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Archive for the ‘Songs & Games’ Category

Brownie Games Night

We’re having a sleepover this week and the evening program is all about games (with a few crafts thrown in just in case).

We’ve got:

games

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When I first became a Guider, we had a leader named Barn Owl who often led a game called Romeo and Juliet. She left us after about a year, and I realized almost immediately that I didn’t know how to play it. And Google was frustratingly unhelpful. Tonight we had some Guide visitors who suggested Romeo and Juliet! Pirate Owl took notes while they played and we finally have it.

Romeo and Juliet

  • Needs a big space – girls in pairs (If you have an odd number, promote one girl to leader).
  • Girls line up opposite each other, prepared to run and meet in the middle to perform the call. Once judged,they run back to their original spots to do the next action.
  • Leaders – You need one caller.

Leader calls:

  • Romeo and Juliet!” – girls run to each other. One kneels in the “Marry Me” position (one knee on floor – one knee up). The other girl sits on the knee.
  • Horse and Rider” – one girl on hands and knees. One girl straddles her back as if riding.
  • Fountain” – Standing – one girl makes a circle with her hands and the other sticks her hands up through the loop as if hands are fountain water.
  • Spoons” – Pair stands back to back, elbows linked and rock forwards and back.

Elimination option – Last one to the line to get set up is out.

The girls think it is a funny game and I think it is great to get them to run.

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Getting a group to quiet down when you need to is tough and there are lots of ways to do it without losing your voice (or your mind).

  • Guiding has “the Hand” – a Guider puts her hand up and as people notice it, they put their hand up too and wait quietly for the leader to speak. Eventually, everyone is silent (but it is less effective with younger girls).
  • Schools use other methods like clapping … the leader claps a pattern and the girls are meant to repeat it twice.  OR the teacher says “hands on top” and the kids put their hands on their heads and reply… “that means stop.”
  • I’ve used “Brownies, Brownies, where are you?” and the girls respond with “Here we are, here we are, how do you do?”  Technically this is supposed to be reserved for Circle Time, but it works!

  • There’s always the option of a whistle – but that’s a desperation move for us. It should be reserved for emergencies.

This weekend, I had a chance to see how some other talented Guiders manage groups…

  1. Snowy Owl Danielle (aka Wicked) amazed me by getting 50 girls to shush in seconds at the beginning of a big campfire. She shouted WATERFALL! Everyone put their hands up over their heads and swept them down to the ground while saying “SHHHHHHHHHH” (like water). And we were quiet. It was magic!
  2. The next technique took a little longer and is sort of like “the Hand”.  The Guider who wants attention speaks in a normal voice.  “If you can hear me, touch your nose.” (Guider touches her nose too).  “If you can hear me touch your ear”, and so on.  Eventually, everyone is following quietly along (thanks Guiders Julie and Katherine for an excellent campfire)
  3. I was telling my friend Guider Lisa from Halifax about Waterfall. She said she uses her normal voice and calls “If you can hear me, clap once.” Then “if you can hear me, clap twice,” “If you can hear me, clap three times.” And so on. The clapping gets everyone’s attention and eventually everyone is following along.

We play Brown Owl’s Rules at the beginning of the year to show new girls the ropes…I have added these to the game. How do you let girls know it is time to be silent?

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Mancala is a game of sowing seeds or stones around a board.  The goal is to clear the board and get the most seeds in your store. We tried it at camp for some quiet time and the girls were completely enthralled.  We had to stop them after about 25 minutes. 

Girls play in pairs so for each pair you’ll need:

  • 1 egg carton
  • 2 stores or wells (we used coffee filters, but cereal bowls or cups would work)
  • 48 beads, stones, seeds or marbles (the bigger the better – easier to pick up.  Colour doesn’t matter).

Set up: Put four beads in each egg cup and put a well on each end.  We pre-set the first game.  The girls took it from there.

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How to play (the internet explains it better than I can):

Explaining it to Brownies:

Some of the girls already knew the game so I played with one of them to demonstrate.  Then we distributed boards and let them go.  It was so successful that we have kept our beads and egg cartons for a “just in case we run out of stuff” moment at regular meetings.

Who can play:

The game is rated for ages six and up.  I think Sparks might struggle, but it should be fun for older girls starting at Brownies but on up to Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers.

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I shared my Why every Brownie unit should have a rubber chicken (or two) post with the Girl Guides Can Blog today.  Thanks GGCanBlog for making Mr. and Mrs. Chicken a little bit famous.  They’re humbled.  =)

chicken22014-01-24 09.57.30

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I’ll start by saying that I’m very sensitive to noise (I hear really well) so this Harmonica Craft from Housing a Forest looks super cool, but I would probably plan it as the last craft at camp before we send girls home.

Noise sensitivity (aka, my superpower) is a good trait to have as a Brown Owl – I can hear girls conspiring to do something I don’t approve of from great distances and am able to intervene in a way that makes them think I have eyes in the back of my head (so much fun – for me).  So, while noisemaker crafts are not my thing, the girls will love these.

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If you’ve been following Brownies Meet on Facebook or been reading this site in the last couple of weeks, you’ll know that we love our chickens (have you met Mr. and Mrs. Chicken?).

Here’s why we think you should have at least one chicken in your kit too:

  1. Chicken Games are Awesome!  Thank you Becky’s Guiding Resource.chickens
  2. Chickens can often substitute for other equipment… they replace balls, flags, boundaries (“don’t go past the chicken!”) frisbees and beanbags in lots of other games. Try Capture the Chicken or Ultimate Chicken.
  3. Chickens save time… they don’t roll like balls do and if someone misses a throw, it won’t take forever to get the ball back.
  4. Chickens don’t hurt if they accidentally bop you in the nose.  They’re soft and less likely to cause injuries.
  5. Chickens store easily … they can squish in around other stuff when you’re packing up.
  6. Chickens are easy to get and not too expensive… look in the Dog Toy section at Walmart ($8) or the Dollar Store ($2).   (I suggest, for your sanity, that you perform an immediate noise maker-ectomy with some needle nose pliers )
  7. Chickens give you an instant filler activity if you have a gap in programming.  Everyone wants to play a chicken game.
  8. Chickens can help develop leadership skills … ask the girls to make up and lead their own chicken games.
  9. and…Chickens cheer you up.  At camp, an unhappy Brownie may find comfort with a hug from a chicken (it works!!).

Have we convinced you?

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