Saturday, August 8, 2015

Grandma Camping 2015 - Part 7 - Feed Me!

Once you've successfully lured your lively little recruits to Grandma Camp, take note that you've got to feed them! Each day. Multiple times each day! I'd grown accustomed to filling a kitty bowl or two every morning in our empty-of-kids-but-not-pets nest, watching six cats follow up one meal with an 18 hour nap. (18 hours? Really? Yep!) Kids, in contrast, like to graze for that amount of time, not sleep! Be ready!

One solution for round-the-clock munching is self-service snack boxes. Here's what mine look like. They're from Pottery Barn Kids.

I fill 'em up each morning with fruit, veggies, crackers and cheese. The kids know that in between meals they are welcome to munch on whatever they want. It's in the fridge, inside their own color coded box.

That leaves grandma responsible for only breakfast, lunch, dinner and a bedtime snack. Assign grandpa a few mornings of home made pancakes and a grilled dinner of organic hot dogs and you've cut your work in half. Works for me!

But not everything "worked for me." I had individual fish pot pies planned. A charming little salad bar. Home made veggie burgers. Gourmet mac and cheese....Foolish! No time for those delicacies, especially when kids only want grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches! So I succumbed to the basics, just inserting cutesy little touches to make ordinary eating a little more appealing.

For example!.......

Teddy bears clustered, deep in conversation, beneath a paper umbrella liven up an ordinary fruit cup.

Mini sized hot cheese bagels move down
the hatch at a faster pace than "grown-up" ones sliced in half!

Grandma's salad challenge: "Get it before that hungry caterpillar does!"

On our last evening together, we revisited an adventure from the past. When they were "little kids," these campers loved to play beneath our second story deck. I would surprise them by lowering a basket filled with snacks, drinks and hand wipes. They were delighted. Oh, the anticipation watching that basket of mysterious contents bump its way slowly downward to meet them! But this time it was dinner. Individually boxed, hot, and ready to dig into!

I had set up a picnic style table at the edge of the woods. They scampered away with their meals to enjoy themselves. I suspect it was one of the week's highlights because Bree animatedly described the experience to mommy later. "The basket was looooowered down to us very carefully!"

Three boxed dinners to-go, and three hungry kids to gobble them down! Grilled cheese, steamed veggies and a handful of grapes - GONE! All of it!

But wait! What about dessert? You never mentioned dessert! 

Not to worry. Of course we had dessert!.....Every day. Once each day. In an official "grandma camping" sort of way!

Each day, one camper was "kid of the day."
We rotated, automatically assigning first, second and third choices, assuring that grandma would never have to sit in "time out" again for forgetting whose turn it was to flip the popcorn maker switch. (Happened once. Lesson learned!)

Here's Nick, enjoying alpha male status on his day. His dessert choice was Star Wars brownies.

"Kid of the day" could also choose from home made ice cream, popcorn, cookies, or mini donuts. He or she supervised the process and grabbed the first sample bite.

Sae chose mini-donuts in this nifty little appliance. Grandma is happy with unadorned treats, but a generous, multi-colored icing and over-the-top sprinkle bar was well utilized by the kids!

We didn't forget the "folks back home" either. An assortment of samples from each day's dessert was packed inside small bakery boxes and brought home for siblings and mommy and daddy.

So there! I fed them all. Each day. Multiple times each day.
Indeed, I did!

But where did all this stuff come from?

Bakery boxes, 6" square, in sets of three, are from Michael's.
Silicone caterpillar mold (use Jell-o jiggler recipe) for salad visitors are here, along with the mini donut maker. Star Wars cookbook is on page 11, also in my Amazon gift shop.

Grandma Camping series concludes here with Part 8!


  1. Oh what fun - after a while I run out of things to say about all the wonderfulness that is your house and your activities. I love the little snack box idea - but unfortunately my grandsons are now past the age of little snack boxes. They can go to the fridge themselves and they know what is "snack approved" and they simply make themselves a big snack - grapes, veggies, apples, cheese, crackers - and that's just one snack. LOL I really liked your teddy picnic under the umbrella, but I'm pretty sure my guys would turn it into a Star Wars event - with the folded up umbrellas as their light sabers. Silly boys having fun in the summer.

  2. Oh boy, I wanna be kid of the day at your place. And the picnic table set up with the boxed dinners to go sounds like fun too. Thanks for sharing these great ideas! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. What amazing fun! I really wish that Bree were older than Amara so I could see what you are going to come up with for all of them as they get older. Life will certainly never be boring at Grandma's and they will always be well fed!

  4. You definitely put a lot of creativity and energy into entertaining the grands. They will be good party-givers some day, having learned from your example.

  5. I would love to hear the conversations these cherubs have at school talking about 'their Grandma' because there is no one who could equal these terrific ideas you come up with. Fun, just wicked fun at your Grandma Camp. :-)

  6. Love the lowering of the supplies.....yes, kids would get a big kick out of that and the picnic, etc! :) I like the snack box idea because you are correct...they just want to eat all day long at Grandma's because the food, of course, tastes better there! :)

  7. I love your camping ideas, especially the individual food boxes. I'm going to have to get some of those. What anticipation the kids must have when the baskets are lowered to them!

  8. Such a good time...our grands are all about grown, 3 little tiny great-grands....
    Love your cute blog and I am now following along....:)

  9. Oh can I send my two to you? :-) I love the idea of these boxes and must see if they do them over here. I can think of so many ideas to put in them! Take care x

  10. First adorable grandchildren and then get ideas with the boxes. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  11. Another wonderful post & another memorable time for the are awesome

  12. What fun, I almost wish I was one of the grandkids, haha.


  13. I love your ideas! I know your grandkids will have a lifetime of awesome memories because of you! Teresa from NanaHood

  14. What great ideas you have, I want to be a kid at your house.
    Thanks for sharing at Turn It Up Tuesday,

  15. I love all the summer fun your having with the grand kids! I got to drive up to see a few of mine but, they are smaller. Hard to believe summer has flown by and school is starting. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight Party! Have a great rest of your summer! Hope to see you at the next party too.

  16. I love reading all about everything!

  17. Okay, the caterpillar in the salad is adorable! What a fun idea, my friend. You always make me smile :) Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

  18. Oh my, I want a salad with a caterpillar! lol! Love the idea of the lunch boxes. I picked up 12 vintage sectional lunch trays at a thrift a while back thinking they would be fun for the grands. At the last minute I put them back and now I'm kicking myself. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  19. How do you come out with so many terrific idea. Thanks for giving me inspiration.

  20. I love Grandma camping. I'm marking your posts to motivate me next year when I get my grands for a few days. I love the snack boxes. I need 2 of those.