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!

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

Invention Convention Day Two

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 gliches. Turns out we had the "Fun Virus" that keeps reinveting 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 heigths 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 whicker 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 gismo 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 Minnions! 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 (commonlt 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 affectionatly 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 convieniences 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, squeeled 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!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I know, it has been almost a month since we had our SUPER SUCESSFUL AND FUN SUPERHEROES CAMP! I didn't mean to keep the whole thing a mystery for soooo long. We fought for GOOD against BAD!
This theme was a hit with every age that attended. The kids picked their own power, cape and laser/sword design.
each child received a Super Hero Training Manual that had requirements and a record of the time that it took to pass off each particular skill. For each skill achieved a sticker was placed in the manual.
Throughout the camp a mysterious villan left a card with a different purple letter on it and a note each time there was a mischeivious event. He hid the chips we wanted to take to lunch and a scavenger hunt through the house and yard ensued. We got the first letter "F".
When we got back from endurance training at the park we found that the villain had been in the "Lab" (similar to Iron Man's) and had mixed up a mysterious goop that had to be passed around before the music stoppped. He left the letter "L".
A friend who lives around the corner had a super fun zip line that started in a tree hut and went across her yard that met the requirements for flying.
When Libby's baby came up missing, we had to cross over the acid covered stairs to get to the basement! The superheroes used their reasoning skills to figure out that they could cover the stairs with cardboard and slid down using a cushion from the cot that Grandma just happened to have rinsed off and left to dry on the railing. Once gathered at the bottom of the stairs the hero candidates had to enter the dark TV room one at a time. Once inside they had to go under the lasers
(MY FAVORITE- glow in the dark string that had been strung across the room as if it were lazer lights! I know the picture doesn't show it well, but it really was dark and the string did glow!)

Then they all entered the room and found Baby with her mouth duct taped and tied up with a bungie cord! And of course another letter :Y" The villain was very sneaky!

The candidates were put through an obstacle course using most of their skills: running through a tunnel, target shooting, agility, laser fighting, and leaping tall buildings in a single bound. In the tunnel, the letter "O" was discovered! The villain was watching their training!

High attitude training was a short hike in the canyon to our favorite water hole. The villain had taken our cooler--or so we thought! The older kids went up the trail to find it and upon opening it, found another letter "D" and note: the villain had taken the younger kids to his "bad side". When they came back to Grandpa and Grandma, they discovered the three youngest had been tied up and were holding TNT! They found some pliers and cute the already lit fuses. Good triumphed again!

It was PURPLE FLOYD! (Grandpa loves Pink Floyd and put a twist on it and said that Purple Floyd was the Bad brother of Pink)
We returned home to clean up and have dinner with the parents and break the homemade pinata with our lasers.

The villain was NOT sucessful in getting the SUPERHEROES to choose bad over GOOD! This camp appealed to all ages and was SUPER FUN.

For details about other camps, you can order a book!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Swim Noodles!

The greatest thing ever! A value at only a buck! I loved them when I took water aerobics. Anything that keeps me buoyant is a good thing. Last year we used them at camp: I cut them in 3 inch sections and put a shoelace through the hole in the middle and strapped one to each of the kids shoes. These were their "Space Boots". This year I bought a stash to be used when the kids choose their own "Super Hero" power. It can be customized with duct tape to be a sword or laser. I recently saw an idea in Family Fun magazine that used them for all sorts of fun things including high jump posts. (Just in time for Olympics Camp if you are doing that this year). I have a feeling that next year we will create a marble track out of noodles split lengthwise. Invention Convention here we come! I have a feeling these versatile and cheap noodles will be a part of Grandma Camp for years to come! I bet a Halloween costume could be created..........