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Popcorn Pictures

Let the children help make a batch of popcorn. Give each child a sheet of light blue construction paper and a large pan shape cut out of black construction paper. Have the children glue their pan shapes at the bottoms of their papers. Then let them glue pieces of popcorn "popping out of their pan" all over the rest of their papers.

Popcorn Wreaths

For each child, cut out a cardboard wreath shape (about 7 inches across) and punch a hole in the top. Provide the children with glue and popped popcorn. Then have them glue the popcorn all over both sides of their wreaths. When the glue has dried, string ribbon or yarn through the holes in the tops of the wreaths to make hangers.

Variation: Let everyone help make one large wreath and give it to someone special.

Popcorn Matching

Number five index cards from 1 to 5. Glue from one to five pieces of popcorn on five or more index cards. Let the children take turns counting the pieces of popcorn on the cards and matching them with the corresponding numbers.

Popcorn Snowfall

Put a clean white sheet on the floor. Place a hot air popcorn popper (with the top removed) in the center of the sheet and add popcorn kernels. Have the children sit around the edges of the sheet. Ask them what they think will happen when you turn on the popcorn popper. Can they guess why popcorn kernels pop? (When the kernels are heated, steam builds up inside of them until they burst.) Turn on the popcorn popper and watch as the corn pops and falls like snow.

Caution: Adults should always supervise activities that require electrical appliances.

Pop, Pop, Pop!

Have the children pretend to be popcorn kernels and crouch down on the floor. Choose a child to be "It" and have the child sit in the middle of the group with eyes closed. Silently signal one child to hide or leave the room. Then as "It" says, "Popcorn, popcorn, pop, pop, pop!", have the other children begin hopping around and changing positions. When "It" says "Popcorn, popcorn, stop, stop, stop!", have the other children crouch back down and stay still. Then have "It" open his or her eyes and try to guess which child is hiding. If "It" guesses correctly, let the child who was hiding be the next "It". If not, let "It" choose another child who has not yet had a turn to take his or her place.

Creative Movement Fun

Ask the children to pretend that they are popcorn kernels inside a large popcorn popper. Have them lie on the floor and curl up into tiny balls. Tell them that you are going to turn on the heat and that gradually they will get hotter and hotter. Have them start squirming as they imagine the popper heating up. Eventually, have them get up on all fours and then into squatting positions. When they can't stand the heat any longer, have them pop up to become fluffy popcorn pieces.

Popcorn Popping

Sung to : "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"

Popcorn popping, oh, what fun!

Popping big and white.

We will wait until it's done,

Then we'll grab a bite.

With a pop, pop here,

And a pop, pop there.

Here a pop, there a pop,

Everywhere a pop, pop.

Popcorn popping, oh, what fun,

Popping big and white.

I'm a Little Kernel

Sung to : "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little kernel in a pot,

Turn on the heat and

watch me hop.

When I get all warmed up,

then I'll pop,

Umm, I taste good when I'm hot!

I Am Popcorn

Sung to : "Frere Jacques"

I am popcorn, I am popcorn,

In the pan, in the pan.

Watch me start hopping,

Watch me start popping.

Here I go--Pop! Pop! Pop!

Now I'm ready, now I'm ready.

Puffy and white, crunchy every bite.

Here comes the butter,

Here comes the salt.

Here I go--Now I'm gone!

Have the children act out the movements as they sing the song.

Flavored Popcorn

Let the children help make popcorn by measuring out the kernels. Explain that 1 tablespoon of kernels will make about 2 cups of popped corn. When the popcorn is done, flavor small amounts with parmesan cheese, taco seasoning, and cinnamon for the children to sample. Then give each child some plain popcorn in a sandwich bag and let the child shake the popcorn with a pinch of the seasoning he or she likes best.

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Visitors since July 4, 1998