Oma and Opa Camp 2015

Oma & Opa Camp - Having a Blast with Science grandparentsplus.com

Oma and Opa Camp ( Grandma and Grandpa Camp or Cousin Camp) was held late in the summer last year. In fact, it was the week before school started. We always try to find a date where the three families’ kids can come, but so much was going on that we were lucky to get a time that worked. That is why this post never got done before the summer ended.

The kids were excited about the theme. When I announced the theme, “Having a Blast with Science”, I asked the kids to come ready to do an experiment of their choice, bring what they needed, and be able to explain what happened and why.  I gave the parents several sites to check out. When someone decided on an experiment, no one else could do the same one. These are some of the sites I suggested…

www.sciencekids

www.sciencebuddies 

www.pbskids

www.scifun

www.hunkins

www.green-planet-solar-energy

www.teacherstryscience

I was able to find a lab coat (a little big) and put the label on the pocket “Kid Scientist”. On the other side I put the theme, “Having a Blast”. They, also, wore goggles. 

The first morning, I asked the 3 youngest to do their experiments. They took it very seriously. Carefully, they did their experiment and then explained what happened and why. After the first grandchild did theirs, the rest broke out in clapping and shouting “good job” spontaneously. When the three youngest had finished, they all wanted to continue, so we spent that morning with each one doing theirs. It was so much fun and they did an excellent job.

Oma & Opa Camp Having a Blast with Science grandparentsplus.com

 

Oma & Opa Camp 2015 Having a Blast with Science grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Oma & Opa Camp Having a Blast with Science grandparentsplus.com

I took a picture of each one holding their experiment and framed them for a take home surprise.

Oma and Opa Camp Crafts:

The crafts had to do with experiments, too.

1. Art Experiment:

This showed what happens when water and oil are mixed.

Before they came, I outlined their name in bubble letters with a glue gun on a plain piece of water-color paper. They were to use water colors and paint their name. On the background around their name, they used a variety of water colors and then dropped cooking oil on the wet water-color paints and watched the reaction on their paper. The paints need to be very wet when you drop the oil for it to work. they all liked watching how the paint colors reacted. For complete directions, go to Watercolor and Oil Art.

 

Watercolor and Oil Art grandparentsplus.com

 

2. Catapult:

This  device is a simple machine. By pushing down on a flexed piece of wood, the energy is transferred to the object when released sends it flying off.

I must say, I tried several styles of catapults. All were too difficult for kids to actually put together and they threw the object into the ground and not in the air. (like the Kleenex box ones) I finally found one design that was simple to do and worked for a game, too. Go to How to make an Easy Catapult.

Oma and Opa Camp 2015 grandparentsplus.com


3. Tie-Dye Shirts:

The experiment on shirts was two-fold. First, we soaked the shirts in soda ash. Each year, the tie-dye shirts would fade after each wash. The soda ash is supposed to keep the bright colors so we’ll see if the experiment works. Secondly, we folded the shirts accordion way and added rubber bands at different places to see if it would result in stripes. It did! The soda ash worked, too! The shirts retained their color much better!
Oma and Opa Camp 2015 grandparentsplus.com

4. Making Plastic:

We made plastic from milk and vinegar! Crazy, but it worked. You could mold it, too. After a couple days of drying, it was hard plastic! Go to: Valentine Heart made with Milk and Vinegar

 

5. Balloon Launch:

At the Dollar Tree, I found long rocket balloons. We pumped air into them and let them go from the upper deck and watched how far they would fly. It was an experiment in jet propulsion! They had a blast watching them shoot up and all around.

Oma and Opa Camp 2015 grandparentsplus.com

Field Trips:

Science Museum:

With the science theme for our camp, this was a natural field trip. The museum, also, had different programs going on that kids participated in. They loved it.

Oma and Opa Camp 2015 grandparentsplus.com

Circus Juventas:

There is a program in our area where young people are trained in the circus arts and put on a fantastic show in the summer. It might have been a stretch with a science theme, but they used catapults and jumped through the air in all sorts of ways. The grandchildren absolutely loved it!

Water Park:

It was so hot last year for our Oma and Opa camp so we spent an afternoon at a water park pool. It was a nice way to cool off and have lots of fun! It fit with science as the slides were a simple machine called an incline plane. So were the stairs! HA! 

Devotions:

The verse for the week was James 1:17  Every good action and every perfect gift is from God.   At God-time together we talked about different ways that we know God is real. In the Old Testament, Elisha conducted an experiment to prove God was the one true God. Also, through nature we can see God’s handiwork. God’s gift to us, Jesus, is really the perfect gift in that we all can receive forgiveness for our sins through Him! We don’t have to experiment to know that Jesus died for us so that we could have eternal life in heaven with Him!

At the end, it was hard to say good-bye, but Oma and Opa needed a rest! HA! We had a BLAST!

Oma and Opa Camp 2015 grandparentsplus.com

I took lots of pictures of the fun times and made a photo book for each child at ArtsCow. If you register with them, they often send coupons for free books and other photo items.

Hope this gives you some ideas of things to do with your grandchildren or children during the upcoming summer.

Have fun and make memories!

Phyllis

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Oma and Opa Camp 2014

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

 Oma and Opa Camp 2014 was held at the end July. It was our sixth year of doing a camp for our grandchildren. As usual, it was a busy time. Seven excited grandkids, ages 5-10, came to spend three solid days with us. We meet them half-way from where six of them live and then drive them back again at the end, but there are three full days at our house. My theme this year was “A Wild and Crazy Time”! We did field trips, games, crafts, songs, food, and kid devotions.

In case you don’t know, Oma and Opa are Dutch and German words for grandma and grandpa. Other grandparents that do these camps call them Cousin’s Camp, Lake Camp, Grandma Camp, Grandma and Grandpa Camp, and Cabin Camp just to name a few! It’s a bit of work (to say the least), but worth the great memories!

Here’s a recap of what we did this year. Greater detail is given on some of the items by going to the link for those events.

Field Trips:

The theme “A Wild and Crazy Time” went with the two field trips that we took. The first one was to a Science Wildlife Center that had many different kinds of wolves. We had a private tour with just our group and they told us interesting things about the different animals that we saw. As we arrived, the wolves were all howling! Quite an eery sound. They had other animals there, too. We saw porcupines, puma, bobcat, bear, coyote, and fox. The grandkids were completely involved in learning about the animals. They  could see them so clearly as they were very close, yet in a very large fenced area. Our guide told great stories and facts about each animal!  So that was part of the “WILD” time.

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

 

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

The “CRAZY” part of the field trips was to a Children’s Museum with so many hand-on things to do! They had been there a few years before and had requested that we do that again as they all loved it!

 

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

Experimenting with colors!

 

Games:

An easy indoor game that the kids had fun doing was the Crazy Ping Pong Ball Game! They stopped and played it when they wanted. It was a game where even the little kids were successful. In fact, the youngest had the highest score!

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

The game that was so much fun was the Summer Hockey Game! They loved it! They played it for 2 days. I had some other games planned, but this was enjoyed by all so I just saved the other games for another year.

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

Go to Summer Hockey Game for complete instructions and rules!

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

Food:

I asked the kids to choose one food that we had made at any other Oma and Opa Camp that they wanted to repeat. There were three things they wanted to do again: omelets in a bag, cactus juice and campfire sandwiches. We had all three requests and then had a fun, “crazy pizza night”! This included three pizzas that they made themselves. One was a pizza from a Grand Biscuit, a veggie pizza from a Crescent Roll (topped with their favorite veggies), and a dessert pizza from a sugar cookie.

For the Grand Biscuit pizza, just roll or pat the biscuit flat into a 5-6 inch circle. Do this on a piece of parchment marked with their name. That way, they can tell which one is their pizza! Add toppings of their choice. Bake on a pan according to the Grand Biscuit directions.

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

Waiting for the pizza to cool down! Grand biscuit pizzas!

They also made veggie pizzas out of crescent rolls. They patted the rolls into a circle. We baked them and then put Ranch dressing on top and covered it with grated carrots, chopped broccoli, and cauliflower for the vegetable course!

Dessert pizza was made with sugar cookies iced with a sweetened cream cheese and topped with all sorts of fresh fruit!

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

 

Crafts:

To go along with the “Wild” theme, the kids made wolf sock puppets. Complete directions are found on the sock puppets post. All ages enjoyed making them. They were very creative in putting them together!

Sock Puppets grandparentsplus.com

 

The “Crazy Craft” was the T-Shirts. They chose three colors and we made DIY Ombre Tie Dye Shirts! Wow!  They turned out great! I would buy one of these in the store! It was “crazy” how each color blended into the other! They loved them!

They are modeling their t-shirts in a “crazy” way!

Oma and Opa Camp 2014 grandparentsplus.com

The last craft we made was the Outdoor Garden Tic-Tac-Toe Game. This was so inexpensive to make. Rocks are free or almost if you buy a bag at the Dollar Tree. The paint and spray I had on hand and the tiles were 99 cents! When they brought them home, they placed them in the landscape or play area somewhere in their yard. They’re always ready for a quick, crazy game! Go to Outdoor Garden Tic-Tac-Toe Game for complete directions.

Garden Tic, Tac, Toe Game grandparentsplus.com

 

Songs:

I used the CD from Standard’s Jungle Safari VBS. The song they liked the best was “I Can Count on God”.

 

Devotions:

The books called, “Character Sketches” give great lessons on wild animals and their characteristics. The author takes those characteristics of the animals to illustrate Christian characteristics that God wants for our own lives.  Scripture is used to highlight Bible stories that illustrate that particular Christian character. The books are out of print, but available if you search online. They are great for ages 6-12.

I focused on two characteristics.  The first was FOCUS! The wolf and opossum were the wild creatures and we used the phrase “Don’t let others sway you from doing what God wants you to do- stay focused!” The second characteristic was LOYALTY! “God wants us to be loyal to our friends and family”! The two wild creatures that illustrated this were the goose and Great Horned Owl.

The books are very detailed so I paraphrased much of the lesson rather than read it. They loved learning about the animals and  it was helpful to bring home the main theme of the lesson.

Picture Books:

After camp, I make an online picture book as a memory of Oma and Opa Camp 2014. It takes some time to put together, but it is worth it. About a month after Oma and Opa Camp, the books are done and sent to them. I always use a certain company as they give out coupons to make the cost affordable for 7 books! Here’s the reference code to register…http://www.artscow.com/?Ref=500841

While it is a lot of planning, I enjoy seeing the relationships grow with cousins. We have a lot of fun with them, but it does take a couple of days to rest and recover afterwards. Now, on to planning for next year!

Making special memories with grandchildren is important. Perhaps you can’t do a camp, but can do a day with some events. Your grandkids will love it!

Make memories and have fun!

Phyllis

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Oma and Opa Camp 2013

Oma and Opa Camp 2013

Another successful Oma and Opa Camp this year with 7 grandchildren ages 4-9! We were wondering how the two new 4 yr. olds would do, but they had a great time and were very excited about coming! The theme was a “Western Round-Up”! I planned games, crafts and food around this theme.

 

By the way, Oma and Opa are the Dutch and German words for “grandma and grandpa”!

Oma and Opa Camp    www.grandparentsplus.com

When they first arrived, I took “Wanted” pictures of them dressed in a cowboy hat, stick-on mustaches for the boys and a red bandana. They chose what they were to be “wanted” for and the amount of ransom money. The next morning, I had the wanted posters displayed on the sliding glass door! Here are a couple of examples! For complete instructions on how to make these, go to the post on Western Crafts below.

Western Crafts

 

Western Crafts www.grandparentsplus.com

Wanted Posters

Field Trips:

The first of the two field trips was a visit to a horse farm. A friend of ours was “Cowboy Gene” and he took the kids on horseback rides, showed them around his farm and even sang a cowboy song for them. I took pictures of each one on the horse and used those pictures for the Western Frame craft.

The second field trip didn’t have much of a Western Theme as we went to the Mall of America’s Aquarium. It did have “sea horses”, though! HA!  Not every field trip is around the theme. We just want the kids to have fun! They loved both places that we went for Oma and Opa Camp!

The rest of the time is spent around our place with Western games, food, and crafts along with swimming and lots of “cousin fun”!

Games:

I had a bunch of Western Games ready, but used only a few. The weather was absolutely wonderful so the kids spend a lot of time down at the beach! I go into detail about each game idea here. They included:  Snake Tic-Tac-Toe, Snake in a Boot, Yee Haw Slide, Rattle-Ski-Daddle,

Western Game Ideas

Western Games here

 

 

Crafts:

The Western craft ideas were: Western Bleached Shirts, Western Frames, Rope Coasters and Snakes. I always overplan in case of bad weather, so I had other ideas to do, too! Check out all the craft ideas on the link below.

PicMonkey-Collage-Western-Crafts-10-1

Western Crafts here

Western Food Ideas:

I like to have food ideas that go with the theme and some that the kids can help put together and make. There was Cactus Juice, Nuggets, Armpit Ice Cream, Cowboy Pizza Pockets, Cowboy Bedrolls, Little Doggie Roll-ups, Cowpies, Western Omelets and Wagon Wheels!

I posted all the food ideas on my site here….

Western Food Ideas www.grandparentsplus.com

Western Foods here

Songs:

This year,  Gospel Light had a VBS curriculum called SonWest Round-Up. I found a church that was done with their VBS and they loaned me many things that I could use. They had some great songs that the kids loved so I used them during the week as well. They particularly liked: “SonWest Round-Up Theme Song”, “He Will Provide”, “Stronger Than Anything” and I ordered their reproducible CD and made copies for each grandchild to take home.

Go here for the link…

Bible Story:

We had a “Round-Up” time right after dinner for a Bible Story.

I followed the Gospel Light Curriculum and told the story of Moses and how God told him to go to Egypt and “round-up” the Israelites and lead them to the Promise Land. Just as Moses saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God sent his son, Jesus to save us from sin. Jesus, God’s Son, is the only one that has the power to save!

Each child received a horseshoe nail cross to remind them of our Western Round-Up and how Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. By accepting Jesus, we can have Eternal Life!

I found the horseshoe crosses here.

Horseshoe Nail Cross   www.grandparentsplus.com

It was a fun-filled, busy time, but so worth the effort. The connections with the other cousins were  great to see along with just spending time with them ourselves. Needless to say, we were very tired, but we survived and revived.

Another blessing is talking about the Bible with the kids and learning how they are understanding God’s plan for salvation! The memories are sweet, too! Of course, I make an online photo book for each child and send it a couple weeks later with all the pictures and memories of our time together. Go here for a free book.

Whatever you do or plan with grandchildren, you make great memories and lovingly give a wonderful positive influence on their lives that they will remember!

Hope this gives you some ideas to do with your grandchildren!

Phyllis (Oma)

 

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Oma and Opa Camp 2012

The theme for the 4th year of Oma and Opa Camp (Dutch for Grandma and Grandpa) was “GOD’S COLORFUL WORLD. All the crafts were about color. The Bible stories included a “color” theme as well. First, I used the story of Noah and the rainbow promise that God made. The second story was Joseph and his coat of many colors. We spent a day at a local water park called Wild Mountain. Of course at the end I made a photo-book for each child. This book is a reminder of all the fun experiences we had together. If interested, you can look at this link. http://www.artscow.com/gallery/book/oma-and-opa-camp-2012-tjm38flshni4

You can register through this link and receive free photos and 6 free book credits. http://www.artscow.com/?Ref=500841

The grandchildren are getting older (so are we) and I needed to capture the 3 boys’ attention and not just appeal to girls. The crafts I chose worked well and both girls and boys loved doing them! I taught them the colors of the rainbow and the order that they appear. Each child got a prism so they could bend the light and see the colors. ROY G. BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) is a good way to remember the order. I ordered the prisms through www.sciencecompany.com at $5.95 each. They had a great time looking through them even if it was a little expensive.



Crafts, Activities and Food

1. Color Wheel: 

This was an activity where they learned to mix the 3 primary colors to make the secondary ones. I found this idea on Pinterest and downloaded the files  from www.mama-jennblogs.com  I located eye-droppers in the pharmacy dept. of a chain store and ordered liquid water colors from www.discountschoolsupply.com  The liquid water colors will last for other projects as well. They are much more intense and fun to use than the regular watercolor tins. Just remember to rinse the eye- droppers in between with clean water. The chart tells you exactly what color and how many dots to mix to get the new color.

2. Kaleidoscopes:

I had made these before out of pvc pipe, but I couldn’t find all the parts that I needed so I searched online and found everything in one package at www.discountschoolsupply.com  I couldn’t have done it cheaper by buying the individual pieces. Everything was there in a kit with complete directions and they sold for $12.95 dozen/pack. You can’t go wrong with that! The only thing I added was some stickers for decorating the outside. They had so much fun making them, they wanted to make two.


3. Suncatchers:

I used metal cookie cutters and placed them on a cake pan or cookie sheet. The boys liked the bug, cars, planes and geometric shapes. The girls liked the hearts and flowers. Place the plastic beads (I used translucent pony beads) side by side and touching. Make a design or just do it randomly. See the “suncatcher” post on this site for complete directions.

4. Color Spinners:

This color craft taught them about how to make tints by adding white and shades by adding black. Complete directions are on “Color Spinners” post. After completing the coloring, they twisted them to make them spin. They could see the new colors made. I taught this lesson at school, but don’t know where it came from or I would give it the credit due.

5. Rainbow Cupcakes:

After learning about the colors in light and the order that they appear in the rainbow, we made rainbow cupcakes. Using primary icing food colors (found at Michael’s in the cake decorating aisle), I divided the white cake batter into seven bowls. With only the primary colors, they had to decide how to make each color. The kids mixed the colors and placed them in order. They put a spoonful of each color in a cupcake liner. After baking and cooling, I put a topping of Redi-Whip on each cupcake. They thought they were incredible! So fun to see all the colors in one bite!

Yellow and Blue make Green

6. Marshmallow shooters:

These were so easy to make and we used them for target practice, long distance and seeing who could shoot the highest.  I will use these again with pompoms at Christmas time. Again, I found this idea on Pinterest. Check my “marshmallow shooter” post for easy directions. I used colored marshmallows! That way I made it fit with the theme! HA!

Marshmallow in mid-air!

How high can you shoot?

7. Spray Painted Shirts:

While the kids enjoyed this, I would change this if I did it again. It would be better with a light-colored shirt using spray paint about 3 shades darker. I followed the directions on my Pinterest board, but let the flour and water mixture stayed on until the next day as we were so busy. That was the mistake as we should have painted them one hour later. I had to wash the shirts to remove the paste. Also, the paint soaked under the paste so there wasn’t a clear definition of the design. Oh well! I learned that I always need to try it first! Lesson learned. At least the kids had fun doing it and didn’t mind the outcome.

The girls added glitter spray paint to their design. As you can see, the design didn’t turn out very visible. With a little change, the shirts turn into a more fashionable design. See “t-shirt” post for directions.

8. Jolly Rancher Suckers:

Place Jolly Rancher candies (2 or 3) on parchment paper and melt in 200 degree oven for 5 minutes. Just before they are all melted, add a sucker stick and twist to get it into the candy. Finish melting, remove and cool!

9. Omelets in a Bag:

This was at their request so we made them again. Be sure to use a freezer quart bag! Directions are on Oma and Opa Camp 2010 post.

10. Color Scavenger Hunt:

I got color samples from a paint department and punched a hole at the top and laced with yarn. This way, they could flip through the samples easily. I sent them off with a camera to find things in nature that matched the colors. They went all over the yard and took pictures of the matches they found. Once the match was found, they crossed off the color and hunted for more. I called time after 20 minutes. They kept busy the entire time.

11. Ice Cream Cone Melt:

Using sugar cones, I gave them chocolate, peanut butter,and  butterscotch chips, mini-marshmallows, and  butter-brickle bits. They added them to the cones (about half full) and placed them on their sides and wrapped them in foil. We put them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. We let them cool to touch and added ice cream on top!

12. Turkey/Chicken Cheesy Pockets:

I like to use recipes where the kids can take part. My daughter-in-law gave me this one and they all ate it! Not bad for some picky eaters! They had to roll out the dough, place the mixture in the center and then fold it over and seal it. They tasted delicious! I thought they could be used as an appetizer as well. Check the post on “Cheesy Pockets” for the recipe.

13. Songs:

When in the car, the time goes faster while playing upbeat fun Christian songs. They sing them out and it is such fun to hear their voices altogether. Their favorites this year were from two VBS CD’s that I bought. “A-M-A-Z-I-N-G“, “Remarkable”, “You, You, You”, and “Our God”. Check the post on Best Children’s Christian Music for the links and you can listen to them and see the motions on Youtube, too.

14. Bible Story Time:

Noah – Genesis 6

In this story, I highlighted how hard it must have been for Noah to follow God when there was evil all around him. Also, how hard it must have been to build the ark, follow God’s exact instructions and trust God not really knowing all that God was going to do.  After the flood when Noah and his family set out on the dry earth, God sent a rainbow as a promise that he would not send such a flood again. It was an everlasting promise between God and every living thing on the earth.

For us, it can be hard to follow God when others make fun or try to get us to do things we know God doesn’t want us to do, too. Just like Noah, we need to listen to God and His word. God knows what is best for us.

Joseph – Genesis 37-47

The story of Joseph is a long one. I used a Children’s Storybook version with pictures. I also told this in three parts. I love this story and there are so many lessons to be learned. I emphasized how sometimes Joseph showed-off with his coat and his dreams. The brothers got mad, became very jealous and made some bad choices. Even though Joseph went through very tough times, God worked good out of a bad situation.

After praying and thanking God for the day, we sang our blessing on the kids and off to bed they would go!

Oma and Opa Camp was successful with all the fun, songs, activities, and field trips! Wow!! Oma and Opa needed a rest!

 


 

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Oma and Opa Camp 2010

 

Oma and Opa Camp – 2nd year

Theme: Animals

Field Trips: We had two trips planned for this camp. One was to the local zoo and the second was a morning spent at the Isanti County Fair. Both places had lots of animals which fit with our theme. We like the County Fairs because they are smaller and the kids can see the animals closer up without the big crowds. The Isanti County Fair has a kids morning with lots of games and prizes and other attractions – all free! Check with your County Fair to see if they have a special day for kids.

Visiting the Como Zoo!

The monkey house was a favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up close to the animals

 

 

 

Everything at the fair was fun for the little kids to do. They collected their prizes in bags that I had given them. Their Oma and Opa shirts were easily spotted and caught many people’s attention – even Ronald McDonald who wanted a picture.

They posted the picture on the bulletin board at the local McDonalds in town.

Hint: Whenever you take trips, pack lunches and treats. It saves time and money!

Bible Story: Daniel in the Lions Den. We talked about how Daniel chose to serve God even when it was difficult. God saved him from harm in the lion’s den by closing the lion’s mouths so no harm came to Daniel. We also need to choose to serve God and obey Him even when others make bad choices. Following the Bible story, we sing a blessing to the grandkids. It is the chorus from a Signature Sound Quartet song that says, “God give this child a good heart. God give this child a good heart – one that cares for the weak, hears when you speak, one that will make you smile. God give this child a good heart.”

Crafts: Besides the crafts at the County Fair, the kids made lion puppets to go along with the Bible story. They were paper bag puppets and they embellished the faces of the lions with yarn for the manes along with large google eyes.

Food: For lunch, the kids made “lion” sandwiches. We took lightly toasted English muffins and covered them with mozzarella cheese. Around the edges of the muffin, they put cheddar cheese.(the lion’s mane) They added sliced olive eyes with nose and mouth made from a carrot slice and curly carrot strip.  We then put them in the toaster oven and baked them until the cheese melted.

      Lion Sandwiches

 Making omelets:

Another meal that the kids made themselves was omelets.Take 1 egg, 1 T water and put into a freezer ziplock bag. Add bacon, sausage, cheese, or any other ingredients that you like in your omelet. Be sure to close the ziploc bag and then mix the ingredients by kneading the bag. (FUN PART). Mark each bag with a permanent marker and place in boiling water for 13 minutes. Use a large pot of boiling water and place only about 5 bags in at a time. Remove from water, open and slide the omelet out on a plate. YUM!

                    Omelet Making

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They couldn’t believe that they made it themselves!

Activities: At the age that they all are, it seems that bubbles are still a big hit. The recipe for homemade bubbles is this-

Bubble Recipe

2 cups Dawn (or Joy if you can find it)

6 cups warm water (Distilled is even better)

3/4 cup white Karo syrup

Mix gently in large container and keep lid on for 24 hours.  I use a large flat plastic storage box. When the kids use it, they can dip in it, but it never spills. Replace lid and store for the next time.

 

These bubble wands come from the Dollar Tree store.      Throw away the pans that come with them and use the tub.

Bubble Fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other activities included using the water squirters from Dollar Tree, backyard tag, and Duck, Duck, Grey Duck. On hot days, use a paper cup with water for Duck, Duck. The person that is “it” carries the water and sprinkles each person and says “drip, drip” and then “dump” the water on the one that is supposed to chase them.

After a big day, the kids get to take “glow-stick” baths. Darken the room somewhat and put glow sticks in the tub water. It looks great!

All in all, it was another great year of Oma and Opa Camp!

 

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Oma and Opa Camp 2011

This was the third year of Oma and Opa Camp (grandma & grandpa) so the kids knew what to expect so were very excited to come! One grandson said, “I’ve been waiting all year for this!”

Each child has a chair on which to put their crafts, etc. Under the chair goes their shoes and on the chair is their outfit for the next day.

 

 

 

Once again we went over what was going to happen and how they could keep their crafts, clothes, etc. all together in their assigned place. (hopeful thinking)

The theme this year was “critters” (bugs and butterflies). Each chair had a bug cage and tongs for catching them. They spent lots of time finding interesting bugs and butterflies!

 

No one was afraid to pick up the bugs

with their handy dandy bug catchers!

 

One of our friends has a massive collection of bugs and butterflies from all over the world. It worked perfectly with the theme to schedule a time where we could see his collection.  They spent a lot of time asking questions about  where you would find these bugs!

The butterflies were stunning with all the colors. Each child tried to pick out their favorite, but there were so many you couldn’t pick just one!

Along with all the real butterflies and bugs, they made bug puppets. I found a print out for the heads, antennae, etc. on www.Orkin.com. They had fun creating them.

 

BUGS!

 

Mealtime can be challenging when you’re busy directing all the activities. Having kids involved in the preparation has helped a lot. Not all meal items go with the theme, but I called the pizzas that they made, “Bug-Eyed” Pizza! Lightly toast an english muffin half. Have the kids spread the pizza sauce on top. Add their choice of pepperoni or sausage. Top with mozzarella cheese and then top with a “bug-eyed” face! They used red pepper for the smile and pepperoni with olives for the bug eyes. The nose was a little carrot. I put them on tin foil so I could easily transfer them to the oven and bake until the cheese melts. It was a meal-time hit!

 Bug-eyed Pizza!

 

Making and eating banana boats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Boats were also a hit for dessert!

Peal back the top of the banana ( do not remove) and scoop out a small amount of banana. Fill with chocolate chips (or any flavored chips). Put miniature marshmallows on top and replace the banana peel. Wrap in foil and put in oven or lay on grill for about 15 minutes. YUM!

Hobo dinners can be made with cooked hamburger or chicken (their choice), slightly cooked potato slices or cubes, onions, butter or oil, teaspoon of creamed soup, vegetable of choice and cheese on top. Spray the foil and add ingredients that they choose. Enclose foil and place on baking sheet on grill for about 15 minutes. Because they choose the ingredients, they like to eat it! It is a meal all in one! Another hit!

One of the favorite things to do is use the water shooters. The ones I found at Dollar Tree are the easiest to fill and shoot. They are so cheap ($1.00) so each year I stock up on some. I put water in a big plastic bin and throw in some warm water so that it takes the chill off when they shoot each other. They have loads of fun with these both in the lake and in the yard.

Tie-Dye was another one of the crafts. I used already mixed dye which I found at JoAnne Fabrics. You just poured the color on wherever you wanted. We did this outside over a bucket. I had plastic gloves for the kids and myself. It was easy to have one at a time doing this while the others played together or hunted for bugs. They did both the hat and the shirt for a complete look! They loved the results!

Don’t forget the paint shirts!

 

Looking good!

The Bible lesson centered on the verse in Proverbs 6: 6 that talks about the ant. “Go to the ant, consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”  Since “critters” was the theme, it seemed that learning about the ant  fit. We talked about how the ant gets along with the other ants. It doesn’t wait for someone else to do the work, but pitches in willingly. It carries more than its own body weight and is busy helping others. It became a science/Bible lesson as we read all about the ant. God wants us to get long with each other, help one another, and work willingly. The verse they learned was I Thessalonians 5:15. “Make sure nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other.”

The kids made ants out of polymer clay and baked them. Other critters were also made.

We also took part of a day and went to a Threshing Show. They had lots of great things for kids to do and see.  At the end of the time together, it is always hard to say good-bye. Now we wait for Oma and Opa Camp 2012!

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Oma and Opa Camp 2009

2009 was my first year of doing an Oma and Opa Camp (Grandma and Grandpa Camp) so I started quite simple.  With ages 4-6 (all 5 kids) the crafts and activities had to be easily done with little help from me.

“Rules”: The first thing to do is set up expectations and routines. Explain that this is not their “house”, but it is a camp. Explain directions and expectations before each activity, meal and field trip. Even bedtime routines were set-up so they didn’t feel bad if it wasn’t exactly like what mom and dad did at home. Think everything through because it can get out of hand with 5 kids trying to brush their teeth at the same time (just one example).

Organization of Things:To keep some order of their shoes, clothes, crafts, pj’s, etc., I set up an area where each has a chair with their name on it. Under their chair go their shoes. On the chair, they keep their crafts. Over the back of the chair go their clothes, pj’s so they know where to find them. This way, I’m not running around trying to find their things.Another idea would be to use a laundry basket for each one.

Field Trip:The theme for the first camp was “Fish”.  We went to the Underwater Aquarium at the Mall of America to see all the different fish. They loved it and always ask when we are going to do it again.

T-Shirts: I get T-shirts printed with “Oma and Opa Camp” . It makes it easy to see where they are in a crowd. Many people comment on them at the different places we go. Hint: Order them a little big so they can wear them for 2 years.

Games and Activities:  We did a fish toss

The Fish Toss

Fish Toss Game

with the spiny fish balls. Magnet fishing was another game. We live on a small lake so each child had a net and tried to catch as many minnows as they could. During their baths they fished with a plastic rod in the tub.

Crafts: We made ocean scenes by painting a blue background with watercolor paints and then used foam fish to stick in the ocean picture.  A simple cutout of a fish shape was given to each child and they glued tissue paper overlapping to make a colorful fish.

Story:  Everyone got in their PJ’s and put their clothes on their marked chair and gathered together in a circle on the floor. There we talked about the day, sang, told the Bible story and prayed before they went off to bed. The Bible story was of Jesus and his disciples. We talked about how he called them (they were fishermen) to follow Him. We also talked about how Jesus wants us to follow Him as well.

Toys: Keep toys catagorized in tubs. When they want to play with something, it is easy to take out a tub and then put it back when something else is requested. Some of the tubs I have are: princess, legos, pirates, farm, cars, robots, action figures, barbies, playhouse etc. I can change them easily as they grow older. Garage sales are great for finding new things.

Songs: This is a great way to fill the time while riding in a car. I made up words for an Oma and Opa Camp song sung to the tune of “London Bridge”. It goes….We take trips and learn new things, Play in sand, Lake and sun, With our cousins we have fun, At Oma and Opa Camp! I also have CD’s of kid’s Christian music and they love to sing it out!

PhotoBook Memories: A few weeks after camp, each child gets their own photobook of everything that we did together. I make sure that photos of each child is on every page. These are cherished books and are looked through many times throughout the year.

Here are some of the sites I use for Photobooks….

www.snapfish.com ,  www.winkflash.com , www.picaboo.com , www.shutterfly.com , www.artscow.com

Whatever is planned for your grandkids they will love. It doesn’t have to be elaborate just give them the gift of your time!

Happy Memories!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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