3 – 4

The popcorn game


The popcorn game

What to do with this activity?

The popcorn game is easy and fun. It encourages careful observation and a bit of counting. You can play it with just two, or more people. 

Buy a packet of plain popcorn or make popcorn yourself. You can buy a paper bag ready to pop in the microwave. Alternatively, you can pop the corn kernels in a saucepan with a closed lid. Enjoy listening to the corn burst and pop. 

Each piece of popcorn is a different shape isn't it? When the popcorn is cool, spread it out on a clean tray. Send one person out of the room and choose a piece of popcorn with a distinctive shape. Call the person back into the room and let them eat the popcorn one piece at a time saying "Is this the one?" each time. As soon as they eat the piece of popcorn that was chosen the game is over. How many pieces of popcorn did they manage to eat?

Play the game again with a different person leaving the room. Who got to eat the most? Plain popcorn is a healthy wholefood snack provided it does not have too much salt or other additions. 



  • Why am I doing this?

    One of the ways children learn is through play. A child who is playing is refining learning skills that continue to develop during childhood and beyond. "Pretend play" is important for developing your child's language skills. Children make up their own games, but playing games with others helps their concentration and social skills. Play can also help to show what children know and understand.

  • How can I do more?

    Spending time playing with your child is a great way of helping them learn. Games like "Simon says" and "One, two, three red lights" are great fun. There are lots of activities you can do like playing card games or board games when you can have a quiet time together. Your child can learn the rules by watching a dry run first. Then you can play for real. An important thing to learn is that you don't always win. It can be good for young children to win, to give them confidence but learning to lose is important too. There will be many times in life when you don't win and learning to cope with that is a good life skill you can teach your child too. 

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