This week on Monday and Tuesday we had our special monthly activities in the classroom. With the help of a few moms, the children made individual pumpkin cream pies. First, we mixed up the pumpkin cream in the classroom at group time. The recipe is: 1 cup pureed pumpkin, 2 cups milk, 2 boxes instant vanilla pudding, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1 cup Cool Whip. Then the children left the classroom five at a time and made their "crust" with our parent helpers. To do this, they each got a full size graham cracker and placed it into a quart size ziploc bag. Then they took a plastic drinking glass and pounded the cracker until it was in crumbs. They then dumped the crumbs into the bottom of a plastic cup. You can see one of the students pounding her cracker in the photo below. It was so funny.......when one group of children returned to the classroom they said, "Hey! Guess what, Miss Laura? We just beat up some crackers." I thought that was such a cute way to express their experience!
After making the crust, they plopped a spoonful of pumpkin cream on top, and another spoonful of extra Cool Whip on top of that. We refrigerated these and ate them with our snack. Most of the children really liked the pumpkin cream pie. It has a light and fluffy texture and a creamier taste than regular pumpkin pie which many children don't like. I love this recipe so much that I'm making it for our family for Thanksgiving. I'll make a full sized pie with a graham cracker crust made with a little butter and sugar though. I made up a batch of these to pass out to friends at Halloween and packaged them into half-pint canning jars with a spoon tied on with twine. You can click HERE to read a post I wrote about that for our local MOPS blog.
Another thing we did is make painted handprint turkeys for the children to take home to their parents as a Thanksgiving memento. I've never done these before with my class, but I'm so glad we did them. The parents really seemed to love them and I know they will be treasured mementos of this time when the children are so small. Below you can see me painting a hand............
...........and helping my student press it firmly onto the paper.
This shows how it looked right after we painted it. After it was dry we added legs, a beak and an eye with markers. I forgot to take a finished photo though!
Our final special activity was making special Thanksgiving bracelets to retell the story of the first Thanksgiving. For a full description of this activity, please CLICK HERE to read the post I wrote about this last year.