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Things to Do with Grandkids – Camp Nana

If you’re looking for things to do with grandkids, remember it can be anything you would normally do, only with more of a sense of fun.

Grandmother, grandfather, and 2 granddaughters
Nana (me), Papa, and our granddaughters

When my daughter first asked me if I’d like to have them one day a week during the summer last year, I got excited. After all, these girls let me be a kid again.

Last summer, we did a bunch of cooking, crafts, and other activities. As we wound things down each day, we settled in front of the TV to watch “Guy’s Grocery Games” on the Food Network.

It’s really amazing how much these girls love to cook. And they take direction extremely well, so everything turns out like it’s supposed to.

Things to Do with Grandkids at Mini Camp Nana

Today was a little bit different from the regular Camp nana. Normally, I get to spend five or six hours with both granddaughters.

But the younger one (Sophia) was at art camp. So it was just the two of us (Emma and me). And we only had about three hours together before she needed to leave.

That’s okay, though. Emma and I had a wonderful time. In fact, I think it’s good to spend some quality one-on-one time with each granddaughter.

Last summer, I had Sophia to myself for one day, and we made butter. We also made this mac-and-cheese casserole for lunch. So technically it was Emma’s turn.

Since we didn’t have much time, and she was here for lunch, I figured it would be fun to hang out in the kitchen. Both granddaughters enjoy creating delicious meals, but it was too hot to turn on the stove.

So we made BLTs. For those who don’t know, that stands for bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.

You can enjoy a sandwich along with them, or you can make a BLT salad that’s just as delicious!

How to Make BLTs

I didn’t want to splatter anything in the kitchen, so we cooked the bacon in the microwave. It’s super easy and only takes a few minutes.

All you have to do is put the bacon between two paper towels and microwave it on high. If you’re not sure how quickly your microwave cooks, start with a minute and a half.

Check to see if it’s done and put it back into the microwave for one-minute segments until it is.

Since the name of the sandwich is BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato), you know the ingredients. I like to add mayonnaise, but my mom left hers dry. I also like to add some pepper.

Making lunch is a fun thing to do with the grandkids. This granddaughter is making a BLT.

Emma didn’t want her whole grain bread toasted. So I gave her everything to make her sandwich while I toasted my gluten-free bread.

It took her about a minute to assemble the sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise. After her first bite, her eyes lit up, and she declared it delicious.

Granddaughter eating a sandwich

Fun Things to Do with the Grandkids

Both of my granddaughters are super well behaved and fun to be around. Our daughter and son-in-law are obviously teaching them well. So I consider it quite an honor to hone their foodie skills.

After lunch, we decided to have fun and make something sweet. We found some chocolate chips in the cupboard and walnut pieces in the freezer. That’s all we needed for a simple but delicious candy.

I melted the chips in the microwave. Afterward, I handed her the bowl and the pouch of nuts.

She took it from there. She stirred the nuts into the chocolate and then spooned it out onto waxed paper.

We stuck that in the fridge for a few minutes to help it set quickly.

One of the fun things to do with grandkids is to make candy.

Emma is such a kind, loving girl. So it was no surprise that she decided to bring a couple of pieces of chocolate to her little sister.

Since she only made a half dozen pieces of candy that definitely took some willpower.

Granddaughter eating the treat she made.

If we had more time, we could have made some fudge. A couple of our favorites are this yummy chocolate fudge and this delicious peanut butter fudge. Both of these are super easy to make.

Things I Did with the Grandkids Last Summer

Since we had at least five hours for each day of Camp Nana last summer, I had the time to plan more to do. Our typical day involved doing a craft, cooking, eating lunch, and doing a writing exercise.

One of their favorite cooking activities was coating potato chips with melted chocolate. All three of us enjoyed the blend of sweet and salty.

Then we settled down to watch the Food Network for about an hour before their mom, my daughter, came by to pick them up. Of course we saved her a few chocolate covered potato chips.

What We’re Doing This Summer

I haven’t hosted Camp Nana as often this summer as I did last year, but we’re working in a few days before school starts back. Today we made this delicious mac and cheese casserole.

After we stirred in the cheese, milk, ham, and chopped broccoli, we poured it into a casserole dish. Emma took a step back, looked at it, and said she thought it would be good with some pepperonis.

One of the things to do with grandkids is make lunch. This mac and cheese casserole is topped with pepperoni slices.

I just happened to have some in the fridge. So I added a few on top.

And she was right. Those pepperonis added the perfect touch to this one-dish meal. They liked it so much they had seconds.

Ideas from Camp Nana – Things to Do with the Grandkids

A lot of grandparents have the privilege of spending time with their grandchildren. But some of them aren’t sure what to do. After all, it’s been a while since they had little ones around, unless they live with them.

Remember that our grandchildren don’t have super high expectations. In fact, they’re often interested in simply seeing a different way of doing things.

Most of them enjoy eating, so teach them how to cook. If you have some stories about the “good old days,” fix them a snack and chat with them.

Finally, have plenty of craft supplies, such as paper, crayons, age-appropriate scissors, glue, tape, and whatever else you think they might like. You’ll be amazed by how creative they can be.

Here are a few things we’ve done:

Make a decoration for the next holiday. You can purchase wreath forms at the Dollar Tree. While you’re there, you’ll also discover various colors of flowers and greenery. Look in the seasonal section, where you might get some ideas of your own.

Frame something. The Dollar Tree has quite a few different sizes of frames. In addition to framing your grandkids’ pictures, you can also cut greeting cards and gift bags to size and frame them.

Create beautiful bouquets. Pick up a vase for each child. Have a selection of flowers they can choose from, also from the Dollar Tree.

More Ideas of Things to Do with the Grandkids

Take time to jot down some ideas. Some things to keep in mind include their ages, abilities, interests, and attention span. Also take your own physical abilities into consideration.

More activities I’d like to try:

Plant a garden. Most children enjoy tending plants and watching them grow. You might even get non-veggie eaters to try something they grew themselves.

Read a chapter book to them. Change voices for each character to make it even more interesting. If you have them on a regular basis, read a longer book over a period of days or even weeks.

If they’re old enough to read, have them take a turn reading the book. That will not only be fun but also it will help keep their reading skills sharp.

Fill a box with dress-up clothes. You can add some clothes from your closet to inexpensive items from a thrift store.

Have the children make up a play. They can act it out for their parents later.

Even More Ideas

Write a book with the children. If they’re artistic, encourage them to illustrate the book.

Teach your grandkids how to cook something they’ll enjoy eating when it’s done.

Take advantage of the free library services. If you’re able to drive them, take them to the library to check out their own books. Younger kids will enjoy story hour at the library.

Take them to a child-appropriate movie or watch a movie at home.

If they’re old enough to sit still, work a jigsaw puzzle with them.

Take them to a playground and have a picnic.

Teach them how to do something they don’t already know how to do. For example, if you’re a knitter, show them something simple to knit.

Teach them how to sew on a button and repair a hem.

If you’re handy around the house, show them how to make or fix something. This will teach them skills that will come in hand throughout life.

Ask the Grandkids

There are so many more things you can do with your grandchildren than you can imagine. And if you run out of ideas, ask them what they want to do.

Please feel free to share!