The Most Decadent Pumpkin Pie Recipe!

We asked the Little Passports team members for their best Thanksgiving recipes, and Robyn Patty has shared her favorite pumpkin pie. She loves making pies, and every year at Thanksgiving, this is her well-loved standard.

Take it from Robyn and ditch the evaporated milk this year, and try this decadent version of the classic instead! Happy Thanksgiving!

Decadent Pumpkin Pie

What You Will Need

  • 2 pie shells, pre-baked
  • 1 cup REAL maple syrup
  • 2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Prepare your pie shells. I use pre-made pie shells, but if you’re feeling ambitious, take the time to make them from scratch! Pre-bake the pie shells according to the instructions, and let cool before filling.
  3. Pour the maple syrup into a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to boil until it reaches 200 degrees on a candy thermometer, and remove from heat.
  4. Once the syrup is slightly cooled, pour it into a mixing bowl. Whisk it together with the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, salt, vanilla, heavy cream, buttermilk, and eggs.
  5. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pre-baked pie shells. Bake for 1 hour, until filling is set but is still a bit jiggly in the center when shaken (not too hard!). Move to a rack and cool completely.
  6. Serve with whipped cream!

A Montessori-Inspired Approach to Little Passports

This week, we’ve asked Deb Chitwood of to share the fun and educational ways that you can use Little Passports with preschoolers. Read on to see examples of her creative ideas!

It’s fun and rewarding to incorporate Little Passports packages into a Montessori-inspired geography curriculum. I’m sharing some ideas using Montessori principles that show ways you can use the Little Passports World Edition packages with preschoolers.

Montessori-Inspired Little Passports Global Adventure

Preparatory Work with Globes, Maps, and Continent Boxes

The activities below work well if you homeschool your child or your child attends a Montessori school. You just need to choose the activities that work best for your own child and family.

The Montessori preschool geography curriculum introduces the Montessori land and water globe and continent globe before the world continent map. You could make DIY Montessori globes, or just point out the concepts of land and water and the seven continents on your globe at home.

Continent map work is easier to prepare. While starting with a globe is best, you could start with a Montessori continent map to introduce the continents at home.

Continent Map Labeling Tray Continent Map Labeling Tray

I designed a continent map tray that was prepared by using free printables. This is helpful to have on your shelf throughout the year. I recommend introducing the continents before your child receives the first Little Passports package.

Montessori continent boxes (or continent baskets or trays) give preschoolers a hands-on way of experiencing each continent. I like to include hands-on continent activities before studying the individual countries. You’ll find lots of ideas for hands-on continent activities in my continent box posts.

If you have a homeschool, you’ll find it helpful to introduce some continent box activities before introducing the related Little Passports country package. If your child attends a Montessori school, you might find that you only need to emphasize the name of the continent related to your current Little Passports package.

Montessori-Inspired Little Passports Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I’ve prepared Montessori-inspired activities to go with the Little Passports World Edition packages. You’ll find links to activities for each of the first-year subscription packages in my Montessori-Inspired Little Passports Global Adventure post. I’m gradually including activities for each of the second-year packages, too.

Montessori-Inspired Little Passports Activities - France

As an example, for the Little Passports France package (package four) I prepared some map work, a photo-booklet-making activity using the Little Passports online Boarding Zone resources, and two activities extending the camera/photo focus from the package. The activities used free printables I found online (with links included in my posts).

Montessori-Inspired Global Adventure Pinterest Board and Related Continent Resource Boards

Follow Deb @ Living Montessori Now’s board Montessori-Inspired Global Adventure on Pinterest.

Be sure to check out the Montessori-Inspired Global Adventure Pinterest Board and each of the related continent educational resource boards (which include resources for the related countries included in the Little Passports World Edition packages). The Pinterest boards contain ideas and activities that can be used to create continent boxes and complete unit studies for a variety of ages to go with your Little Passports packages. I add geography resources to Pinterest each month.

Here are links to each of the Pinterest boards in the order the continents are introduced through Little Passports:


Little Passports Early Explorers and Montessori-Inspired Activities

I’m excited about the new Early Explorers packages for children ages 3-5! The activities I’ve prepared for the World Edition work well for preschoolers and are a great way to include preschoolers in a homeschool unit study of a particular country. The Early Explorers packages focus on themes that are different from the World Edition packages. Early Explorers packages can also be used to create activity trays and can be used instead of or in addition to the World Edition activities I’ve shared.

The Need for Repetition

Montessori education emphasizes the young child’s need for repetition to meet the needs of sensitive periods. By making activity trays with the Little Passports materials, your child can enjoy doing the activities over and over and maximizing the educational benefits of Little Passports. One of the best benefits is that Little Passports combined with Montessori ideas can give your child a lifelong love of geography.

About Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego.

On her blog at, she writes about Montessori activities and ideas, homeschooling, and parenting. She also helps parents and teachers feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12 in her eBook, Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy (2013, Spring Snow Publications). You can connect with Deb on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.


Pinterest Scavenger Hunt: Raising a Global Kid

Can you find it? Little Passports and The Educators’ Spin On It are partnering to bring you a Pinterest Scavenger Hunt. The hunt begins TODAY 11/17/14.

RULES: Create your board, and share with us in the comments on our Facebook ( NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Raising a Global Kid Scavenger Hunt (the Promotion) begins Nov. 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM (PT), and ends Nov 19, 2014 at 11:00 PM (PT) (the “Promotion Period”).

ELIGIBILITY: To participate in this Promotion, you must be a legal resident of the 50 United States, or the District of Columbia and be at least 18 years of age at time of entry. Employees of Little Passports Inc., Facebook, Inc., their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, vendors, employees and immediate family of such employees (defined as spouse, IRS dependent, or biological, adoptive or step- mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son, and each of their respective spouses), or those who reside in the same household as, any person in any of the preceding categories, are not eligible to participate. Void outside the 50 United States and D.C. and where prohibited.

USE OF ENTRANT INFORMATION: All information submitted as part of your entry becomes subject to Little Passports Privacy Policy, found at Little Passports may send entrants emails about promotions, products, and contests. Entrants may unsubscribe or opt out of receiving such additional emails as described in the privacy policy.

DURATION: This Promotion begins Nov 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM (PT) and ends November 19, 2014 at 11:00 PM (PT). For an entry to be eligible, it must be registered within this time period.

WINNER SELECTION: Little Passports staff will choose the winner based on creativity and adherence to the rules. By participating in the Contest, entrant certifies that his/her entry is original, has not been previously published or won any award, and does not contain any material that would violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party, including copyrights, trademarks or rights of privacy or publicity. Little Passports reserves the right in its sole and unfettered discretion to disqualify any entry that it believes contains obscene, offensive or inappropriate content, that does not comply with these official rules or that is not consistent with the spirit or theme of the contest. The decision of Little Passports and judges is final and binding on all matters relating to the Contest.

Grand Prize Winner announced: November 20, 2014. 


Thailand Festival of Lights

Every year in Thailand, fireworks crackle, candle-lit lanterns lift into the night air, and tiny rafts bearing candles – along with wishes and prayers woes – float away into the dark. This is the Thailand Festival of Lights!

Despite its name, the Thailand Festival of Lights is actually made up of two different festivals: Loi Krathong, the most widely celebrated throughout the country, and Yi Peng, which is commemorated in harmony with Loi Krathong, in Northern Thailand. The dates change every year, but because each one is determined by the full moon, they always occur at the same time – usually in November. This year, they fall on November 6th.

So, what are these festivals all about? Though their origins are unique, over time, they have come to share similar meanings.

Loi Krathong’s history is still up for debate, but many believe it started as a Brahman ritual which, over the centuries, evolved into a celebration of Buddha. During Loi Krathong, people create rafts called krathongs, made in the shape of open lotus flowers, the symbol of Buddhism. They are decorated with flowers, incense and candles. Traditionally, these vessels were made from banana leaves, but today you’re just as likely to see krathongs fashioned from bread!

When evening falls, the maker of the krathong lights a candle and thinks of a wish or prayer before gently pushing it into the river. If the krathong disappears before the candle burns out, it’s believed that the wish comes true. Krathongs carry more than wishes! Oftentimes, celebrants place locks of hair into the baskets, believing they will whisk away bad luck.

Traditional believers set a coin in the middle of the krathong as a tribute to the Thai goddess of the river, Phra Mae Khongkha. Because of this, festival-goers may hear the splish-splash of children diving in the water to fetch the coins before they float away!

Yi Peng is marked by the Lanna, or Northern Thai, calendar, and has always been a tribute to Buddha. Yi means two, or second, and Peng means full moon, so the holiday is always celebrated during the full moon of the second lunar month of the Lanna calendar. Instead of krathongs, lanterns take center stage in this festival! There are carrying lanterns that migrate from parades to temples, elegant hanging lanterns and vibrant spinning lanterns, and–most famously–the sky lanterns.

Known as khom loi, these sky lanterns mimic hot air balloons. Many people say a short prayer before lighting their khom loi, while others write notes or addresses onto the lanterns.

Because Chiang Mai celebrates both festivals, the city is regarded as one of the most spectacular places to partake in the festivities. Here, onlookers enjoy multiple days of events, which include beauty pageants, parades, fireworks, and, of course, the lighting of candles and lanterns. On the night of the full moon, the city is glowing with light, reflected in the water and sky. It’s a magical sight!

Learn more about Thailand by subscribing to our World Edition!


The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers!

Little Passports is excited to announce the launch of Early Explorers, a new subscription line for preschoolers!

Available just in time for the holiday season, this product introduces 3-5 year olds to a new world theme each month, such as animals, music and landmarks. It’s carefully designed with preschoolers in mind, with fun and educational activities, souvenirs and stickers.

The first month’s Traveler’s Kit arrives in a bright orange suitcase, and contains everything a child needs to start learning about the world, including an activity book, a wall-sized world map, stickers, wall decal and luggage tag. You also meet characters Max, Mia, and their dog Toby, who will lead your child on their global adventure!

Amy Norman, Co-Founder and Co-CEO explains,

“We’re excited to share our passion with families and help shape the next generation of global citizens. Our new Early Explorers program for preschool aged children will do just that, with our Explorers receiving fun and engaging activities in the mail each month – all designed to introduce and teach them about different cultures and places around the world.”

Click here to learn more about what’s inside the monthly packages, or to see our different subscription plans!