Review: Cranberry Thanksgiving

Cranberry Thanksgiving
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We read Cranberry Thanksgiving for our Five in a Row curriculum and loved it! My daughter really enjoyed the story and so many details stuck with her after just the first “row.” It’s a great story about a girl named Maggie, her friend Mr. Whiskers, and her somewhat judgemental Grandmother with whom she lives. This book prompts discussions about judging others based on appearances, being rude to others, and being compassionate. We will read one more time and then bake Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread (veganized of course!) this weekend.

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Making Playdough

I recently taught at my daughter’s co-op, and one of the activities I had planned for the children involved making a maze using playdough – we were learning about the Minotaur’s Labrynth that particular week. I had never made playdough before – my daughter has received Playdoh on occasion as a gift and does enjoy it but I had not ever attempted to make it homemade. I went in search of a recipe to use, and found this site which contains a large collection of recipes to choose from. I chose the Stay Fresh Playdough recipe, and the results were great! I made four double batches and prepared four colors for the children to choose from. While I do not typically use food coloring, our science kit had a pack for one particular experiment week, and so to use it up, I used the food coloring for the Playdough. THe next batch I prepare I will experiment with natural dyes.

For a single batch you would need:

1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of alum
1 tablespoon of oil
1 cup of boiling water

I used my Kitchenaid mixer for this. I combined all the ingredients except the boiling water. While mixing, I slowly added the boiling water. I allowed it to mix until the right consistency was obtained and then I dropped in the food coloring. Continued mixing resulted in the color being mixed throughout. Finally I turned the playdough out onto some waxed paper and kneaded it several times to finish mixing the color. I allowed to cool and dry out just a little, and then stored in the fridge in a ziploc bag. I can honestly say that I will never buy commercially made playdoh again after seeing how easy it is to prepare my own – easier, less expensive and with minimal ingredients!

The final product – the colors and texture really came out great.

Packed up and ready for co-op!