Corn Theme and Activities

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Autumn is a great time to have a corn/popcorn theme. October is National Popcorn Popping Month. Thanksgiving is also a great time for learning about harvest and foods. Corn is in season and is a fun vegetable to learn about.

Corny Songs, Poems and Fingerplays

I'm A Little Cornstalk (Tune: I'm A Little Teapot)
I'm a little cornstalk tall and stout,
see me grow and watch me sprout.
When I'm brown, you can shuck me down.
Boil me up and I'm the best in town.

See the Little Kernel (Tune: I'm A Little Teapot)
See the little kernel in the pot,
Turn on the heat and watch it hop.
When it gets all warmed up, it will pop.
Mmmm, it tastes good when it’s hot!

I'm A Stalk of Corn (Tune: I'm A Little Teapot)
I’m a stalk of corn growing high
Here are my husks oh so dry
When you pull them back
You will find
Juicy kernels sweet as pie

Pop! Pop! Pop!
Pop! Pop! Pop! (clap for each Pop!)
Put the corn into the the pot. 
Pop! Pop! Pop! (clap for each Pop!)
Shake and shake it 'til it's hot. 
Pop! Pop! Pop! (clap for each Pop!)
Lift the lid and what have you got? 
Pop! Pop! Pop! POPCORN! (clap for each Pop! Jump up on POPCORN!)

Popcorn Popping
One little kernel (Hold up one finger)
Sleeping in the pot. (Curl up and pretend to sleep)
Turn on the heat 
And watch it pop. (Jump into the air)
Popping, hopping popcorn (Hop around)
A munchy, crunchy treat. (Pretend to eat)
Pour on the butter (Pretend to pour on butter)
And let me eat! (Pretend to eat)

Corny Crafts

  • Use dried corn cobs for painting rollers.
  • Put dried corn into a toilet paper tube, seal and decorate for a homemade maracas
  • Dip the ends of corn husks into paint and then brush the paint on paper.
  • Indian Corn Craft - You can use either a toilet paper tube or cut out form in cardboard for the ear. Let children shred and then crumple pieces of colored tissue paper to glue on.
  • Popcorn Collage - Have children paint a picture with colored glue, then press popcorn onto the glue for a popcorn picture.

Corny Math and Science

  • Corn Graph - Talk about the different ways we eat corn (on the cob, canned corn, popcorn, etc.) Make a bar chart of the different ways to eat corn. Give each child a sticker and have them place their sticker in the column of their favorite way to eat corn.
  • Muffin Tin Math - Place cupcake liners with different numbers in a muffin tin. Have children count out matching number of corn kernels in each tin.
  • Corny Differences - Buy popcorn still on the ear. Put this on a science table along with un-popped popcorn and popped popcorn so that children can see and feel the differences.
  • Popcorn Kernel Table - Fill a sensory table with lots of popcorn kernels. Provide cups, bowls, funnels, etc. to allow them to explore and play in just like they would with sand.
  • Popcorn Volcano Eruption - Spread out a large clean sheet and have the kids sit outside the edge. Place a popcorn popper with NO lid in the middle of the sheet. Watch the "volcano" erupt and shoot "hot lava" all over the sheet.
  • Popcorn Dance - Fill small a glass jar 3/4 full of water. Mix in 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix well. Add a drop or two of food coloring and 10 to 15 popcorn kernels. Then add a few drops of vinegar. The kernels will start to move in one or two minutes.
  • Parachute Popcorn - Place a number of beanbags, small balls, or cottonballs onto a parachute. Shake to make them pop up like "popcorn".
  • Grow Popcorn in a Bag - Take a plastic Zip-loc bag, put cotton balls in it and saturate cotton balls with water. Put popcorn kernels into the bag; seal it and tape to a window. Add water as needed and watch the plants grow. Transfer to potting soil later.

Corny Snacks

  • Popcorn Balls - Put 12 cups of popcorn in a bowl. Melt ¼ cup margarine and a 10 ½ ox bag of mini marshmallows. Add 1 3 oz pack of plain or flavored gelatin. Mix and let cool slightly. Coat hands with cooking spray and form balls. Let set on waxed paper.
  • Popcorn seasoning - Make several batches of popcorn. When the popcorn has cooled off, have the children split the popcorn up into several Zip-loc bags. Pour melted butter into each bag. Sprinkle a dry ingredient into the bags, close the top, and have your children shake it. Some choices for dry ingredients are cinnamon, sugar, dry ranch, dry cheese, garlic powder, seasoned salt, etc. Allow children to dry the different seasonings and talk about (or graph) which they like best.

Other Corn Resources