Poppin’ Good Time

This morning we read the Steven Kellogg version of Paul Bunyan. When we got to the part about the popcorn exploding all over, the kids thought it was so hilarious. I told them after rest time we could make popcorn in the air popper.

Once quiet time finally came, I started thinking about what game we should play while having our popcorn and remembered I had some cute popcorn clipart, so I whipped us up a quick popcorn math game. (download link at the bottom)

I made numbered cards 0-10 and dealt everyone six cards. Then we had a number on a popcorn box in the middle of the playing area, and everyone had to try to use their cards to add up to the sum in the middle. If they had numbers that totaled the sum, they yelled “Popcorn!” and laid down their cards. Then they got to keep the popcorn box card.

At the end of the game, the one who had the most popcorn boxes won. The kids enjoyed it, especially Chaosman since he loves math so much or maybe because he won by a landslide. Either way, we all had fun.

After our game time, we read “The Popcorn Book” by Tomie dePaola. As I was reading it, I realized how much has changed in a relatively short amount of time. The kids in the book use actual books to research popcorn—no googling or Alexa in 1978.

It made me think about how the technology of my childhood would seem so different to the kids.

No one had cell phones. Sure they existed, but not like now. You memorized all your friends’ phone numbers and actually talked on the phone.

You had to dial-up internet and wait forever for it to come on and then hope no one called while you were on it.

You had to watch commercials (or run to the bathroom only during that time) and had to wait for the show you wanted to come on. You couldn’t pause the tv. You had to get up and change the channel with that clicky dial.

You would sit waiting for your favorite songs to come on so you could record them on cassette tap

There was a lot of waiting.


Now so much is instant. You can get whatever show or song you want to play immediately. You can look up a recipe or the answer to any question without having to touch a book.

Sometimes I get nervous about the way technology is creating a norm of instant gratification. It makes me nervous for the kids’ future. It makes me wonder if, at some point, they will start taking “the little things” for granted.

But then I started thinking about their reaction when we were popping the popcorn. They were all so excited to watch it pop. They were all huddled around the popper, enthralled and celebrating each popped kernel. If my kids are that excited to watch popcorn pop, I’m thinking technology hasn’t ruined them yet.

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