Celebrate National Popcorn Poppin’ Month This October!
Americans love popcorn! Recent reports say we eat 17 billion quarts every year. If you popped all that, you could fill the Empire State Building 18 times, says Lexi Jacobs, author of The History of Popcorn.
Here are a few fun facts about America’s favorite snack:
- If you heat popcorn in an open cooker, kernels can fly as far as 3 feet when they burst!
- Popcorn has more protein per serving than eggs, roast beef, and cereal grains.
- You’ll need 1600 popcorn kernels to fill a 1 cup measuring container.
- In Colonial America, popcorn was eaten for breakfast with milk, sugar, and cream – a lot like cereal today.
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month was started in 1999 by Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman. Why October? Because this is when popcorn is harvested in the Midwest, where most of America’s popcorn is grown.
How did popcorn get into movie theaters?
Before the Depression, young entrepreneurs started selling popcorn and cracker jacks as they walked up and down theater aisles. Theater owners were hesitant to buy the equipment needed to serve popcorn, so they hired vendors to cook and sell it outside.
In 1938, Glen Dickson decided to take a chance. He bought popcorn poppers and installed them inside all his theaters. It was expensive, but he made his money back quickly. Sales of popcorn soared! Now it’s hard to imagine going to a theater without smelling popcorn.
Class Activities with Popcorn
Make some great memories for your students with these fun activities.
The Milk and Popcorn Mixer
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mixed milk and popcorn? Let’s find out!
Start with two plastic cups or glasses. Fill one with milk and the other with popcorn (already popped). Have your students start dropping popcorn into the milk, one piece after another.
Then watch what happens.
The milk will swallow the popcorn and never rise above the rim. Pretty cool, huh?
Homemade Popcorn Shakers
Unleash the musician in your young students!
- Toilet paper roll cores
- Cardboard circles that fit each end of the cores
- Colorful markers
- Glue or sticky tape
Take the toilet paper core and seal one side. Insert the popcorn and seal the other side. Let the kids decorate the shaker however they like. Then get ready to make some music!
If you want the shakers to be really loud, use unpopped popcorn.
Popcorn Relay Race
You may want to do this one outside. It can get messy!
Set a bowl of popcorn and an empty bowl at both ends of the relay track. Give students a cup they’ll use to transport popcorn from the full bowl to the empty one at the other end of the track. The first team to complete the transfer wins!
Add Some Decorations to Your Celebration
You don’t have to decorate your room with real popcorn to celebrate. We’ve got you covered!
Serve some popcorn with these Classic Accents Popcorn Boxes.
Award prizes with these Showtime Popcorn Stinky Stickers.
We hope you have fun celebrating National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’d love to hear how it goes for you!