If you are new to my grandparenting blog, welcome! I started what I call "Camp Nanabanana" to stay connected to my Grandkids which has suddenly became much more difficult with a worldwide pandemic in play.
Part of the fun of "camp" was getting together with all the cousins. Now, to stay safe we must be apart, at least in person but not in heart. I decided to take some of my Nana classes online. I usually pick two easy projects, each project takes about half an hour. We start with a easy snack and then progress to a simple craft or other project. It has become the best hour of my week.
It takes a little advance planning to make sure each grandchild has all the ingredients. I usually text the parents with links to the projects I am planning to do and ask if they need any of the ingredients. I doorstep drop or they pick up all necessary items they don't have in the pantry. None of the projects include expensive or hard to obtain ingredients. Part of the beauty of our camp, is keeping it simple and fun. You want it easy enough you can direct as you make the project and still hold a conversation. After all, the point of Camp Nanabanana is to build relationships.
This week, I decided to start with easy, three ingredient chocolate peanut butter Ritz no bake cookies. All it takes is Ritz crackers, peanut butter and chocolate candy coating. Slap a little peanut butter between two Ritz crackers. Made 24 cracker peanut butter sandwiches.
Place candy coating in the microwave for one minute, take out and stir. Heat at 15 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Dip the cracker sandwich in the coating and place on a piece of aluminum foil or waxed paper until hardened.
This time I tried a variation on this cookie classic. I purchased Toll House Edible Cookie dough and made about half with this filling rather than peanut butter. I had planned on also trying marshmallow fluff as a filling but alas, there must have been a run on fluff this week. My grocery orders always seem to be randomly missing one or two items, frequently the one ingredient I really crave or which is most vital to a recipe. #pandemicproblems
I obviously should have hoarded less toilet paper and more fluff.
I also put a little coarse salt on the tops of some cookies and sprinkles on others. The sprinkles were a good way to identify the filling. When I was a kid and you occasionally got a box of chocolates, it was frowned upon to nibble the edges to determine the "good" candy and not get stuck with a nougat-filled ball of wax. No kid has ever enjoyed candy less than one being forced to eat the one they randomly chose and hated.
Below are some of the types of products I used. As an amazon affiliate member, I may earn a small commission if you purchase items through my links.
Once we completed our cookies, we moved on to the grandparent-grandkid Zoom friendly project of making fluffy slime.
I found my fluffy slime recipe on marthastewart.com. Before the internet, all we had was Martha Stewart. My generation eagerly anticpated Martha's magazine each month and quickly flipped to look at the "good things" pages for ideas. Everyone in 1990 had a pretty glass bottle with a spout, filled with dishwashing liquid next to the sink. Martha was the original "influencer".
Below is a link to the recipe we used:
All it takes is:
1 cup of white glue
1 cup of shaving cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons saline solution
I halved the recipe so I could make two batches of different colors, Pour the ingredients into a bowl and mix. At first, I thought I had done something wrong. It takes a little working before the slime firms up.
I walked the kids through the steps, "First pour your bottle of glue in the bowl, etc."
These kids were slime experts having made slime at school and home multiple times. My grandson had a bowl of green goop that seemed to be growing and spreading beyond his bowl.
My granddaughter chimed in, "Cai, you forgot to add the activator!"
Apparently, saline solution is a very important ingredient. But eventually, he was able to experiment until he came up with a respectful bowl of green slime. He was wearing it as a beard when we signed off.
I have to admit, it is a highly addictive activity. There is something soothing about squeezing fluffy slime through your hands. We all laughed and held up our squishy creations, stretching it into ropes and shaping it.
It very much reminded me of the silly putty we used to buy in a red egg when I was a kid. It was a rubbery material you could pull and stretch. I remember lying on my Grandma's floor, smoothing it flat onto the comic papers and then pulling up a faint ink image. I can still smell it in my mind but I couldn't come close to describing it's distinctive silly putty scent.
Just remember, it's not about the projects. It is about listening and laughing together. Someday, one of my grandchildren may be telling the story to her grandchildren of making slime with Nana. At least, I hope she does.
If you enjoyed this post, consider purchasing my ebook found on my home page. It is filled with easy, inexpensive projects your grandchildren will love.
Below are links to products you may want to use making this project. I may receive a small commission if you purchase products using these links.