Camp Grandmama and Grampy Campy (3/4 YO) – Day 1 Highlights

Dawn was just breaking at the lake.

All the little campers were still asleep.

Very tired from Day One activities.

Oh, I had plans, activities, crafts, recipes.   Mostly….I had plans.

See? Plans.

Before Camp starts, I put together themes for our days.  Camp for the 9 year old boys featured Ancient Egypt Day, Domino Day and Air Day.  Camp for the 6/7 year old campers featured Art Day, Wild West Day and Nature Day.  Camp for the little’uns (Sophie is 3 and Cooper is 4) features themes like Zoo Day and Farm Day.

I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.   Cooper and Sophie (they are both the youngest in their respective families) have very specific ideas about what they will be doing in camp.

It goes like this:  Princess Day (“Cooper can be the Prince”), Coloring Day (“Where is the robot color?”) and Dance with Grampy Day (“Grampy, you’re so funny”).


Back to Day One.

This year, Grampy and I traveled to pick up the kids a day early.  I had plans to take the girls to The American Girl Store for a lovely lunch with our dolls (and yes, Cathy, I did bring Christine).

We shopped a bit....

(BTW, in case you are wondering where our other little doll is, Mackenzie wasn’t able to join us as she was on vacation, but it’s a sure thing that we will go again.)

We spent the night at Aunt Kendra and Uncle Mark’s house and then got an early start Monday morning.

All of the brothers and sisters were sad to see Sophie and Cooper go to Camp.  We didn’t see Kevin, but Eileen said that he was crying as she left.  He said he was really going to miss his sister.  At Cooper’s house, it was much the same thing.  Luci was especially sad to lose her playmate.

Some massages  helped calm everyone down.

Excuse me. No massage for Grandmama?

Luci put on her Camp shirt (Just maybe, she thought, she might be mistaken for one of the campers).

Check out the glittery shoes. Every girl should have a pair..

We had a group hug.

After all the good-byes, we strapped in the Campers and away we went.

One of the many wonderful things that we celebrate in our area, is an amazing FREE zoo.   I don’t know how they are able to do it, but this zoo is free to anyone – every day.   Perhaps it isn’t as large as some of the big city zoos, but they have tons of animals

They have more than bears, but I thought this was pretty darned cute. I took 400 pictures at the zoo. Be thankful this is the only animal I am sharing.

They have a great children’s area

No, this isn't an Eagle's nest. It's the climbing structure in the Children's Zoo.

There is a zoo train that circles the Children’s Zoo.

That's Mr. Rick, the Engineer. I think he looks embarrassed.

Sophie and Cooper got the open air caboose. Mr. H. and I are scrunched like sardines inside the cab. This is the only picture I could get of the kids. I could only move one finger.

They have a wonderful carousel, with an amazing array of animals.

Sophie liked the camel, but was a little disappointed...

...when she discovered that her camel didn't go up and down.

Cooper loved the ostrich, but was just as excited that he could see himself in the mirror.

Yep, this zoo has the whole shebang.  (I have no pictures of a shebang.  You’ll have to trust me.  They have the whole shebang.)

We all love going there.  The kids are pretty sure the animals remember them from year to year.  I am inclined to believe them.

So, sleepy eyed and still a little confused (why aren’t we at your house yet?), we spent several hours reacquanting ourselves with our animal friends.

This is at the entrance of the zoo. We have several years of pictures with various campers on this stone lion.. (insert awwww)

When we came home, we decided it would be fun to make our own zoo (do you see, gentle reader, how I was able to work in a zoo activity? – aren’t you proud that I have that rare ability to get my way with some very cagey preschoolers?)

I had tons of styrofoam shapes from something we got in the mail a couple of years ago.   (I don’t remember what came in the mail, but I do remember the conversation with Mr. H.)

Mr. H.:  “What is all this c***?”

Me:  “Oh, it’s my styrofoam.  Don’t throw away the styrofoam!”

Mr. H.: “We don’t need to have all this sitting around.  It’s taking up space.”

Me:  “Don’t worry, I’ll put it in the storage room.”

Mr. H.:  “We don’t have room in the storage room.”

Me:  “But, isn’t that what a storage room is for?”

Mr. H.: “You won’t ever use this.  You will forget it’s down here.”

Me:  “Well, that’s good. That means I am being particularly orderly.  If you can’t tell it’s there, then why do you care?”

Mr. H.: “If you keep the styrofoam, you won’t have room for anything else.”

Me: “That doesn’t make any sense.  This is the anything else I need the room for.”

Mr. H.: “You’re turning into a hoarder.”


As if there was any doubt.  I kept the styrofoam.   And, in a particularly gratifying “told ya so” moment, brought up some of my stash for our zoo project.

Seriously. Isn't it perfect? So uniform in shape.

We also needed craft sticks.   Because they were not scavenged, Mr. H. had no problem with having a box of craft sticks in the storage room.

I use these for a lot of things. Always good to have around....just in case. Zzzzzrrrrttt. (in case you are wondering, that's the Hoarders sound from the TV show)

The kids really enjoyed making the cages, but had much more fun getting the animals in their homes.  A lot of discussion about which animals could live with each other.

Sophie is a fan of natural habitats.

I'm guessing the thought bubble here is "why aren't we coloring?"

Cooper is an old school zoo keeper. He double fisted the bars.


And so, after a day of dancing and coloring the Prince and Princess fell fast asleep, never knowing that the Fairy Grandmama had magically transformed the day into Zoo Day.  Whew.

See how well the zebra blends into his habitat?

Category: Camp, What will we do today?, Zoo Day
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