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Archive for the ‘Key to I Can’ Category

Snowy Owl had an idea a few weeks ago… “What if each circle group makes up their own board game? That sounds like fun, right?” Not only did it sound like fun, it WAS fun. 2017-02-07-19-45-44

Program Connections: 

  • Key to I Can Special Interest Badge – Design a game that would be fun for you and your friends to play. Include instructions, decide how to win the game, and identify what you are allowed (or not allowed) to do. Make the game using recycled materials. Teach the game to other friends.
  • Key to Living World – (5) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle / Terrific trash Interest Badge – make your board game with reusable materials.
  • Key to Me (7) Helping Others – what would you do if … a girl was left out of a game… This activity sets up a situation where someone might get left out. Opportunity to discuss what to do and offer resources for dealing with it.2017-02-07-19-46-10

Pre-meeting prep:

  • Assemble one kit per circle group with stickers, construction paper, fun foam, tape, glue sticks, a game timer, we had some dice-sized wooden blocks I got at the dollar store, markers, scissors, pencils, and blank paper. It all went into shoe boxes — but camp basins would work well for this too.
  • Have a sharing table of optional supplies – I’ve been collecting old bits of games so I had a variety of dice (letter, colour, regular dotty, and a couple of Scatergories dice), some buttons that could be used as game pieces, cardboard cereal boxes to be used as game bases and anything else they might need.
  • Give each circle a big zip bag to hold their game at the end. Games need to be flat and fit in the bag to go home with Brown Owl. They will probably come back out at camp. 2017-02-07-19-46-22

Meeting:

6:30 Arrival – Play a game like Streets and Alleys.

6:40 Circle Activities

6:50 Brownie Ring

7:00 Program (5 minutes)

  • Talk about Reduce Reuse Recycle – why should we reduce waste? What can we do to reduce waste? Discuss what goes in what bin (the girls know this better than the adults – let them tell you).
  • Reuse old material in a new way. Let’s make a board game out of reusable materials.
  • Talk about what to do if someone is being left out.

7:05 Create a game (20 minutes)

  • Each circle will make up a game out of leftovers and reusable materials.
  • Board games need to fit into the big zip lock bag and be flat.
  • Don’t make the game too complicated. You’re going to have to teach and explain the game in just a few minutes so make sure it is easy to explain and understand.
  • Think about the rules – what are you allowed to do (and not allowed to do) during the game?
  • How do you win the game? (Think of this part first and work backwards)

7:25 Teach and play the game.

  • Each girl will get to teach their game once and play someone else’s one time.
  • 7:30 First Round — At game play time, choose three girls from each group to STAY at their circle to teach the game. The other three girls will MOVE one circle clockwise in the gym.
  • 7:40ish After around 10-15 minutes, everyone moves back to their own circle, and the three girls who did NOT move last time, will move two circles clockwise and try out that game. 2017-02-07-19-46-39

7:55 – Wrap up and closing songs. 

How they did: Three of the four groups were very good. We got two games that were pretty standard… like chutes and ladders … and one that was very clever where they had to roll a letter die and come up with a bunch of words that matched the letter that came up. The last one was confusing and weird, but they had fun making it.

What to do with the games – I kept all four games (Brownie Mountain needs more stuff, right?) and will bring them out again at camp. With six people in on the game and some of my own stuff in the final product we won’t be sending the games home with one of the six.

Review – the girls loved this. They were engaged and interested. They really didn’t need us except to keep them moving for time. It was a great meeting.

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Girl Guides of Prince Edward Island shared this on their Facebook page today and I think this is COOL. We’re doing Key to the Arts (Act it Out) this year and this might be a nifty craft to make that happen.

Check out DIY Spoon Puppets from Kid Play Do.

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In Week one of the Emergency Prep challenge we need to find stories about weather and emergencies. I didn’t want to scare our Brownies with tales of doom and gloom and I was pleased to find the Kids Crossing Weather Stories page – including weather stories that don’t minimize the impact of weather events, but shouldn’t freak everyone out either.  =)

I’ll be printing Adventures in Snow! and Tornadoes in the Soccer Field! for tomorrow’s meeting.

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emergency_preparedness_2013We are starting the new year with the Girl Guides Ontario Emergency Preparedness Challenge. It is a pretty involved challenge (three weeks of programming!) but we’ve been wanting to do it for a while.

Sometimes when you approach a challenge, you kind of take bits and pieces from it and make it suit your own group. This time we’re doing it pretty much as programmed (but three weeks is a lot and you might not be ready for that…I encourage you to read over the challenge for some really great ideas). And, in a pure coincidence, we booked a visit to our local Police station in the middle of the month too.

  • In week one, we’ll learn what is an emergency, week 2 is about planning ahead (Be Prepared!), and week 3 is about safety skills.
  • The program linked here is for Brownies, but the program is available for all levels.
  • Don’t forget to order the challenge crest from the GGC Ontario office.

Happy New Year everyone.

Yours in Guiding,

Cara

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Vortex science demoed with a plate in a pool.  So Cool! And explained really well, in a way that a Guider (like me) could learn it and explain it to a group of girls. I think we’ll try this next time we do Brownies Splash.

Physics Girl: A Unique and Crazy Pool Vortex

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If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I grew up in a crafty/make do and mend kind of family. I like that we teach our girls how to manage basic mending – and maybe in the future a few of them will pick up a needle and thread and think of us fondly. Snowy Owl, on the other hand, hates sewing. Does not like it. Not. One. Little. Bit. But that’s the beauty of working with a team. I don’t ever have to go to the ballet or Ray’s Reptiles, and she doesn’t have to sew.

But teaching one person to sew is very different from teaching a group. Preparation and having lots of willing helpers on hand is the key in this case. And neat projects that the girls will love.

I saw this Felt Fox Brooch that I think could be adapted to a group on http://www.dosmallthingswithlove.com.  I first saw the Felt Owl Pouch template that might work for older girls.  Super cute!

And now I can’t get “What the Fox Says” out of my head (for your ear worm pleasure).  =)

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I spent most of my childhood fascinated with Laura Ingalls and pioneers.  I read the Little House Books.  I was a little cooky for braids like Melissa Gilbert had.  I had braids in my hair, as did my Barbies, dolls and sisters (if they’d sit still long enough), and long skirts, sun bonnets and covered wagons were the best things ever (tape some paper over the handle of a fruit basket for an instant covered wagon) .  I’m sure my Mom often questioned my sanity.

So fast forward a bunch of years later to Brownie winter camp.  We had yarn out for the girls and it turns out that only a few of them knew how to braid!  Starry Owl Chan to the rescue with some duct tape and some yarn. Most of the girls took to it (although I don’t think they were nearly as nutty as I used to be which is probably a good thing).

Here is a video tutorial for How to Braid with three strands.

Teaching Brownies to Braid (Jan 2014)

Teaching Brownies to Braid (Jan 2014)

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This project from PurlBee.com could probably be adapted for Brownie Key to the Arts: Art by Hand and/or Key to I Can: Sewing Magic.  Very cute – and felt holds up well to little hands who haven’t got a lot of coordination.  Might be tricky, but it could work.

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During a weekend visit with my nephew (representing Brownies at age 8) and niece (who is 5 and represents Spark age), I continued my plans to make needlework a part of their daily lives.   As I explained to Nephew, it teaches patience, makes you think about what you’re doing, and lets you try something new.

This weekend was “Operation Embroidery”.

5yo Niece's handiwork

5yo Niece’s handiwork

I started with Niece.  As you can see, her project was a little lumpy, but she was completely engaged in the process and proved that a Spark could do this (she was very concerned that the needle was not sharp and we had a big discussion about that).  She loved to use the needle threader.  The only thing she needed help with was to put a knot at the end of the yarn.  She repeated the common kid error – she kept sewing into the wrong side  and the loops kept going around the back – but she figured out how to rescue it – and she incorporated it into the design at the end.

8yo Nephew's project

8yo Nephew’s project

Later, I moved on to Nephew. He’d done a project like this before so I didn’t really need to show him much.  You can see that his stitches are neater.  He also loved the project.

I know that this is a fairly easy project to do one-on-one, but it is a different story in a unit or at camp with 20 or so girls to teach at the same time.  The key to that though is preparation and making sure that the Guiders/ Helpers know what they are doing.

I would split the unit into small groups with one knowledgeable helper assigned to each.  In advance, prepare a box or tray (photocopy paper trays are perfect for this) for each group with these supplies:

  • Plastic Canvas Circles – I chose the circles specifically because I didn’t want any corners for yarn to catch on.
  • Yarn in small balls (one ball per two girls)
  • Blunt yarn needles
  • a Magnet (to put the needles on when girls put them down and to help you pick them up when they hit the floor)
  • Scissors
  • Needle threaders – I made my own (see below details)

Instructions

  1. Select and cut a piece of yarn that is as long as your wingspan – hand to hand.  Put the scissors and spare yarn back in the basket.
  2. Insert the metal loop of the needle threader through the hole in the yarn needle.  Then put the yarn through the needle threader loop.  Pull (hard).  Once your yarn is through the hole in the needle, put the needle threader back in the basket (notice a theme?).
  3. Now, fold the yarn in half so the needle is hanging down between your feet and the ends of the yarn are in your hand.  Tie an overhand knot.
  4. Take your plastic circle and start stitching up and down.  Make a design of your choice.
  5. Demonstrate what happens if you sew from the wrong side (you make a loop around the work)- and how to recover (gently reverse the needle through the hole).  It is easy and even Niece was able to fix her own mistakes.

And that’s it.   I think I’ll set this up as independent craft work at a camp next year.  The teaching at the start is a bit of a crush, but my kiddos were pretty much independent once they got the hang of it.needlethreader  And once everyone is started, I’d amalgamate all the trays into one basket so they can keep going back to get more yarn as they need it.

And the needle threaders!  I made mine out of a rectangle of plastic canvas with some jewelry wire woven into it and some duct tape to cover and anchor the wire.  The loops are bigger than most needle threaders – they’re yellow so easy to find when dropped, and extra sturdy – it can stand up to a 5 year old yanking yarn through a needle.

Happy Brownie Free Tuesday.  I hope you’re enjoying a nice summer break.

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Tonight is the Brownie Sewing Magic meeting and I think we’re prepared.  We have lots of helpers ready to go and I’m hopeful for a good meeting.

In my own dorky kind of way, I look at this as our big Contribution (with a capital C).  In 30 years when these kids are replacing a button on a shirt, at least one of them may remember that the Owls taught them how to thread a needle and sew a button (assuming, you know, that buttons aren’t obsolete by then).  We have lots to offer in Guiding, but we’re kind of the last holdouts in the practical homey things.  It is called Key to I CAN for a reason and girls can do a lot of things – even if they’re simple.  It’s a big deal to me.

Brownies are going camping at the end of the month (and again with Sparks at the end of April) and I’m kind of getting excited about the whole thing.  I updated the Camping Page over the weekend…this is just a record of how we do things, so not the be-all and end-all of things, but a good place to start.  And if you have any great ideas, please share them!

And last, but not least on my list of things to tell you, we’re doing a low-key kind of Thinking Day – just Brownies and Sparks – but maybe with the Rangers as our leaders.  Not sure yet.  I’ll let you know.

Happy February.  =)

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