, handicapped race, three-legged race, or whatever you can think of.
Two kids will face off head-to-head with a straw and piece of popcorn to see who can get their popcorn through the goalposts first. If the popcorn falls off the table, the player has to return to the beginning.
Popcorn Balance Race
This is much like the popcorn race previously mentioned, but each team must balance a cup on their heads. If it drops, they must retrieve the popcorn and start again.
Play a regular game of bingo, but make it more challenging by using popcorn as place markers. This is more challenging than it looks because the popcorn will be jumping around the board.
Play Popcorn HORSE
Just like the basketball game of H-O-R-S-E, set up a bowl and practice making shots from different distances.
Set up cups in a row. Each kid has a specific amount of popcorn they will try to throw into the cups and colored popcorn will work best for this game. The further away from the cup, the higher the score.
Have one person stand on a chair and throw popcorn into the air. The rest of the kids will try to catch the rain of popcorn in their cups, with the winner being the one to collect the most. This game is best played outside as the cleanup will be a hefty task.
Last But Not Least
We saved the best for last: make popcorn in any way you choose and sit down in the living room to enjoy a movie together with friends or family.
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