Hanging up my grandma bag

Some of you may recall posts I've written about my grandma bag, my nifty little tote of tricks for entertaining Bubby (and now Baby Mac) when I travel to visit them. Well, I'm hanging up my grandma bag, will use it no more. At least not my original bag, the one that looked like this:  

Because, folks, this grandma's got a new and improved and personalized grandma bag—a Christmas gift from my grandbabies—and it looks like this:

As I pack my new grandma bag for its inaugural use—my trip to the desert next week—I'm reminded of that old camp and Girl Scout game wherein everyone takes turns mentioning items they'll be packing for their trip to Spain or the moon or wherever the group decides they'll pretend to be going. You may recall playing it when you were young or with your kids. One person starts off saying something like, "I'm taking a trip to Kalamazoo and in my suitcase I've packed a pair of long johns." Then the next person goes, reciting what the first said and adding another item. Round and round the game play goes, with the list getting longer and memorization skills being more challenged (with memorization being much easier when there's an alphabetical theme to the game).

That game has been on my mind as I pack my grandma bag for next week's trip. Only my little ditty goes something like this: I'm taking a trip to the desert and in my grandma bag I've packed...Styrofoam bowls, pipe cleaners, pony beads, some drinking straws, a can of shaving cream, a package of aluminum foil, a roll of masking tape...

Why, oh why, am I packing such oddball items? I'm glad you asked, for they're not oddball at all once you see what I plan to do with those things, which are these activities I recently added to my "GRAND kids" board on Pinterest:  

In my grandma bag I'll have all I need for Bubby and me to make, from left to right above, colorful jellyfish using Styrofoam bowls and crepe streamers. They're sure to please both Bubby and Baby Mac and remind them—well, at least Bubby—of our recent visit to the aquarium.

The pipe cleaners will be used for all kinds of creative creepy crawly critters, taking our pipe-cleaner fun far beyond the pipe-cleaner hats and glasses Bubby and I made in the past.

With a handful of drinking straws and some pony beads, Bubby can work on his fine-motor skills and number recognition by threading beads onto straws to match the number glued atop each straw. Flexible drinking straws, with the flexy end opposite the number, can be flexed to temporarily keep the beads on once they've been threaded.

A roll of aluminum foil becomes a stream o' fun when rolled out across the yard, beginning at the water faucet. Scrunch up the foil edges to contain the stream, turn on the water to a trickle, and Bubby and Baby Mac will be mesmerized for hours. (Such wet fun can be had in the desert whereas we'd have frozen fingers and rivers fit only for ice skating if we tried such a thing at Gramma's house this time of year.)

We'll use the roll of masking tape—along with some of Bubby's kajillion cars—just like this:

And the shaving cream? Well, I have no Pinterest picture to share, but Bubby and I already know darn well what good, clean fun comes from mounds upon mounds of shaving cream during bath time. I think it's high time for Baby Mac to give it a try. I'll also throw a bottle or two of bubbles into my grandma bag for blowing bubbles in the bathtub, too.

Additional things I'll be adding to my new-and-improved grandma bag: books, movies, and music, along with my grandma apron to don while cooking up goodies for my grandsons.

I'm taking a trip to the desert and in my grandma bag I've packed...all kinds of things to keep Bubby, Baby Mac and me as busy as can be. I can't wait!

Today's fill in the blank:

I'd like to take a trip to ____ and in my bag I'd be sure to pack _____.