Cherry Blossom Popcorn
Skills: Understanding Muscle Memory (see "TEACHING TIP" below). How to do controlled stirring. Helps develop beginning baking skills and fine-motor skills.
B (blossom, butter), “Ch” (cherry), P (pink, popcorn), S (spoon, sugar)
1 cup white, granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp butter
¼ cup water
red food coloring
7-8 cups plain, popped popcorn
Directions for Children:
Use a smaller measuring cup to scoop up and then pour the white, granulated sugar into a 1-cup measuring cup. Level the top of the cup off with the back of a butter knife. This will give you exactly 1 cup of sugar.
Next, carefully pour the sugar into a small saucepan. Don’t hold the cup up too high, because some of the sugar might miss the saucepan and get on the counter or the floor and sugar can be sticky to try to clean up.
Now fill up a measuring cup or a measuring pitcher with 1/4 cup water. Hold it down low in the bowl, too, and carefully pour the water over the top of the sugar. Put in the butter.
Directions for Adults: Be sure to explain the following steps to the children and let them watch as you do it. You might let them do some of these steps, depending on their age and skill. Be careful with the food coloring, as it can stain fingers and clothing.
Combine the sugar, butter, water together in a small sauce pan. Add the red food coloring a drop at a time until the syrup is a nice, bright-red color (see "LOOK CLOSER" below).
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until the butter and sugar are melted. Boil for two minutes. Set the syrup aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Put the popcorn in a large bowl and slowly pour the syrup over the top. Let the children gently stir the popcorn until it is entirely coated with the pink syrup.
Line a large cookie sheet with waxed paper and spread the pink popcorn out onto it. Let dry for about 30 minutes before eating.
Let's Think About It/Talk About It:
Did you like doing this activity? What was your favorite part?
What about measuring the sugar and pouring in the water? Did your hands understand what to do? Do you think your hands will know how to measure sugar and water even better next time? (see "TEACHING TIP" below)
What did you see when the food coloring was added to the syrup? What happened?
How did it feel to stir the popcorn and syrup together? Did your body know what to do? Does your arm need more practice? (see "TEACHING TIP" below)
What happened to the popcorn?
If you were going to invent or make any kind of popcorn you wanted to, what would it be?