Archive for June, 2011

4th of July in the Mailbox

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

I shall not be with any of my grandchildren on the 4th of July so I am sending something to their mailboxes.   I do not happen to have 4th of July postcards so I am sending each one of them a packet of some puzzles with 4th of July themes.  They can work on these while they are waiting to go to the parade or waiting for the fireworks to begin.

This is the cover for the packets of puzzles.  Yes, there is a riddle.  I do like the riddles.

This is the packet that I’ll send to my 8 year old granddaughter.  It has a picnic word search, a picture to color and a word scramble of the 13 original colonies.   This granddaughter has a map of the US on her bedroom wall.  She knows the states and capitals.  She likes to quiz me on them when we play school at her house.

This is the packet for my 7 year old granddaughter.  She has a 4th of July word search, a picture to color, and  a simple 4th of July crossword puzzle.  I think she will really like the crossword puzzle.

This is the packet of worksheets for my two 5 year old grandsons.  They both love mazes so they have one here in which they help Teddy get to the picnic.  They also have a simpler picture to color and a 4th of July word search.

I spent hours on the internet looking at puzzles and pictures to include in these  packets.  I always give credit to those who did this work and helped me out.

Word Search puzzles came from and

Pictures to color came from

The mazes came from

The Colonies Word Scramble came from

Now I’ll put them in envelopes – big envelopes so the worksheets aren’t folded and they’ll be ready to put into the mailboxes to reach my grandchildren a few days before the 4th of July.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope that you enjoy celebrating America’s birthday with family and friends.

New Address – New Mailbox

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

My grandchildren who live 3 hours away have just moved to a new address.  I know they will be checking the mailbox daily as they did where they used to live.  I am going to send them  postcards so they will know that the postal service and grandma have found their new address and their new mailbox.

Since they both like dinosaurs, I have selected a couple of dino postcards from the cards that I ordered last winter.  My granddaughter plays softball so she will get the dino slugger.  My grandson will receive the triceratops crossing card.

Of course, there will be riddles – dinosaur riddles.  These riddles came from

That’s quite a URL, isn’t it?

1.  How do you tell if there is an Allosaurus in your bed?  By the Big red A on his pajamas.

2.  How can you tell if there is a Stegosaurus in your refrigerator?  The door won’t close.

3.  What dinosaurs could jump higher than a house?  All of them.  Houses can’t jump.

4.  What happened when the Brachiosaurus took the train home?   He had to take it back.

5.  Tom:  I lost my pet Iguanodon.  Joe:  Why don’t you put an ad in the newspaper?  Tom:  What good would that do?  He can’t read.

Some questions about their new rooms and a couple of riddles, and the cards will be ready to drop into the mailbox.

Thanks for stopping by.  In my last post I mentioned a 4th July in the mailbox mailing.  I promise that I’ll post it in a few days – worksheets and riddles for the grandchidren for the 4th of July.

Grandma Camp

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

The fun begins! The grandchildren who live 20 minutes away came to town for the first Grandma Camp for this summer.  Typically we would go to a neighborhood park to play to start the day; however, it was a very hot and humid day.  There is a local church with an indoor playground and walking track.  They invite the entire community to use this fantastic facility.  My grandchildren and I started the day by going there.  They have monkey bars, climbing bars, slides, a merry-g0-round and so much more.  Plus there are other children  eager to play and to have newcomers join their play areas and groups. 

Then we went to my house  for a treasure hunt.  I told my grandson and granddaughter that they were to work as a TEAM figuring out the clues and following them until they uncovered the hidden treasure.  I thought that would prevent running and pushing and shoving to be first.  It did work.

First clue – Where does  Andy look for an ear of corn?  Off they ran to Andrew Henry’s corn cafeteria. (Introducing Andrew Henry – 2011/02/16.)

There they found – Where does a tired Thomas go to sleep?  Off to the train drawer in the playroom.

There they found – It is where Grandma grills her hot dogs.  Off to my outdoor grill.

There they found – Little Blue has the next clue.  Off to Grandma’s Library to find the copy of the “Little Engine That Could.” (Welcome to Grandma’s Library –  2011/06/05)

There they found – Look for a happy 4th of July Cat.  Off to the cat (not the real one) that they dress up for holidays.

There they found – A kitten smelling catnip keeps the treasure warm.  Off to a flower garden where a small concrete cat sleeps next to a catnip plant.  AND under the cat was the treasure – Tootsie Pops.

Both children yelled, “Let’s do this at our next camp.”  They even gave me ideas of good places to hide the clues the next time.

Time for lunch.  We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit for lunch.  While we ate, I read a new book from the public library to the children, “Three Hens and a Peacock” by Lester L. Laminack and illustrated by Henry Cole.  The illustrations are so amusing.

Flag Day is approaching.  It is June 14 so Flag Day was our theme for the day. I told the children about Betsy Ross and showed them a picture of the flag that she had made at the request of George Washington.  My granddaughter had studied this flag in first grade so she was familiar with it.  We counted the stripes, and we counted the stars.  Then they colored copies of Betsy Ross’ flag that I had printed.  When they were fnished, we taped them to bamboo skewers.  They ran around the front yard waving their completed flags.

My shy 5 year old grandson shows off his flag.

Time to bake.  The chldren took stools into the kitchen, and we mixed up some cake mix.  1/3 of the batter was colored red; 1/3 was colored blue; 1/3 remained white.  Then we (well, actually I because it can be a messy chore) layered the batter into cupcake papers.  Blue on the bottom; white in the middle; red atop.  Into the oven.

When the cupcakes had cooled, each child frosted 5 cupcakes and sprinkled the tops with red or blue sugar.  The final touch was inserting an American flag pick into each cupcake.

As you can see from the split cupcake, grandma should have left more batter white.  But they are red, white and blue.  

While the cupcakes were cooling, back to the craft table.  We made pin wheels for Flag Day.  I used instructions from Sherri Osborn’s craft column at

I only made one change.  In this column it was suggested that you attach the pinwheel to the eraser of a pencil with a push pin.  I tried that and found the point of the pin came through the other side of the eraser.  Not a good idea to have a sharp point there.  Think, think, think.  My solution – I put a wine cork on the end of a bamboo skewer (love those bamboo skewers) and then attached the pinwheel to the cork with a pushpin.


Our finished Flag Day craft items.

We all sat down and talked about what we’ll do at the next Grandma Camp in July.  My granddaughter who is 7 is happy if we have crafts and free time.  My grandson who is 5 had a whole “bucket list” of items called “the things that grandma never let’s us do.”  Those things involve water, sand and play dough.  We’ll see.  

Then it was free time until Mommy came to pick them up. 

I hope that my grandchildren who live 3 hours away visit soon so we can have Grandma Camp also.

Thanks for visiting.  Stop by soon to see what I am sending to my granchildren’s mailboxes for the 4th of July.

Welcome to Grandma’s Library

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

My grandchildren love books.  We often go to the public library to check out books and DVDs when they are visiting me.  For years I read books to them.  Now as they are getting older, I read fewer books.  The girls can read and often read to me and their brothers.

Since the children love to play pretend, I came up with the idea of having a library – Grandma’s Library.

As you can see, Grandma’s Library has many books.  Some books are from when their daddies were young,  a couple from when I was young, some from garage sale purchases and some brand new books.  I often receive discount coupons from Borders.  I use these coupons to buy nonfiction books for the children, e.g. “3D Bugs” and “Cats vs. Dogs.”  These books appeal to all the grandchildren, no matter their age.

One grandson wants to arrange the books with fiction  on one shelf and nonfiction on the other.  He will say, “Grandma, nonfiction means that the things are real, right?”  I assure him that is correct.  However, at this time we don’t have enough nonfiction to fill a display case.

Speaking of our library displays – I was lucky enough to get these cardboard displays from a greeting card department at a local store.  Following a holiday, the displays were coming down and going into the recycling bin.  I took them, and they are perfect for Grandma’s Library.

If you have a library, you must get set up for checking out books.

I made identification stickers that say Grandma’s Library using Avery Ink Jet labels (8660).  I also made check out slips for due dates.  I made these setting up a small word table.  I made a template so that I can run off a new sheet of  due date slips whenever we need more.  The stickers go on the back cover of the books.  The due date slip goes inside the front cover.

When children come to visit, they usually inquire if I have new books for the library.  They are always eager to get them ready to go into circulation.

Of course, to check out books, we needed library cards.

I cut out cards the size of a credit card from light weight poster board.  Using again the Avery labels I made stickers/labels for the cards.  Each member of the family, even grandparents, has a library card, and we have guest cards so that visitors can also check out books.

Ready to check out “Little Witch’s Big Night.”  We have an inked stamped pad and a date stamp.  (Teaching moment – the children ask me when books will be due.  I tell them in two weeks so we look at the calendar to determine what that day will be.)  I help them adjust the date on the stamp.

All ready for business.  The children, of course, take turn checking out books.  Their parents and grandparents also check them out.  One grandson is worried about the lack of circulation at Grandma’s Library.  I believe he thinks his job might be in jeopardy.  He wanted me to go to my neighbors and ask them to come check out books.  No children or grandchildren next door so we discarded that option.

Last summer the granddaughters made book marks to give to each person checking out a book.  I am looking forward to getting a new supply of bookmarks in the next few weeks.

The library is so much fun for the grandchildren – and for the grandma, too.

Thanks for stopping by.  June is here.  It’s summer and that means Grandma Camp.  Next time I’ll tell you about our first camp of the summer.