Classroom Activity
Poppin'Like Popcorn
Feel the energy as threes and
fours turn into popcorn.

AGES 3–4


  • masking tape
  • bag of popcorn
  • popcorn popper
  • record or cassette player
  • records or cassettes of lively music

Objective: Children will use gross-motor skills and interact cooperatively as they pretend to be popcorn.

To Prepare: Use masking tape to outline a large circle on the floor.

Warm-Up: Invite children to sit inside the circle. Engage children in singing "Pop Goes the Weasel!" Have children pop up quickly and sit right back down when they sing "Pop goes the weasel!"


  1. Show children a kernel of popcorn and ask them to identify it. Pass it around and let children touch it and look at it closely. Encourage children to share their ideas about how a kernel turns into popcorn.

  2. Explain to children that they are sitting in a pretend popcorn popper. Ask them to imagine they are tiny kernels of unpopped popcorn. What do they think will happen when you turn the popper on?

  3. Use both words and pantomime to show children that you are turning on the popper. Then watch as your children "pop" inside the circle like real popcorn. Encourage them to crouch down as low as they can and to pop up as high as they can.

  4. Have children sit still so that you can teach them a song called "I'm a Piece of Popcorn" (to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"):
    I'm a piece of popcorn in a pot.
    Heat me up and watch me pop.
    When I get all big and white I'm done.
    Oh, popping corn is lots of fun — POOF!
    Invite children to stand up and "pop" with you while they sing. Children can rise slowly during the song and then jump up at the end when they shout "Poof!" and pretend to turn into a piece of popcorn.

    Remember: Children will need a lot of space for this activity. Make the circle large enough to accommodate energetic popping.