Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

We incorporate the Valentines for Vets program (run through Veterans Affairs Canada) into our Key to my Community: Celebrations activities because it is a lovely way to do some crafty community outreach. The site offers lots of guidance on what to do (no sparkles, no floppy bits, avoid taking about death and guns and don’t put a year on it). The kids take it from there… as you can see below, they were very crafty. Note, the 2017 cards needed to be VAC by Feb 1 so add it to next year’s program.


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Because of space constraints (we meet in a gym with no place to hang projects + no good way to clean up messes), our regular unit meetings don’t often include painting projects.  That’s why there’s a distinct lack of painting ideas (or crafts with sparkles) on this site. Do you paint during your regular meetings?  What’s your sparkle policy?

But painting is a fun activity for camp…and this project from WiseCraftHandmade.com is super cute.   Check out Make marbled bead Valentines with paint, wooden beads, some wire and ribbon.

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Ever have a week where you look up and it’s almost Tuesday again (or whatever night your unit meets) and you’re not prepared?  We’ve been pretty good about putting together meeting plans – but for some reason, last night’s plan was pretty sketchy.

hearts game 2013-02-12 20.01.09

Snowy Owl setting up the Stack the Hearts Game

With the power of the internet and www.Activity Village.co.uk, Snowy Owl Christine turned our vague notes (ditty bags, and maybe Valentine’s Day??) into a pretty awesome meeting.

6:30 Arrival ActivityValentine’s Day Grid activities from Activity Village  HEART Puzzle …  Solution  LOVE PuzzleSolution.  These were very well liked.     Explained it to the first arrivals – then they were to show the next girls to arrive how to do it.  And then those girls were to show the girls after that.  Worked really well.

6:45 – Brownie Circles – TASK in Circles – talk about what you’d like to do and eat at camp – in addition to regular circle activities.

6:55 – Brownie Ring

7:00 – Program

  • Camp Discussion – what to eat & do?  Talk about what you do at camp and then what you eat at camp.
  • Discussion about Ditty Bags (Leader needs kit lists and show and tell about Ditty Bags).  We need three or four kits – with regular Ditty Bag stuff with some ringer items (non-marked plate, small toy, ceramic mug, empty pill bottle, hair comb)
  • Ditty Bag Relay (from Ditty Bag post)hearts 2013-02-12 20.04.37

7:20 – Craft Origami heart from Activity Village.  Simple paper folding.  Cute.

7:35 –Game

7:45 – Campfire

7:55 Close

Snowy Owl told me she misses being involved in writing up the plans… and last night proved that she’s great at it.

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Last night was our “Celebrations” meeting.  It is a nice way to include Christmas in the program, but visit other celebrations as well.

6:30 – Arrival – We had “Chinese New Year game” written in the notes, but nobody actually wrote one down, so the girls chose tag instead.

6:40 – Circle Inspections

6:45 – Brownie Ring


6:55 – Program  Celebrations – why is it important to respect different faiths and cultures?  What kinds of special days to you celebrate?  What is the difference between a Holiday/Celebration and an Observance?

Celebrations calendar – Every time we do this, Snowy Owl Christine prints a calendar with lots of different celebrations from around the world.  She does this manually – and it is a lot of work.   I looked it up and you can get a 2013 Calendar with US Holidays here(I couldn’t find one for Canada).  She goes through the calendar in the meeting (that’s the photo to the right) and asks the girls to help fill in birthdays and any holidays they celebrate that are missing as she goes.

7:05 Craft 1 – Chinese New Year Craft – Make a Lantern.  Don’t forget your stapler!  The calendar activity took a lot longer than we thought so we dropped this craft (it wasn’t a good day for China at Brownies last night… I just noticed).


7:10 Craft 2 Valentine’s for Vets – We introduced this activity by saying that there are Canadian Veterans that may not get visited by their children – they may be lonesome.  And we want them to feel appreciated, so lets make them a nice card.  We had pink, purple, and red construction paper, lots of glue, crayons, and doilies… plus some pre-printed Valentine’s Day poems from CanTeach and a “Made especially for you by __________ Brownie Unit Name and Number”.

One little girl took my intro a little too seriously but we caught it…

  • Brownie to Starry Owl “How do you spell Sorry”
  • Brown Owl to Starry Owl Huh??v4vcards2
  • Starry Owl “Why do you want to spell Sorry on
    Valentine’s Day card?”
  • Brownie: “I want to write ‘I’m sorry you’re alone’.” <Heart breaks>
  • Starry Owl “Let’s think of a happier thought instead” (she already had “I am” written out, so we suggested “Thankful”.  All good.  phew.  Disaster averted.  =)

7:30 Craft 3 – Beaded Snowflakes.  This was very cool. I got pictures of the process, but I don’t have any of the final product.  The link has good photos though with good instructions.  Update: found this snowflake ornament instruction from whatever that looks pretty cool and has good instructions too.

snowflake2 snowflake1

Some of the girls finished the Snowflake before the rest, and I took those girls with me to practice learning “On My Honour” that we started learning a couple of weeks ago.  It is one of my favourite songs and we haven’t been able to work it into the program for a couple of years and I really hated that.  So I’m determined to fix it.

And then we were out of time.  Next week is our Neighbourhood Walk and then we’re done for 2012.

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It is a bit odd to be thinking of Valentine’s Day as we’re coming up to Christmas, but  Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) has a great program called Valentine’s for Vets and you need to get moving NOW if you want to participate.  It is a simple thing… children are encouraged to make Valentine’s Day cards for Canadian Veterans and then VAC will distribute them in February.

Make your cards in December or early January (or maybe as part of your Remembrance Day meeting).  But read the Tips and Message ideas page first.   There are specific rules about what they can accept (like no sparkles!) and what should go on the card … they’re looking for a nice cheerful message of thanks and caring to a non-specific veteran (it is a definite change of focus from the solemnity of Remembrance Day).

Then mail the cards in time to arrive by mid-January (January 14, 2013) to:

Valentines for Vets
Veterans Affairs Canada
Canada Remembers
P.O. Box 7700
Charlottetown, PE C1A 8M9

We’re planning our yearly Key to My Community: Celebrations meeting in December and we’ll be making Valentine’s Day cards too.

UPDATE: Cathy from Bluenose Guider incorporated VFV into her Guide Unit’s Remembrance Day meeting.  Her last line reminds us to explain the activity very well.

We gave them preprinted verses that they could glue in the cards, and a preprinted label that said “4th Hammonds Plains Guides” to glue on the back, and lots of stamps and stickers and pretty paper that they could use to decorate the cards with.

As we were starting to explain what we were doing, one girl asked, “Why do veterinarians need Valentine’s?” Oops! We should have explained that first. 🙂

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Last night was Valentine’s Day and parent night at Brownies.  (We probably gummed up a few Valentine’s Day dinners by planning parent night, now that I think of it).

Here’s what we did:

6:00 – Guider arrival for setup – and final craft prep.  We put up some chairs.

6:30 – Girl and Parent Arrival. 

  • Girl Game (while the parents got settled): Line Tag. 
  • Then Group Game (including parents): Barnyard Tag.  I can’t find a link so I’ll describe it.  But I am not the author of the game.  Pair up.  Assign an animal sound to each pair.  Separate the pairs.  Close your eyes (or blindfold people).  On GO, everyone makes their sound and tries to find each other.  Hilarious.  Even more fun because the parents were in on it.  Very cute.

6:45 – Circle Time – one parent joins the groups.  Goal is to have the girls show the parent what they do in circles.  And teach them the song.

6:55 – Brownie Circle.  Parents join the circles.

7:00 – Program

  • Parents Sit – Girls do their Highland Dance Demo.  This was very cool – thank heavens though that Starry Owl remembered the thing and could lead it. 
  • Art By Hand – Girls have the option of showing what they made for the Art By Hand Project.  They were challenged to learn how to do something and make a project to show.  It is mostly geared towards needlework.  We had knitters, weavers, stitchers, embroiderers, a plastic canvas stitched heart, felters, a few handmade cards, and a paper mache animal (I don’t know if it was a donky or pig). 
  • Craft – We made the Hand Stitched Valentine Card craft.  It was nice to have parents on hand to give one-on-one support to new stitchers.  You need:
    • Pre cut card stock.  I had white cardstock and used a paper slicer to cut it in half.
    • Pre cut pink hearts. 
    • Sharp tipped yarn sewing needles pre-threaded with dental floss (double folded and pre-knotted)
    • Markers to decorate the card
    • Optional – a glue stick or two may help with those struggling with keeping the heart on pre-stitch.
    • Instructions: Fold the card however you want.  Don’t forget to start the stitch from the back (so the knot stays inside).  Stitch the hearts onto the front of the card.  Easy peasy.  And we didn’t have any poked fingers so that was nice. 

7:30 – Campfire (we had some business to discuss about next week).  Fire’s Burning, Land of the Silver Birch (during which I spilled my drink – CLUTZ!), Buzzard Song. 

7:45 – Close, then snack and girls to show off their artwork – Masks and Art by Hand  to their parents

It was a nice meeting – some of the parents were a little reluctant to play along at first, but they did.  We had Circle Group with only Dads in it and the bunch of them skipping around the toadstool was a sight to behold.  Next Week is Thinking Day.

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I’m not big on Valentine’s Day myself (lots of reasons…too commercial, we should say I love you all the time, and I’m single so it is a bit of a downer to see everyone all gushy about each other) but this year, I’m kind of excited about it.  V-Day falls on Brownie Night.

Here are some Brownie friendly crafts and ideas:

  • Hand Stitched Valentine Card craft.  We did this one year –  during a meeting called “Backward Day”.  We found out that when you make valentine cards on backwards day you may get a few “I hate you” cards.  Whoops.  Fortunately, the parents laughed.  I’ve got plans to make kits up for next week too. 
  • Cross Stitched Heart Card – probably better for older girls.  But equally cool. 
  • The Idea Room has photo cards (mabye for Brown Owl to make in advance) and a great list of activites (scroll to the bottom) like Valentine’s Bingo and Heart Yatzee. 
  • From Guider Joanne… How about a Heart Healthy Game (of course!  why didn’t I think of that?)?  Or Valentines for Vets (BEWARE – you need to do this in December or January, but a really nice idea).

What do you do with Brownies for Valentine’s Day?

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