Popcorn Fun for Cub Scout Meetings

Popcorn Fun for Cub Scout MeetingsDo you know about the Popcorn Guy?  If not, you need to head over to his blog and sign up.  He has great information about selling BSA popcorn.  While most of it is related to selling popcorn, the Popcorn Guy (who’s an Eagle Scout) offers other Cub and Boy Scout suggestions too.

There are some great activities you can do with popcorn.  In fact, you can have an entire den or pack meeting with popcorn fun.  Use these activities your popcorn sale kickoff or for National Popcorn Day (January 19th) or Popcorn Lovers’ Day (2nd Thursday in March) or just anytime you need a fun den or pack meeting.

Use this popcorn word search that I made with the free tool at A to Z Teacher Stuff as a gathering activity. Having the boys guess the number of unpopped kernels of popcorn in a jar would make another cool gathering activity.

Ask the boys “what makes popcorn pop?”  Basically, it’s a mini explosion, and there aren’t many Cub Scouts who don’t love a good explosion!  Here’s an explanation from Popcorn.org:

Each kernel of popcorn contains a small drop of water stored inside a circle of soft starch. Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.  The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel’s hard outer surface.

As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand.  Around 212 degrees the water turns into steam and changes the starch inside each kernel into a superhot gelatinous goop.  The kernel continues to heat to about 347 degrees.  The pressure inside the grain will reach 135 pounds per square inch before finally bursting the hull open.

As it explodes, steam inside the kernel is released.  The soft starch inside the popcorn becomes inflated and spills out, cooling immediately and forming into the odd shape we know and love.  A kernel will swell 40-50 times its original size!

To demonstrate this to the boys, try this experiment from Home Training Tools:

Put a single kernel of popcorn in a dry test tube and cover the mouth of the test tube with aluminum foil. Hold the test tube over a flame, shaking it a little bit periodically to keep the kernel from burning. (Keep the test tube pointed away from you!) After a few seconds the kernel will pop, releasing the steam from inside. You’ll see the steam condense on the sides of the test tube. (If your kernel doesn’t pop, it might be because there was not enough water inside. If it doesn’t pop but you see steam condensing on the sides of the test tube, the kernel has a hole in the hull, so the pressure can’t build enough to make it pop.)

After the boys know how popcorn pops, they’ll be ready for some games.  Here are a couple of good ones that I found.

I LOVE this popcorn race idea from PBS Kids!  It is definitely an outdoor activity.  You’ll need:

  • 1 paper cup for each boy plus 1 extra for each team
  • 1 rubber band for each boy
  • 1 paper clip for each boy
  • 1 large bowl or tub for each team
  • Lots of popped popcorn

Divide the boys into at least 2 teams.  If you have a lot of boys, you may want to divide them into more teams.  Mix up the dens so that you have Tigers and Webelos on the same team.

Place a large empty bowl or tub for each team on one side of your playing area.  Have the boys line up behind a line on the other side of the playing area.  They should have another container filled with popped popcorn on the line where they are lined up.  This container will also have an empty cup in it.

Have the boys attach a cup to their foot. They’ll do this by poking a hole in the bottom of the cup and pushing a rubber band through it.  Then, they’ll put a paper clip through the rubber band on the inside of the cup to keep the rubber band from slipping out.  Players should put the rubber band around their foot to attach the cup to the top of their foot.

The first player should fill his cup with popcorn using the extra cup.  After the first player for each team has a cup full of popcorn, the Cubmaster starts the race by yelling, “Pop!”

The boys race to the empty bucket and try to dump the popcorn into it without using their hands. While the first boy is doing this, the second boy in line fills his cup with popcorn so that he’s ready to go when the first boy runs back and tags him.

The team with the most popcorn in their bucket at the end of the race wins.

popcorn box

Order these popcorn boxes from Amazon

If the weather doesn’t cooperate and you can’t play outside, try these fun indoor games.

Chopstick Popcorn:  Give each boy a pair of chopsticks, one popcorn box filled with popcorn and one empty popcorn box.

They have 1 minute to fill the box with as many kernels of popped popcorn as they can using only the chopsticks!

Popcorn Air Race:  Each boy gets a straw and a kernel of popped popcorn.  They have to move the popcorn by blowing through the straw.  The first person to get to the finish line wins!

Popcorn Toss:  Bring the used printer paper you’ve been meaning to recycle and a bucket.  Have the boys ball up the pages to look like a big piece of popcorn.  Give them 1 minute to toss as many of them into the bucket as possible.

And of course you’ll want to finish your meeting by eating some of that popcorn!

What do you think about these popcorn-related activities?

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. If you liked this popcorn plan, sign up below for more cool suggestions!

P.P.S.  This article contains some of my affiliate links where I earn a little commission if you click through them and purchase something.  This is at no additional charge to you.

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5 thoughts on “Popcorn Fun for Cub Scout Meetings

  1. Robert "Popcorn Guy" Moore


    Thank you for the mention on your blog.

    I love these ideas on how to incorporate popcorn as part of a Unit’s Popcorn Program instead of ‘just the fundraiser’.

    Another tidbit:

    There are typically three different hybrids of popcorn each designed for a different purpose. The type most people are aware of is the one they see in a standard popping kernel. Because the consumer sees this product before it is popped, the color of the kernel is important with most people wanting a very golden color. To get the golden color they tend to have less moisture in each kernel and takes longer to pop. This popcorn is most often used in air poppers. If you want to see the difference, open up a bag of microwave popcorn and compare it to your standard popping corn.

    Most Caramel Corn uses a ‘ball popcorn’. when popped this kernel comes out in the shape of a ball and the husk easily comes off.

    Microwave popcorn is know as ‘fireworks popcorn’. It is designed to ‘blow up’ when heated and take up the most space. This is why it is used in microwave bags. However, they also use this type at the movie theaters. Firework popcorn takes up more space so it takes less to fill a tub of popcorn.

    A special ‘kernel’ for Cub Scout Ideas.

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  4. Samantha Green

    Thank You so much for posting this!

    This is my first year of being a Kernel and only our 2nd year selling popcorn and we have our popcorn kickoff this Thursday and I was at a loss of what to do with the boys, the games are great and so is the info for our Cubmaster to tell the boys about.



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