Playing with Pie

Just wanted to drop a line to those of you heating up your kitchens in preparation for some Thanksgiving bounty!! I've been having deep pregnancy-craving dreams of fresh cranberry sauce dribbled over slices of juicy turkey...and sweet potato casserole topped with just-browned marshmallow...and oven-roasted brussel sprouts and fresh-herb-infused stuffing...mmm! Right now I'm feeling grateful that our Thanksgiving will be spent amongst family and friends (not to mention grateful that we got invited out to an old friend's legendary kid-free feast! Thanks Sariti - looking forward!!)

Freida came down with a bout of autumn cough/cold this week (I'm giving thanks that she held off on the illness until we were settled post-move and not in the interim of it all!), so we've got our own version of seasonal bounty cooking up on the stove. I'm all about attempting to "heal through foods", and I've got chunks of root vegetables (butternut squash, rutabaga, turnip, garlic, leeks, and parsnips) simmering in vegetable broth waiting to be processed into a velvety, sick-banishing, chock-full-of-vitamins soup!

Anyways, for those of you hosting Thanksgiving feasts, and planning on entertaining families with children (not to mention your own), I thought I'd share a little delicious tactile activity that is sure to keep tiny hands busy (for a little while, anyway). 3 words: pumpkin. pie. playdough. Yep, you read that right. And just wait til you actually try this stuff out - it's such an insanely yummy (not to mention stress-relieving!) activity - you will just want to keep some on you, available for relaxation and manipulation, all day long! Plus, making the stuff is easy as pie!

Use a general playdough recipe like the fool-proof one I posted here. While mixing it all up over low heat, add in:

- 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

- 1 teaspoon Maple Syrup

- Drop of Red and Yellow Coloring

Just kneading this stuff (I made it the night before the Babyccino launch - the class was "pumpkin" themed, and this dough went into one of the sensory tables), had all my senses in overdrive. It was warm and fragrant, and I simply didn't want to put it down!!

Not that you need anything extra to cook, but if you make it around to this, you can set up a kids table with pumpkin pie playdough, cookie cutters, empty pie tins, tart dishes, cupcake liners etc. and let the kids mess around with this tactile and olfactory activity while the grownups get started on cocktails! :)

Also, in case your looking for some more kid-busying activities for tomorrow, I filled another sensory table with pumpkin seeds (still shelled), and left out some measuring cups and spoons to play around with. Another 15 minutes of happy occupation makes all the difference while entertaining! And don't forget last year's hit popcorn turkey kid tablescape!!

Happy holiday of thanks to you all!! Wishing you heaps and heaps to be grateful for...!

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