Popcorn kernels are a wonderful ingredient, in that they are affordable, produce much for little, and just about everyone loves them! They are also versatile which is why it is always good to know what you can do with them so that you and your child can get the most out of them.
Whether it’s adding some salt to the mix for movie popcorn, or adding some melted marshmallows for popcorn ball, or stringing them together as popcorn tinsel, you will love these fabulous holiday ideas for getting the maximum mileage out of your popcorn kernels stock.
Now, here are 10 things to do with popcorn with the kids (other than the obvious).
10 Milk and popcorn experiment
Then take each piece of popcorn, one by one, and put it into the milk. The milk will completely swallow the popcorn without running over. Impressive!
9 Popcorn tinsel
Deck the halls with boughs of… popcorn. Popped popcorn can be easily strung together using a fine thread. Popcorn piece by popcorn piece, a beautiful string of food tinsel starts to emerge. Decorate your tree with pieces of popcorn tinsel and even make biscuits, with hanging ribbons, for a unique, ‘edible’ tree.
Edible treats hanging from trees never go out of style, and the kids will agree, it’s a great idea. Just try not eat everything before Christmas morning.
8 Popcorn sheep
No, you didn’t imagine it! Lots of popcorn stuck side by side together and arranged in a cloud-like shape does start to resemble the fleece of a sheep. Let your child draw some sheep and color in their faces and legs.
Then pop some popcorn and allow them to stick it on the woolly bits of the animal. It makes for a great picture and lots of afternoon fun. You can even cut out the sheep picture and attach a ribbon to it to make a hanging sheep decoration.
7 Popcorn balls
A bag of mini marshmallows, and a bowl of popcorn might seem worlds apart. However, melt the marshmallows and mix popcorn into this, and shape into balls on a slightly greased baking tray.
You can even place these in the fridge to solidify their forms. They make for delicious popcorn balls, and a special holiday treat. Small kids will also be able to make them.
6 Spring popcorn trees
Allow your child to draw a tree, complete with the leaves. After this, they can paint the tree, adding blue sky in the background. Then take some popped popcorn and arrange it on the tree, sticking it down to make ‘spring blossoms’.
Little ones will enjoy sticking the blossoms on and eating the popcorn snack at the same time, and you can use it as a chance to teach your child about the different seasons.
5 Colored mosaic art
Take a bag of popcorn kernels and divide it into groups, placing each group of kernels in a separate bowl. Preferably use bowls that you don’t necessarily want to use again, other than for the use of kids’ crafts.
Place a drop of food coloring in each bowl, using a different color for each one. Mix in the color and leave for a little while to dry. Then ask your child to draw a picture and help them to glue the different colored kernels onto the picture. Voila! Instant mosaic art.
4 A popcorn rainbow
Pop a whole lot of popcorn – a whole bowl full. Take a blue sheet of paper and at each end of the paper, towards the bottom border, make two puffy popcorn clouds. Then take paint, and dividing the popcorn in seven groups, paint each group a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
Next, make seven popcorn arches, side by side, using the different colored popcorn pieces in ‘rainbow order’. Add some salt and butter to any leftover, unpainted popcorn – and eat it!
3 Popcorn relay race
This works great for a party – and should be played outside, because it can get messy. Divide the kids into two teams. Then place two large bowls of popcorn at the opposite side of the lawn, and two empty bowls (the same size), by each team. Have the children run across holding a small cup, with the aim of transferring the popcorn from the full bowl to the empty bowl. First team to finish wins the race.
A lot of popcorn might be spilled in the process, making the game just that much more fun. Also, use cups which require a measure of concentration and skill in keeping the popcorn in them, for use by the teams. This will add to the challenge of the race.
2 Popcorn shakers
Children love making their own musical instruments. For this one, they will need a toilet roll, some popped popcorn, two cardboard circles, with a circumference equal to the toilet roll ends, and paints/glitter/fiber tip pens.
Take the toilet rolls and seal one end with a cardboard circle, using sticky tape or glue, before placing some popcorn inside (to a quarter way full). Seal the toilet roll with the other cardboard circle. Then get creative and decorate the shaker with color and glitter.
1 Popcorn trail mix
Popcorn makes for a super healthy snack. Take popcorn and add to it, dried cranberries/sultanas, roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, finely-chopped pieces of date, and pieces of pecan nuts or almonds. This is a great healthy snack to have at Christmas time and your children will be able to help you to make it.
You can also adjust the snack to give it a slightly more Christmas flavor. Why not add some chopped cherries and nuts, and even choc chips to make this a favorite snack around the fireplace on Christmas eve.