Ready for a new download of Camp Grandma ideas and tips? Good, because we just finished our 2017 camp, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Your Camp Grandma, Cousins’ Camp, Grandma Camp (or whatever you call your special few days with your grandkids) can be in your own home, apartment, at a campground, or on a trip.
Use the following ideas, tips, and resources to ignite your planning.
Use your older grandkids as camp counselors.
It’s great bonding time and saves you prep time and energy.
I added granddaughter #3 to our camp counselor group this summer.
The three girls arrived on Thursday and helped Grandpa get the tent set up and helped me get crafts assembled, food prepared, and activities sorted out for the weekend.
We ended our day with a late night swim. (Special perks makes being a counselor extra nice.)
Give yourself permission to have the little ones arrive a day late.
Three campers arrived on Friday, and two smaller campers came on Saturday morning for a total of 5 campers and 3 counselors.
If the child is 4 or 5 years old, I usually have them come for 2 days/1 night. Otherwise, they get too wiped out. If they are under four years old, they come for the Parent Bar-b-que on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday morning, we reviewed our camp rules for the new arrivals:
- Have fun, play hard, and if you don’t want to do an activity, just say so, and you can sit on the sidelines and cheer your cousins on.
- No whining, complaining, or jumping into the pool without looking to make sure people are out of the way.
Take a group photo early—before you forget!
I’ve found that if I wait too long, the little ones get tired and don’t want to be in the group photo. And then I forget.
So now I the group photo as soon as all campers have arrived.
Out of 11 grandkids, the only ones that couldn’t make it were two grandsons who live in Finland.
(We’ll see them on vacation later this year, and I’m bringing a few Camp Grandma things with me for them to enjoy.)
Get everyone involved in doing chores each day of Camp Grandma.
The campers first cleaned up their sleeping areas in the tent each morning.
Then they were split into groups and spent about 10 minutes cleaning up inside and outside the house.
Be prepared to gearshift.
When the weather turned 105 degrees, we moved to indoor activities during the middle of the day.
We rescheduled swimming for later in the afternoon.
Make a Camp Grandma quiet time tent.
The kids loved this!
I can’t say that they were quiet when they first played in it, but later they did take a nap inside.
It’s a duvet cover with a fan duck-taped to the one side of the opening. Quick to put up and the fun lasted for hours.
You can pick up a duvet cover at a thrift store, Ross, Target or beg one off a relative.
Fun masks added a new feel to Camp Grandma this year.
We had an afternoon Animal Tea, and each camper wore a Rain Forest Mask. You can find them HERE.
I’d also bought a book of 100 Birds to Fold and Fly from Usborne Books. They were a hit too.
Grandpa’s Pie in the Face game got a repeat this year.
Of course hot dogs, s’mores, apple pie baked in the apple, and lots of stories
Especially the God stories.
Tom and I choose several God stories to tell around the evening fire. This year we told our miracle stories. Along with some tales of our grandchildren’s parents and the trouble they used to get into. (It’s called payback.)
And then, of course, the kids really get into telling their own stories.
What good is a skit if you can’t perform it?
Sunday afternoon Parent’s Bar-b-que provides the perfect setting for our kids to enjoy their kid’s productions.
Skits, crafts, and yummy treats were all pulled from my Camp Grandma Pinterest Board.
(As you can see, the parents even participated in the Caterpillar skit this year.)
What’s your favorite Camp Grandma activity? Share below in the comment section as I’m always looking for fresh ideas!
For more ideas and tips on hosting a Camp Grandma or Cousins Camp see:
For devotional times at Camp Grandma, I use the series Eternal Foundations For a New Generation. Together these 4 books give me 120 lessons I can use to draw the hearts of my grandchildren to Jesus.
Camp Grandma 2017 (this is the post you’re reading!)
Camp Grandma Tips and Ideas (2012)