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Story Time: Cranberry Thanksgiving


Story Time: Cranberry Thanksgiving activities include crafts, printables and more to extend the picture book

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, my friends, and we need some fun activities and a picture book!

Cranberry Thanksgiving is such a warm, cozy Thanksgiving story, full of goodness and sweetness and light.  I love every character in this story and every nuance.  If you haven’t read it yet with your littles, do so this Thanksgiving season.  I’m not lying, I really want to read this one again and again.  And look out, y’all.  There’s a Cranberry Christmas.  Oh. Yeah.  Keep on coming back to the Lit Mama.  We will love this stuff together!

Story Time: Cranberry Thanksgiving Crafts and activities to go with the picture book

Cranberry Thanksgiving Activities


Keep this simple and fun.  Have your littles create an invitation to Thanksgiving for their family and friends.  Then have them make a list of people they might invite to dinner who could use a little help.  If an actual invitation isn’t possible, perhaps they could make Thanksgiving cards for those people.  I even made up a  freebie card template that, really, you could use for both.  Enjoy!

Story Time: Cranberry Thanksgiving - Thankgiving invitation/card template


Here’s an interesting tidbit for you.  Did you know that you can tell whether or not a cranberry is good by dropping it to the floor?  If it bounces, it’s good.  If it sticks and doesn’t bounce, it’s bad.  So get a bag of cranberries and test it out.

Story Time: Cranberry Thanksgiving - Bouncing cranberries to check for goodness

What you need:

  • 20 or more fresh cranberries
  • A yardstick
  • The free Bouncing Cranberries printable to record your findings


What you do:

  • Hold your yardstick up and drop the cranberries one at a time from the top of the yardstick
  • Count how many bounce and how many don’t bounce
  • Fill out the printable
  • Make Grandmother’s Cranberry Bread with all your good cranberries


Story Time: Cranberry Thanksgiving -Estimating berries

Fill a jar with cranberries and have your littles estimate how many cranberries are in it.  Whoever comes closest can win a prize!


Acorn Turkey Place Card

Acorn Turkey Place Settings

What you need:

Acorn Turkey Place Card Supplies

  • 1 large acorn with no cap
  • 1 small acorn with cap (if you don’t have access to fallen acorns, you can use walnuts purchased at the store)
  • 3-5 wax-dipped autumn leaves from Story Time: In November  (Use rounder leaves that look more like feathers)
  • Don’t use plain leaves.  They will curl up within a day and you won’t be able to read the names.
  • If you live in an area where you don’t have colorful leaves anymore, use this leaf template to make leaves from construction paper or card stock)
  • Thin cardboard (like a cereal box)
  • Quick dry craft glue
  • Fine-tipped Sharpie

What you do:

Acorn Turkey Place Card Feet

  • Cut some simple feet out of the cardboard for your turkey to stand on

Acorn Turkey Place Card Step 2

  • Run a line of glue down the center of the feet and glue your large acorn to it with pointed end facing the back

Acorn Turkey Place Card Step 3

Acorn Turkey Place Card Step 4

  • Put a bead of glue near the front of the large acorn and glue the cap of the small acorn to it with the pointed end facing out (like a beak)
  • Listen, if you want to hot glue the acorns together, I won’t be mad.  It will be faster.  But if you use quick-dry craft glue, you don’t have to hold it in place for more than a minute or two.

Acorn Turkey Place Card Step 5

  • Glue three of your leaves together in a tail shape, putting your largest leaf in the center

Acorn Turkey Place Card Stkep 6

  • If you want to add filler leaves behind them, do so

Acorn Turkey Place Card Step 7

  • Write the guest’s name on the center leaf

Acorn Turkey Place Card Step 8

  • Put a bead of glue on the back side of your turkey and glue the leaves in place

How freaking cute is that?


Grandmother’s Cranberry Bread

Story Time - Cranberry Thanksgiving Grandmother's Cranberry Bread

Listen, the recipe is in the book, and this stuff is dee.lish.ous.  We wolfed it down in minutes after making it.  Here’s how we did it but keep in mind the recipe is in the book (though very slightly different), so you don’t really need me. ( I don’t know if this infringes on copyright or not, so hold your breath with me. I hope Mr. Whiskers doesn’t come after me.)

What you need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Grease and lightly flour a bread pan
  • Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together into a large bowl.
  • Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
  • Add egg, orange peel, and juice all ato once
  • Stir until just moist
  • Fold in dried and fresh cranberries
  • Pour batter into bread pan
  • Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean)

Holy wow, eat that stuff as quickly as we did.  Grandmother rocks!

Love wins,


Looking for more Thanksgiving fun?  Check out:

Story Time: Turk and Runt activities include free printables, crafts, and more to enjoy with the Thanksgiving picture book by Lisa Wheeler

Story Time: Turk and Runt

Story Time: 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving includes fun crafts and activities to do with the picture book

Story Time: ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Dinner and a Movie for Squanto: A Warrior's Tale Recipes for dinner, dessert, and snacks

Dinner and a Movie: Squanto–A Warrior’s Tale



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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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  1. These are such wonderful activities. We just finished Cranberry Thanksgiving with Five in a Row. Ever since our introduction to this book in 2007, we’ve looked forward to reading it every single year. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. So cute, Love this post so much. And now I’ll be bouncing my cranberries too! 😉 Thanks for linking up to Funtastic Friday!
    Kimm at Reinvented recently posted…Gift Ideas For The Person Who Has EverythingMy Profile

  3. Such a fun story! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday last week on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #173My Profile

  4. I am going to choose your post for my favorite post for the Literacy Musing Mondays linkup. 🙂 Thank you for sharing it. 🙂
    Leah Courtney recently posted…A Snow Themed Literature Unit Study with Katy and the Big SnowMy Profile

  5. I love these ideas. Cranberry Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holiday books. 🙂 Thank you for linking up with the LMM linkup.

  6. I won’t be able to not try bouncing my cranberries from now on. 😉 My grandma used to send us her cranberry bread in the mail every December, and I absolutely love making homemade cranberry sauce. Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays!
    Brandi Raae recently posted…busy workMy Profile

  7. So cool! We are cranberry farmers! I love all your ideas to go along with the book Cranberry Thanksgiving. It’s a classic at our house, too, along with all the other Cranberry “holiday” books. I’m sharing this to my Camp Homeschool FB page. And if your kids want to see pictures of real cranberry harvest, visit my blog – I have tons of pictures of our family harvesting cranberries.

  8. MMM. I make an assortment of quick breads which I sell at the farmers’ market I manage in the summer. This recipe looks like a great addition to my flavors!

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