Feb 23, 2013

Sensory Saturday : Popcorn Play

Here at the House of Burke, we have declared Saturday's - Sensory Saturday! Every Saturday, I will share a sensory activity. Even though I will be doing these activities with my baby, most of them can be adapted for an older child as well! Sensory activities are so important. I believe that all learning can be linked back to sensory. Babies, especially, are seeing the world with new eyes. Every single thing is a sensory activity for them. We take for granted our daily activities and the items we frequently use around the house. To a baby, however, each of these tasks is a fascinating exploration of new and exciting concepts! With that being said, today our snack time turned into a sensory adventure!

Edited:  Please use CAUTION and your best parental judgement when allowing baby to participate in this activity. My son has no teeth, therefore only gummed the baggy with the popcorn in it. If your baby has teeth, I would abstain from doing this project as both the kernels and popcorn pose a choking risk. This project would be best done with a toothless baby or a child old enough that they can be cautioned against mouthing the popcorn and kernels. As always, please note that this sensory activity as well as any others needs to be done with constant and serious parental supervision. If you do not feel that this is a safe activity for your baby, please refrain from doing it. My son was safely monitored throughout this activity and enjoyed every minute of it! We played TOGETHER and there was no safety hazard due to constant and close supervision. If you do choose to do this activity, enjoy! 

(Please note: NEVER leave your child unattended on the counter at any time!
 Rest assure K was being supported by yours truly!)

I decided today that for snack time I wanted to make popcorn. As a child I absolutely loved to watch popcorn pop. Who am I kidding? I still love to watch it! It's fun for children and for adults .. if you are as easily entertained as I am! What's even better than watching popcorn pop is watching it pop through the eyes of a baby. I got everything ready for the popcorn and sat K up on the counter in his Bumbo, making sure I never took my hand off of him. First, I gave Kingston a bag of popcorn kernels to explore. 

He had fun exploring the texture of the popcorn kernels through the bag. He thought it was funny to keep dropping the bag off of the Bumbo and onto the counter to hear the noise it would make. The few times he tried to taste it, he wasn't too impressed. After he explored, I took the kernels and poured them into the popper. He was enthralled with the sounds that the kernels made going into the machine!

When I turned the popper on, his first reaction was to tense up and get nervous. This air popper makes quite a bit of noise, almost like a blow dryer. He reached out and held my hand tight, but his interest was definitely peaked! That best part of sitting near the popper is that his little legs could feel the heat coming out of the front of the machine. It was a nice warm breeze without being too hot. 

When the popcorn started to come out of the machine, Kingston was really excited! He waved his arms and tried to reach for it. He couldn't take his eyes off of it. Once it was popped, I put some of the popcorn into a plastic bag for K to explore. He loved this part!

Kingston had a great time smooshing the popcorn around in the bag, gumming the kernels through the bag, and whacking it on his chair and the counter! Throughout the Popcorn Play, I repeatedly told K that this was "popcorn" and I would shake the bag of popcorn and say "shake, shake, shake!" He got a kick out of all of this and it really kept his interest for quite a while .. long enough for our snack to get cold! We had a great time though!

Adapting popcorn play for your older child : 

-Create shakers out of the popcorn kernels by sandwiching them in between two plates and stapling. Have your child color and decorate their popcorn maracas!

-Popcorn math - count the popcorn and practice simple math skills such as addition and subtraction

-Glue your popcorn to an oversize "P" to emphasize letter recognition

-Fill a large sensory bin with popcorn & kernels and let your child explore with cups and scoops

Thanks for joining us for our first Sensory Saturday! Please let us know in the comments if you and your little one enjoyed this activity!

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