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Adventures of Lolly

For Lisa Lander, or “Lolly” as her grandkids have coined her, every day can be an adventure if you put your mind to it! Lolly watches her four grandchildren four days a week for two of her four grown children in Rochester, NY. All under the age of five, she takes her grandkids on an adventure nearly every day they’re together. And their adventures don’t stop when the weather gets chilly, either. In fact, Lolly says, “there’s no bad weather, there’s only bad gear!”

How It All Began

Lolly’s been sharing her adventures with her grandkids on Instagram for some time now, but she was approached last year about creating a brand to inspire other grandparents who watch their grandkids. Lolly decided that having a website and blog could help create the support system many grandmothers need, especially during the pandemic. She shares that Rochester is great because of its ability to bring grandparents together, and she’s found a way to share her knowledge, too!

Encouraging Happiness and Play

Lolly shares that she wants her grandkids to be the happiest kids in any room. She encourages her grandkids to make messes, learn from their crafts and adventures, and engage in play. As a grandparent, she feels she can provide this fun, happy, playful, and adventurous environment and keep her grandkids engaged!

Inspiration & Other Ventures

Aside from daily adventures with her grandkids, Lolly also helps her husband of 41 years run their business. Lander’s River Trips is located in Narrowsburg, NY and includes three campgrounds and beautiful views! Lolly handles the marketing for the business while her husband handles the day-to-day work. Lolly’s also a certified life coach for women who want to be physically fit and excited about life in their 60s and beyond. She shares tips on how to be healthy and how to use movement as medicine! She also shares that sometimes getting older can cause people to struggle to provide value to the world. With her coaching and her Adventures of Lolly blog, she wants to create connections and community among grandparents. She believes that the wisdom of grandparents will be transmitted through children to grandchildren, which creates a longer and healthier life.

Adventures in the Snow

Lolly takes her grandkids to visit the Henrietta Public Library for storytime, the Greece Public Library for craft projects, parks throughout Rochester to build snowmen and go sledding, the Cummings Nature Center for hiking, the Letchworth Ice Volcano, Birdsong Trail so the children can feed the birds out of their hands, the ice sculpture and carnival weekend at Ontario Beach Park, and even the snowy zoo!

One of Lolly’s favorite winter activities with her grandkids involves visiting Kettle Ridge in Victor. With her entire family in attendance on a Sunday morning in February, the kids are pulled on sleds to find and tap a maple tree. The family calls it “Lolly’s Magical Maple!” The family works together to decorate the tree with wintery paper chains, handmade hearts, and more! After decorating, they are invited to enjoy breakfast in an igloo on-site and then sit around the bonfire. Kettle Ridge makes syrup from their tree sap and ships it to the Lander family in the spring.

Valentines Day at Lolly's

Lolly’s adventures take place at home, too. She and her grandkids get crafty year-round, but Valentine’s Day crafts are definitely a fan favorite among the Lander family. Try these ideas out at home!

• Make your own Valentine’s Day wrapping paper!

Roll banner paper on the floor and have the kids dip their hands and feet in red and pink paint. They can place hand and footprints on the paper, making this a fun activity for the kids. Once dried, use the newly decorated banner paper to wrap Valentine’s Day gifts!

• Create simple frames with those handprints, too!

Purchase $1 wooden frames and have the kids decorate them with their red and pink hands. Place pictures in the frames once dried for a fantastic gift for a teacher or another family member.

• Decorate a “love tree!”

Lolly’s known for her family love trees during the Valentine’s Day season. Paint tree limbs a simple white. Then, create a bunch of crafts to add to the “love” tree. Create hearts out of playdough, clay, and paper. Use plaster of paris to create hand prints, too! The kids will learn texture, color, and engage in sensory play when they complete this craft. Plus, they can hang their homemade decorations on the tree and feel super proud of their beautiful creations!

• Design Valentine’s Day mailboxes with flags.

Use paper and leftover cardboard to create simple mailboxes. The kids can deliver gifts to each other and their parents and lift the flag to let their loved one know a gift is ready for them!

• Put all the crafts together.

Purchase cheap little white bags and have the kids fill them with their Valentine’s Day creations.They can hand them out to neighbors and other family members!

• Throw a Valentines Day party for the family!

Lolly also throws a Valentine’s Day-themed party each year for her family. The grandkids’ Valentine’s Day crafts are hung up, the love tree goes on display, they play music, they dance, and they create a “love castle” out of snowballs they dye red and pink with food coloring outside! The kids make flags out of hearts ahead of time, put them on wooden dowels, and stick them on the castle during their Valentine’s Day party. They also bake cookies and truffles and make homemade red play dough for crafts!


Follow Lolly's adventures at @adventures_of_lolly_ny

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