Flint Kernel Counting

Flint corn, or Indian corn, is one of the oldest varieties of corn, a type that Native Americans taught the early colonists how to cultivate. Its kernels, which come in a range of colors including white, blue and red, have “hard as flint” shells, giving this type of corn its name.

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Flint corn kernels contain a small amount of soft starch surrounded completely by a larger amount of hard starch, which means the kernels shrink uniformly when drying and are dent-free and less prone to spoiling (and therefore ideal for autumnal décor). Despite its tough exterior, this type of corn can be consumed by livestock and humans, and is used in such dishes as hominy and polenta.

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Using flint corn kernels, tweezers, and ice cube trays, we continued to hone our fine motor skills! For this activity, students grasped kernels and counted them as they placed them into the correct compartment. Using tweezers helps your little ones continue their mastery of the pincer grasp, and placing the kernels into the trays encourages concentration, and hand eye coordination. Young children often have difficulty in manipulating a variety of utensils required for fine motor control, but providing them with this variety helps improve awareness of their hand.

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