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  • Genna Nichol

Popcorn Speech and Language Activity

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Popcorn activity to develop speech, literacy, counting and language
Popcorn speech and language activity

What you need:

Popsicle sticks

1 piece of paper

Paint (red and white)

Yellow food dye

Medicine dropper

Cotton balls



  1. Take approximately 5-6 popsicle sticks and arrange them vertically to make it look like a carton for popcorn.

  2. Glue the popsicle sticks onto the paper once you have decided how you want to arrange them.

  3. Paint the popsicle sticks alternating red and white colours (or you choose!).

  4. Get several cotton balls and glue them one by one on top of the "carton". This is a good opportunity to practice "pop" or a specific target word each time your child glues on a cotton ball.

  5. Then fill up the dropper with yellow coloured water and squirt onto the cotton balls to make the "butter".

Articulation/Motor Speech Goals:

  1. Decrease/increase jaw height for "aw" in words and/or use of final consonants 'T' and 'P': Target words: "pop", "hot", "pot", "up". Phrases: "pop up", "hot pot", "more pop".

  2. Mid Height Vowels: Target words: "put", "in". Phrases: "put in", "in pot"

  3. 'R' Sound: Target words: "popcorn", "kernels", "butter", "drizzle", "squirt", "yellow colour" (dye), "red", "crunchy".

  4. 'S' Blends: Target words: "sticky", "stick", "squirt", "squeeze" (when squeezing dropper). Phrases: "stick on", "sticky glue", "squirt on".

  5. 'GL' Blends: Target words: "glue". Phrases: "glue please", "glue on", "sticky glue".

  6. 'K' and 'G' Sounds: Target words: "cotton balls", "popcorn", "kernels", caramel. Phrases: "one cotton ball", "yummy popcorn", "small kernels", "caramel popcorn".

Carry-Over of Speech Sounds:

Getting your child to tell you the steps to making something simple such as popcorn is a great way for them to start to generalize their speech sounds to their everyday speech. If they are working on the 'R' sound for example, you would tell them that you want them to use their "good R sound" the whole time they are telling you how to make popcorn.

Language Goals:

  1. Sequencing and Re-telling Steps to a Recipe: Have your child tell you the steps to make popcorn either in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Encourage them to use sequential words: "first, then, next, last" OR "first, second, third".

  2. Encourage/Expand on Vocabulary: There are lots of different types of words you can model and emphasize during this craft. You can also talk about where popcorn comes from. The following is a list of vocabulary words you can use during the activity. Descriptive: crunchy, greasy (with butter), white, bumpy, small, sticky (if candied or caramel popcorn), hot. You can also talk about the different types of popcorn such as cheese, caramel, butter, dill pickle, etc. Quantity: lots, more, a little. Action words: pop, want (I want/need glue, cotton balls, popsicle sticks, paint, etc), squirt, put, paint, etc. Preposition words: in, out, on (lid on top of the pot).

  3. Understanding Language and Following Directions: Explain how to do the craft in parts. If you want your child to understand 2-step related directions, you can ask them the following: "Get the popsicle sticks and glue them to your paper", "get the yellow colour dye and put it in the water bowl". A 2-step unrelated direction would be "fill the dropper with the colour dye and squirt it on the cotton ball".

Book to accompany the activity:

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1 Comment

Sabine Lauffer
Mar 24, 2020

Great craft idea! Thanks, Genna.

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