Monday, July 30, 2012

Ideas to Tie In to "3 Cheers for Animals" -- Part II

Hello! Last time, I posted a bunch of links for ideas of activities to add to the 3 Cheers for Animals Journey book's first story. This time, we're taking a look at the second story, "The First Stories: A Little Birdie Told Me ..." In this story, the flowers imagine how they got their colors, and they also imagine how the robin got his colors. The leader's guide suggests you have the girls come up with their own story of how something came to be. Here are some ideas that you could incorporate into the meeting where you read this story (be sure to look back at the last post; a lot of the flower activities would work here too!):


  • If you have a microwave handy, have the girls help you make their snacks for the meeting, birds' nests

  • Have the girls make get-to-know-you necklaces. During your closing ceremony, have each girl show off her necklace and explain what their personal story is
  • Make an "I Am" page, whether it's a collage or a painting or something else. This looks like a great self-esteem activity, and the girls should share all the good things about themselves
  • Start a journal that the girls can fill in a little at a time (hello, future Premeeting activities!). This one has poems and is for a Kindergarten class, but I think with a little time you could create a Girl Scout-specific journal where the girls can tell their own stories.
  • Make an adorable baby-bird nest from paper plates and pom poms
  • Make story bags. For a meeting, I'd have each girl bring in two or three items (depending on how many girls you have) and put one in each bag. Then, split up into groups (however many bags you have). Each girl in the group draws out an item one at a time and adds to the story. Once they've created the story, return to your big group and have each small group tell their story to the troop
  • Make a birdfeeder to feed the robin from the story (and all his bird friends). You can make one from a toilet-paper roll, a pine cone, an orange (we made this one in our troop--messy fun!), popsicle sticks, with cookie cutters, and probably a million other things
  • Make a bird's nest. This is a suggested activity from the leader's guide for this Journey. They suggest using paper bags, but you could also use more natural supplies
  • Make a bird's nest necklace. Daisy scouts might need a lot of help with this one, but they are just so cute I had to include them!
  • Make story stones. Use them to create a story at this meeting or at future meetings
  • Make these sweet bird-cage lanterns
Have another idea for "A Little Birdie Told Me ..."? Leave a message below!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ideas to Tie In to "3 Cheers for Animals" -- Part I

Happy summer! I hope everyone is having a wonderful time and enjoying warm weather! Last summer, I posted ideas on how to plan the first Daisy meetings. This year, since I completed my very first Journey book for Daisys, 3 Cheers for Animals, I wanted to post additional ideas for things to do during your meetings that tie in to the theme.

First of all, I want to say that, while the Journey books have been fairly controversial, I really enjoyed the way 3 Cheers was set up. Our girls really enjoyed listening to the stories; the activity pages in the book worked really well for us as premeeting activities that we could then share in our Circle; and we used a lot of the session activity suggestions during our meetings. That said, I do have a few quibbles: The number of charts the leader's guide suggested we make was crazy! After the first one, the girls were quick to say "BORING!" anytime I tried to set up a new one. Some of the questions posed for the girls didn't really resonate. And some activities just didn't work with my troop. If I have time at the end of the summer, I might go through in detail what worked and what didn't for us.

For now, I just want to share my love for Pinterest and some of the amazing ideas I found there that I wish I had seen when I was planning my meetings!

For example, the first story in the Journey book is about the Daisy Flower Garden, a cat, and a butterfly. After you read the story, it might be fun to incorporate one or more of these crafts into your meeting:

  • These butterfly coloring pages and color-by-number pages would work really well for something the girls can do as they come in
  • These flowers made from cupcake liners and popsicle sticks would be as easy or as complex as you choose, depending on how many materials you use. You can also paint them, like they did here
  • I love this free printable Daisy flower bookmark. If you're introducing the Journey books, this is a wonderful gift to give the girls to get them excited about keeping their places!
  • I really love collaborative projects! If your girls are just getting to know each other, this fingerprint flower garden is a great idea. Each girl could start her garden with her fingerprint, then go around to each other's papers and add a flower.
  • These straw-printed dandelions are a quick and easy art project
  • This bottle-printed flower garden looks like an amazing collaborative garden. Each girl could add a different-colored flower
  • These hand-print flowers are adorable
  • Use cookie cutters to make flower stamps
  • A butterfly made from a spoon and paper plate. (The pin links back to a Greek site, but you should be able to get the idea of how to make it from the picture.)
  • These plantable greeting cards would be fun if you're starting your Journey in the spring or early fall
  • Making flowers from recycled water bottles would be a great way to also incorporate the "Using Resources Wisely" petal
  • This cute flower egg-carton centerpiece would be great to use at your investiture ceremony. Each girl could create her own, or you could put the girls in small groups to collaborate. This one seems especially good if you have lots of Kindergarten-age girls in your troop
  • Another petal you could work in is the "Responsible for What I Say and Do" petal. Have the girls make these handprint flower totes, which they'll use to carry their Journey books back and forth to meetings
  • A collaborative troop flower garden centerpiece made from bamboo skewers and green pipe cleaners can be used at the investiture ceremony and again at bridging! (You could also use it as a substitute for name tags. Each box might have six girls, and you could rearrange the names in each box for each meeting. This way, the girls can choose where to sit at a designated table!)
  • You can make cat masks with the girls
  • These math daisies are a great way to add STEM subjects to your meeting
  • This simple giant sunflower craft uses paper bags, black rice, and paint
  • Make flowers from paint chips
  • Use construction paper to make a big collaborative flower mural
  • If you're introducing the Journeys, make these paint-chip bookmarks so the girls can keep their places in their Journey books
Do you have more ideas that would fit in here? Leave a message below! Do you have a Girl Scouts Pinterest board?  Leave the link here!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Final Ceremony

We had our final ceremony in June. Our sister Brownie troop had their ceremony at the same time, so it was really fun to get all the girls together. We had a potluck, which is always a good idea. As the girls came in, I had them put up decorations. We made a "bridge" out of chairs, crepe paper, and rainbow paper fans. They also taped up their animal mural they had been creating all year, plus other things we had done--cookie sales goal chart, the chart we made for the "3 Cheers for Animals" Journey and more. They really enjoyed participating in the event!

We also created a "photo booth." Basically, the girls cut crepe paper and taped it up to the wall. They LOVED doing this--and it kept them busy until we were ready to start! You can kind of see it in the background of the photo above.

Our ceremony was pretty simple. The girls all received their one-year membership pin, their Tula Award from the Journey, and a certificate. The girls who were bridging up crossed our bridge, and the Brownie leaders gave them their rainbow patch! My coleader had gone to the 100th Anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C., so she had swaps to give each girl as well--it was such a great idea and the girls were very excited about it!

Thanks to all the parents who helped out this year; I couldn't have asked for anything better! I'm looking forward to the summer off, but I will be posting some ideas for the "3 Cheers for Animals" Journey for leaders who are thinking about doing it next year, so stay tuned!