• Pam

Seven Steps to Host A Successful Grandma Camp


Today we are going to jump into Cabin Creek’s Pillar #2 Fostering Relationships and Family Time. This week we are going to venture out and talk about hosting your very own Grandma Camp! It's that time of year again - you know, the one where your grandkids come over and play for a few hours before going back to their parents' house.


You're not sure what to do with them during those precious hours you get them, so how about a Grandma Camp?


Camp Grandma, Camp Nana, Camp Me Maw, Grammy Camp or whatever you would call it, you get the idea. This past year left many grandparents that had to do without seeing their grandkids. I have heard many heart-breaking stories during that time. Well grandmas, it is time to make up for it!! Muster up the energy and let’s get to it. Get a pen and paper ready to take notes as this information will prompt many ideas to pop into your head and if you’re like me, if It’s not written down the thought is gone forever!


I would like to mention a great group of gals 60 and over in a Facebook Group I have joined. Some of the suggestions mentioned in this blog post were from this group and I do appreciate their contributions and great ideas!!




What exactly is a Grandma Camp? The idea of Grandma Camp originated from one grandmother who wanted her grandchildren to visit more often but couldn't bear the thought of going out in public due to her age and health issues. So, she came up with this great idea for everyone to meet at her house for some quality time together! Grandma Camp can be held at any house as long as there are enough bedrooms available or tents!! Air mattresses can be very useful for Camp Grandma! Nana Camp can be a day, a long weekend, or a week or more depending on your availability and stamina!


Camp Grandma can be an event to give your adult children a break or to involve the whole family in enjoying some fun quality time together. Grandma Camp is a new trend that has been sweeping the nation. It's an event where you invite all your grandkids over or the entire family over for some fun, games, and food. For some, the best part of Grandma Camp might be getting to have their own time with their grandchildren without having to go out in public or drive anywhere!


Grandma Camp is an event that the grandmas of today can't miss. It's a great way to spend time with their grandkids and teach them all about how to cook, clean, grow plants, etc. Plus, it's just so much fun! You could actually hold a successful one at home if you wanted too rather than have to find a public place to hold one. Either way, at your home or at a public place make the best of it! So, ask your adult kids and Grandpa if they willing to help and get started on planning your own Grandma Camp today! Grandma camp is a great place for cousins to get to know each other better and become great friends!


Ready, here goes. A successful grandma camp is a great way to spend time with your grandchildren. Here are some tips on how to have the best one ever! I know you’ve been wondering how to hold a successful grandma camp at your house. Well, I have the solution!


Follow these steps below and you will be well on your way to hosting an unforgettable event with the kids.




Step One: Decide how long Grandma Camp will be and if you will hold it at your home a public place or at another family member’s home.


Step Two: Coordinate schedules with your kids. You know there are sports, camps, summer school, family vacations, etc. that might get in the way of planning that perfect date. Set the date. How will everyone get to the meeting place?


Step Three: If having your event at a public place, make sure you have set the date and secured the venue enough time ahead to make sure it will all work.


Step Four: Decide on sleeping arrangements. Where will all the kids sleep? How will you make enough room? Will you need tents? How about air mattresses? Do you need to separate boys and girls?


Step Five: Meals. What kid friendly foods will you prepare. Ones that are easy and can adjust to a crowd! How many meals will you need to prepare for? We had a blended family and one of our daughters did not like pizza. That put a whole new wrench in trying to feed all the kids! We ended up on special nights going out to Old Country Buffet so there was a plethora of food choices. If someone couldn’t find a food they liked, well they would have to go hungry! What kind of snacks will you have on hand? What type of beverages will you plan? Plan for things that are not too messy.

Step Six: Event and Activity Planning. Here is where the rubber meets the road. How are you going to keep these kids busy? What age groups are you going to deal with? Will you have a difference in ages that you may have to have multiple types of age-related activities? Can the older grandkids help with the younger ones? Maybe assign the younger ones a “cousin buddy” for the duration of the camp to help keep them cared for and help with certain activities.


Step Seven: Wrap Up. What closing activities will you have to bring the camp to an end. How will you preserve the memories the kids will take home with them? Will you provide “goodie bags” to take home? How about T-Shirts to commemorate the camp? A bonfire? S’mores? Take-home crafts? A closing ceremony where each child gets to talk about what part of Grandma Camp did they like the best? Will you provide pictures? Send them each a photo book after the event has come to an end sharing all the activities and fun times they shared? Again, make sure you take notes as you read through this, as your own ideas maybe flooding into your mind as we speak!




Now you have the framework to host the best Grammy Camp ever! Let the brainstorming and creativity begin. Planning the Activities!!! Make sure you take into consideration age-appropriate activities and caution with any “scary” fun activities that the pre-teens and teens might like because the last thing you want are crying grandkids begging to call their parents and go home! Now that would be a quick way to cut Grandma Camp short!

Think about if you would like the have “chores” completed each day before the festivities begin. Set some ground rules. You could limit tech and tablet time.


Indoors for Rainy or Chilly Days:

Name That Tune or Name that Movie. Use songs or movie titles from Disney Movies or other family films.

Minute to Win It Games. These are all over the internet and very easy to find by the dozens. I like these because they usually use regular household items and you don’t have to buy anything special to do the challenges.


Arts and Crafts projects. If you are not too creative Michaels Craft and Hobby Stores have pre-packaged craft projects as well as Hobby Lobby and Oriental Trading Company. Oriental Trading Company is a great online store to find all kinds of things from decorations, give-aways, themed plates, cups, etc. to crafts and all kinds of trinkets! Prices are great too! Bracelets, necklace, all fun to create.


Make Cookies, Learn to Cook something. Learn to Can fresh fruits and veggies from the garden. Better yet, plant a garden. Let each child plan their own vegetable. Plant a pumpkin patch.




Plan and make meals from around the world or ethnic foods from your own family heritage. Share with the kids where your family comes from. Share family history and stories.

This can be done indoors or out. Have the kids plan a “Theatre Day” Have a play and the kids practice their parts and at the end of your camp a grand finale can be their performance. Simple costumes. I always have a “dress up” suitcase at my house for the kids to plan with. Old costumes, some of my old clothes and goodies from the thrift store. As a kid we did this often and would ask my mom to make some popcorn to give the parents and grandparents to “watch” our show. Video it on your phone for future sharing.


Karaoke -Sing along

Movie Night and popcorn. I use this for later in the evening to try and get them settled in. We get them in their jammies before we get the movie started.

A book scavenger hunt. Describe characters or the plot and have them find the book. Book Scavenger Hunt (freekidscrafts.com)

Play Doh

Ice Cream Build a Sundae Bar




Outdoors:

Flash Light Tag or Hide-and-Seek

Ghost in the Graveyard or Telling Scary Stories (older kids for sure)

Instead of snow ball fights how about marshmallow fights?


It's not always easy to find the time and resources for a long weekend or week-long event with your grandkids, but it can be worth every penny if you want to make memories. We hope you have found some ideas on activities that help create those lasting memories. What ideas did you come up with to make your grandma camp special?


Obstacle Course with things around the house. Old tires, old plastic swimming pools, mini trampoline, Pinterest and the web have some great home-made obstacle course you can make in your own back yard. (59) Pinterest

Outdoor slip and slide you can make with a tarp, put it on a little hill, squeeze some dish soap or baby shampoo, and then just add water with the hose running at the top of your slide!


Science and exploring adventures. Go on a nature walk or outdoor scavenger hunt.

Camp fire, s’mores and singing camp songs. My favorite, "Muma Mosquito Muma Mosquito, you’re the only bugga bug bug that I adore, When you b-bite me under my nightie, I will scratch and scratch and scratch until I’m sore." Thank the Girl Scouts for that one! At the bonfire, have a story chain. Start out a story and go around the fire where each child adds to the story. See where the story goes!! Take your turn when it comes back to you to keep the story on track.




Rock painting, make a homemade gift or a take home project.

Field trips, pool, museum, park, playground, zoo, children’s museums are one of my favorites. Water parks. How about the library. Often times libraries have summer reading programs.

Sidewalk chalk

Run through the sprinkler

Take a trip to the dollar store for some treasures.


Take a canvas for each child. Get some inexpensive squirt guns and fill them with washable paint. Let them squirt their canvas and create a work of art! You can take this one step further and take masking tape and make their initial. Let them “paint” their canvas then remove the tape and they have their initial right on their canvas.

Make some Tie-Dye Shirts. Have them create their own souvenir T-Shirt

Pony Rides or learn to take care of your farm animals. We always have plenty of barn cats for the grandkids to warm up and love on. Make sure good handwashing occurs regularly especially before meals and if around animals.


Theme Days

Crazy Hair Day

Backwards Day; talk walk, dress backwards! How about Ice Cream for breakfast?

Color of the Day

Superhero Day

Pajama Day

Favorite Character Day


Grandma Camp is a chance to make memories with your grandchild. It doesn’t matter if they live close by or far away, it may be the only time you see them for a long time. The best part of grandma camp is that there are no rules about what activities we can do together!




The sky is the limit, let your creative juices flow! I hope this information has helped, join our “Stay in Touch” email list and find out more about topics related to our 5 Pillars; Health, Fostering Family and Relationships, Love of the Outdoors, Being good stewards of what we have been given, and supporting those with an Entrepreneurial Spirit! If these pillars resonate with you, we would love to have you join our community. Get on the "In the Know" List here.


Resources:

Camp Granny



Grandma Camps – Where Cousins Become Friends



Grandma Camp – What happens at Grandma Camp stays at Grandma Camp

Websites: Grandparent Camps Promote Bonding With Grandchildren (liveabout.com)

(89) Pinterest


Oriental Trading | Party Supplies, Toys, Crafts & More


Lastly, if you hold your very own grandma camp, please drop some comments below and let us know how it went! We would love to see some pictures. I will put a post on our Facebook Page and share your photos of your grandma camp there!!


Thanks for taking some of your precious time to spend with us here on the blog. We look forward to sharing your pictures of your Grandma Camp!!


Pam



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