Grandma Camps

Denise’s formula for success includes planning around a theme, taking a field trip to learn something, incorporating water activities, and making some kind of memento. Here are her notes on developing six great Grandma Camp themes:

Candy Land

• Kids made their own pinata and the taffy to put in it.

• We made: dipped pretzels, a candy castle cake, cake balls, taffy, and suckers.

• Toured a candy factory.

• The kids took the parents around the life size game created in the yard and ending in the candy shop with the sweets we made.


• Invitations included a 2 day pass for the kids and a 1 day pass for the parents.

• Souvenir photos were taken behind a character cut out.

• Splash alley was a ride in the wagon while getting sprayed with the hose.

• Each child learned about running a theme park and helped create and host their own booth for each other and their parents.

• Prizes were paid for with the poker chips that were earned at each booth.

Actors Camp

• The Paparazzi was everywhere!

• The children copied a Disney movie and wrote, starred and produced a skit for the parents.

• The ‘actors’ arrived via limo (black car) and walked the red carpet(a red blanket) with fans (parents) snapping photos.

• During the production there were commercial breaks, a cooking segment, and breaking news.

• Oscar-type award statues were made from Mrs Butterworth’s syrup bottles filled with plaster and painted gold.

• There was a printed program and an emcee.

Safari Camp

• Animals were made out of tissue and 16 ounce water bottles with craft foam embellishments.

• Monkeys were hunted and captured with a long handled fishing net and kept in a laundry basket carried with broom handles.

• ‘Poison darts’ (straws and spit wads) were used on plastic animals.

• Took a field trip to a petting farm.

Secret Agent Camp

• Everything was in some kind of code: the invitation was printed backward, a puzzle to assemble to find dinner, a map to direct us to where the field trip was.
• There was a secret agent headquarters

• Each agent was given a ‘spy kit’ (pencil box) that included binoculars, passport, ID badge, notebook and pencil, disguise glasses

• We disarmed a ‘bomb’ made from red zingers laced together with red and black licorice laces.

Pirate Camp

• The picnic table was turned into a ‘ship’ with a cloth sail and a hula hoop and yardstick helm.

• The kids made foil covered cardboard swords and newspaper hats.

• A buried treasure chest was found by following a map that was marked on a wrinkled paper bag.

• Pirates dined on shark (fish sticks) and ate oranges to avoid scurvy.

Guidelines for a Successful Grandma Camp:

• Start with a theme. It sounds hard, but it will simplify things

• Decide the age range. You will not have time to change diapers. Babies in diapers are welcome when accompanied by their mother.

• Start small, determine YOUR limits of energy and time.

• Stick to a budget, it is easy to go overboard.

• Be organized, yet have a flexible schedule.

• Have the children help prepare meals. (They will eat better!)

• Make a craft or a memento the children can take home.

• Take lots of pictures. Keep a group picture on display all year.

• Take a field trip. Learn something. This is the best way to create a memory

• Water appeals to all ages.

• Older children can become assistants at age 12 to keep them involved.

• Have FUN!!

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