Last Christmas I gave the gift of a week of camp at my house for our 2 grandsons. The camp week was to be used at a mutually agreed upon time by all parties involved meaning: my son and his wife, my daughter and her husband and grandpa and me. And it needed to be a week that grandpa was on his summer break from teaching. The cousins are 1 year apart, so we had Henry 2.4 years old and Christopher 1.4 years old.
We had some ideas of what we would do with the boys but then the pandemic hit and some options were closed. Who am I kidding, most options were closed! But the idea of being with our grandsons outweighed all of that and I figured we could make it work. Plus, they nap, so that takes up a good part of the afternoon, right?
There were a few things we used all week that were lots of fun. We knew we wanted a pool for them so we got this one from Amazon. We put it on our back porch (for shade) with a tarp under it. It worked out very well. My husband inflated it once and after 2 months it’s still inflated. And, if you really want the kids to laugh, get in it with them! FYI, my 6’5″ husband was able to sit in it with both boys. I was not permitted to take pictures, but they loved getting Grandpa wet.
Other outdoor favorites included bubbles. The boys don’t quite have the hang of blowing bubbles, so I did it while they chased them. Sidewalk chalk was also fun.
But you can’t stay outside all day, at least not in Florida. We have blocks and other toys for Henry and Christopher but I thought we do some art together. I bought construction paper, stickers, glue, and crayons. The stickers are Melisa & Doug brand – what I liked about them was this, they stuck well to the paper but were easy to peel off the tile floor. And what did we do with the paper and glue? We made torn paper collages. I showed the boys how to tear the paper, squeeze the glue out and then put the paper down. You could use glue sticks, but the liquid was more fun. But you do need to supervise.
We did venture out a few times. Once to the perimeter park at the airport to watch the planes and trucks. We went to the beach for breakfast – hard-boiled eggs, plantain chips and watermelon. We ate lots of watermelon that week, outside, shirtless with just a diaper on is the best way to eat watermelon. And then put them in the pool! This is my favorite water bottle. It keeps the water cool, the kids can handle the size and it doesn’t leak. I use it in the house too.
We have lots of books at our house. I was an elementary teacher years ago so I have some of those plus favorites from my children that I kept. I have bought a few board books – Christopher’s favorite is Caps for Sale! Goodnight Moon is also a favorite.
I will say that having our grandsons with us was a great week. They had fun, we had fun and while they may not remember much from this time, it’s was the first camp of what we hope will become a tradition. And next year, we’ll have Nora joining us!
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