What is Grandma Camp? It is an event that your grandchildren look forward to each year. It is a memory that you create from scratch! It is low cost, educational, and fun!

Monday, July 7, 2014


Kinda plain
Getting the invites out proved to be quite a production! Since I wanted them to resemble a royal decree, I knew they had to be a scroll. I know that the post office will mail about anything--for a price! It was much more fun to deliver in person! Addie did one group and then the net day I dressed in the same outfit and went to three more houses! The kids and their parents got a kick out of it. The invite and the tunic bears our family "crest" which is a combination of each families first letter of their last name. The helmet is a 4 qt. ice cream bucket spray painted black and the face shield is the portion that was cut for the face.
Grandpa was behind me as the kids answered the door he made the coconuts clanging together sound as I galloped forward! Is this how a self-respecting granny should behave? It was fun and I am always delighted that the kids are exited.


The electric burner was easier


The finished one, ready to roll.

Ready to deliver.
Addie was a good sport
and dressed up and read the decree. I love my assistants!( and their siblings of course)


Sunday, June 15, 2014


The camp assistants (and Grandpa!) conspired and decided that the theme this year is Holy Grail! Of the Monty Python variety! I figured I had better tone it down a little and do a milder version and call it Grandmalot after Camelot. we will have princesses and knights (ka nig its to Python fans). We will learn about the knights of the round table (I just happen to have a large, round, oak dining table) and about the various contests that were held at that time. The kids will have helmets out of gallon-sized ice cream buckets, javelins for jousting, and we will make a coat of arms flag. We have a family brand of sorts now that includes all the initial of all the families. We will be able to fly the flag at all family gatherings from here on out.
The assistants really want to follow the movie line! We will do some of the things but some are so silly we will not be doing. Does anyone fully "get" Monty Python? We will have a long hunt for the "grail" that will include crossing a bridge (you have to endure watching the movie to understand). We will have catapults for a contest with the parents when they come to pick them up.
Food will be pretty mid-evil too. Served on tin plates. Drumsticks, broccoli trees, anything to eat with our hands.
There are still a lot of details to work out and schedules to figure out. Grandpa is in charge of silly and I will take care of the rest! Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Decision and planning time!

It is Spring! That means that flowers bloom and so do the ideas and plans for this summers Camp! The grown-ups (supposedly!) want to do "Monty Pythons Holy Grail". I don't think I could stand the sound of coconuts all weekend! I guess we could do a more logical twist and do knights (not ka nig its) and princesses.  I bought the first swim noodle I saw t the dollar store last week in anticipation of needing lances. (or just about anything else, love them!) I will be having the older grands over this coming week to get the plans rolling!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Inventing is messy!
I am soooo sorry! I forgot all about coming back to finish up this post! We have experienced a ton of computer glitches. Turns out we had the "Fun Virus" that keeps reinventing itself! We might just be fixed up now, thanks to a tech savey son! However, I am now having trouble with pictures! Grrrr

Day two started with pancakes that the kids
were free to choose, invent a topping for. The younger kids invented a match game from the cover of cereal boxes. 
cereal box match game

Grandpa and the older kids got busy creating a Water Wall. A heavy plastic mesh was mounted to the fence. to it they attached hoses, funnels, water bottles, swim noodle, PVC pipe, etc. This carried water from one point through the maze and watered the flowers! Grandpa recruited our son and his one year old to help.

Lunch was mac and cheese re-invented. We added mix-ins such as broccoli, bacon, more cheese or bread crumbs

The marble track

Using the Foamerator
The older kids had some "inventions" they had picked out in the spring when we met to plan. The younger kids invented their own games for a little while as the older ones got busy. The most popular was the marshmallow launcher made from a tissue box. The kids had fun "testing" it by catching the marshmallows.
We also made a Foamerator (Family Fun Magazine) from cutting the bottom out of a 20 ounce water bottle and attaching a wash cloth over the end with a rubber band. The you dip the cloth in water and then dish soap. When you blow through the top of the bottle the bubbles come out in a long snake of foamy mini-bubbles.
A marble track was made from paper plates that have a rim around the edge. Cut out the middle and then cut the rim part into various sizes and tape together to make twist and turns as desired. This is then elevated by taping various hiegths of paper towel tubes to the bottom. You can even have the track go through the tubes.

A "picnic saver" was invented. Hook and loop fasteners were attached to the picnic table cloth and then to the bottom of a can to hold a paper cup and the bottom of a wicker paper plate holder to keep your paper dinnerware from blowing away! Very clever, he came up with this on his own!
The kids used odds and ends from my MacGuyver stash to make a fun gizmo that knocked a juice can into a truck that rolled into a post that lifted a pin releasing a toy truck. The truck rolled down an incline knocking over a can that was holding a string taut. When the string was released it allowed a toy sand shovel to dispense a marble into a funnel. The marble then rolled into a wrapping paper tube into a wooden marble maze that we had borrowed from friends! If you think that was confusing, you should have been there while trying to get it to work!
It was a hot day so the "inventors" made sponge balls with scoops to play with. it was fun and of course turned into a giant water fight!
We made Minions! They are so cute! Even the big kids made one. They were made by stuffing a toilet paper tube with newspaper. Make sure that the newspaper is kind of rounded on the end that you push up through the tube, it makes it easier to get a smooth head. We then used paper mache' to cover the whole thing and then painted it.An eye or two were glued on and then some final details with a permanent maker. The big kids were a lot of help with this!
When the parents arrived, the kids showed off their inventions.
The parents were then given 30 minutes to "invent" something as a couple. They could choose up to 10 items from the MacGuyver stash and their "invention" had to have moving parts!! They all lived up to the challenge. It was alot of fun!
Dinner was another invention of the kids: Spaghizza (commonly known as spaghetti pie)

My daughter in-law made Minion cupcakes that were sooooo cute. It was killing my grandson to wait to eat one!

Monday, August 12, 2013


I don't know about the kids, but I had a great time! They all worked together well and the older kids helped the younger ones. Most of the planning was done when the older ones came in the Spring, so preparation consisted mainly of providing the materials for them to invent with! I had put the word out that I needed milk jugs, tim cans, and cardboard tubes and boy did I get a generous response!
Addie came the night before to make a
sign for the house and to help me
organize MY thoughts!

I pulled a lot of stuff out of my MacGyver room
hoping to clear it out
When you are encouraging creativity
you have to supply the materials!

When the kids arrived, we invented a new monster or animal from the 2 google eyes that were on a plain paper. We also had a snack so that everyone would be on the same eating schedule. Except the older boys wha are never full!

We are fortunate to have an art gallery not too far away that has a great water "invention" in the middle court. W e were lucky to have camp the same time as an artist was displaying "creatures from the Junk Pile".

Lunch was at the park, It was HOT so we had to check out the splash pad and see how this COOL "invention" worked!
When we got back to Grandma's we were Mad Scientists! We tried to"invent" pop rocks but it did not work! I don't think we cooked it long enough. It was a good opportunity to teach them that inventors sometimes fail and have to try, try again.
Dinner was macaroni and cheese with various mix-in ingredients. Each child "invented" their own, adding bacon, broccoli, ham, or hot dogs.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Last Spring I had the older grands over for a planning session and was able to insist, coerce, get them excited about the theme I have wanted to do for several years: INVENTION CONVENTION! I have some very creative kids and they are getting older so I thought they deserved a camp that would help them shine a little more. As they get older (High school) they tend to loose interest. I hope this camp will ignite some interest and creativity. I have an overflowing craft room that I affectionately refer to as my MacGyver room(you never know when that handy 'stuff' will be needed!) I have since asked friends, church members, and coworkers to save me random items that will be used this weekend. I was hoping to empty the room somewhat but I have a feeling that I just added to it! Each of my helpers are in charge of at least one project. This year the ratio of helpers to campers is almost one on one. One of the campers is proud to say he is all the way potty trained and can now sleep at "Grandma Camping". Many of the ideas came from Family Fun Magazine. Some from Pinterest, and still more from the kids own imaginations. We will guide the little ones toward 'inventing' the projects. We will be creating new food, games and toys. Camp is this Friday and Saturday. The parents will be challenged with a project (a bag of random supplies)when they come to the dinner to pick up the kids. We will have a convention to show the parents what we have done and also tell about how modern conveniences came to be. I can't believe it is finally here! I will post picts and details soon!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Since I mentioned (clapped my hands, shouted from the rooftops, squealed with sheer delight) that we used glow in the dark string at Super Hero Grandma Camp, I have had requests for the directions. It is a top secret formula that only those empowered with Super Hero talents can know (aka: Grandma's!). I used craft paint and water!  I used Folk Art Brand glow in the dark craft paint. Yes, it really is called that! Tulip also makes glow in the dark paint.

I diluted it with two parts water to one part paint. I used a plastic butter spread tub to mix it and then unwound the garden string into the water/paint mixture.

Next I pulled the string from the paint and squeezed out the excess. Your hands will get messy but it is for a good cause!

And then laid it out on a plastic tablecloth to dry. It takes a few hours to dry and will be stiff. I rolled it into a ball to take down into the family room where the villain was setting a trap with a hostage. I knew that laser pointer lights would be a little more difficult to use with the kids bouncing around, so this was a cheap and easy fix. I had the kids take turns entering the family room so that I could have a few minutes of light exposure to "recharge" the string.

This was so cool that I was absolutely giddy in anticipation of having the kids and their parents enjoy it. The picture really was taken in the dark, but I am SO GOOD with my camera, especially in the heat of the moment, that the flash was on. My adult son climbed through the 'lasers" so I would be happy and to show his 2 year old that Dad is fun.
I hope you can use this string idea in one of your Grandma Camps, I know it will be used again sometime at my house.  Enjoy!