Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas fun and games

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The Christmas wreath I made at Rainbows last year came out again

For the last Rainbows meeting of term, we joined up with the Brownies and Guides who meet after us, and had a festive fun/games/singing/food party, with families invited as well. Rather like last year, but without so many units, or a lady playing carols on the piano.

It was…ok, but a bit chaotic, not helped by the fact that the Brownies and Guides had been asked to arrive and leave at different times from the Rainbows, and some were early and others were late, so there was a lot of coming and going of girls.

And I’d prepared some games, but hadn’t realised there would be quite so much time to fill, and Brown Owl was feeling unwell so wasn’t up to leading much, so there were times when the girls were randomly running around playing with the balls and skipping ropes (we have lots of space, so that’s fine), and the parents were sitting around drinking tea and chatting.

I think (hope) it bothered me more than any of the parents and the girls – no one complained to me. But I’d have a think about how we can do it better next year (or if we do it at all – I’m tempted to just take the Rainbows out for an end of term trip instead).

Apologies for the not-very-upbeat post. It was a fine party, it really was, but I was glad it was the end of term and time for a bit of a break!

Rainbow Promise party

 

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Not my photo, but we made hand-shaped Christmas tree cards like these

At the end of November, we had a Promise party to welcome two Rainbows who joined this term (and one who’s been here for months but missed making her Promise before).

It’s taken me a while to remember what we actually did before the Promise bit at the end. Now it’s coming back to me: we played some games that the girls making their Promise chose, plus one about being kind and helpful. Then we made Christmas cards for people who were kind and helpful to us.

Then we had festive nibbles and the girls made their Promises. Looking back, I guess it wasn’t exactly a party: a few times, one of the Rainbows asked me when the party was starting! But since our next two meetings included a disco and a Christmas fun and games evening, I don’t feel too bad.

New year’s Rainbows

This term my Rainbows are doing activities from Rainbow Roundabout Festivals, plus lot of other festival-themed activities too. It’s a good time of year for them. I know we don’t have to do them at the time of year when they actually happen, but it works out that there’s one to celebrate almost every week between now and Easter. It’s a nice structured way to ease me into my first term as the one in charge.

In our first meeting of the new year, we spoke a bit about festivals, and thought of ones that we knew.

We started with Christmas by playing the Christmas card game. This is a classic first-meeting-after-the-holidays game in my old Guide unit (and many others, I suspect). I brought in a load of old Christmas cards and put them in a pile on the floor. The Rainbows lined up in teams. I called out something you might find on a card, like “Santa” or “a snowman”. The first Rainbow in each line ran up to the pile and tried to be the first to find a card with that thing on it. When the first one found it, she waved it in the air. I gave her team a point, she put her card back, and the girls who had come up went to the back of their line.

The Rainbows enjoyed it, but they were nowhere near as competitive as my Guides! They were more interested in looking at the pretty pictures on the cards.

Next we moved forward to the new year. We wrote/drew new year’s wishes on stars, and stuck them on a big star. I’m glad I had more stars than Rainbows, because most of them wanted to do 2 or 3 each.

new year's wishes

Their new year’s wishes included:

  • to look after their dog (twice)
  • a cat
  • a brother
  • not to tease their brother
  • happiness for everyone (I think that was a parent helper)
  • to visit everywhere in the world
  • snow (several times)
  • sun, the beach and ice cream (several times…I think the beach can be arranged, since we meet within spitting distance of one)
  • more/longer Rainbows (woohoo!)
  • to go to bed later (well, maybe if we have a sleepover)
  • not to go to school
  • a peashooter

I feel like we could have had a bit of a discussion about these – along the lines of sometimes we can achieve or work towards what we wish for, sometimes we have to be patient for it, and sometimes what we want isn’t really what’s best for us – but the girls were getting restless so instead we had some ball and skipping rope time.

After that we played an excellent game I learned from a Facebook group. The girls stand in partners and the leader calls out body parts. So “hand to hand” the partners touch hands, “knee to knee” they touch knees etc. Every so often the leader calls “Rainbow to Rainbow” which means change partners. I was advised – and can confirm – that they found a new partner without fuss as long as I called the next body part very quickly. “Bum to bum”, of course, they found hilarious.

That took us to the end of the meeting. I had a couple of Promise activities prepared too, but we can easily do them another week. I’m still getting used to how much and what balance of activities Rainbows can do in an hour!

 

Division Christmas do

After our last Rainbow meeting of term I went out for a meal with some of the other Rainbow, Brownie and Guide leaders who were there, which was lovely and a nice chance to get to know them a bit more outside of guiding.

A few days later I went to my first leaders’ meeting in my new place. I think it was the shortest one I’ve ever been to! Back in my old district we always seemed to have lots to discuss and catch up on, and our termly leaders’ meetings were rarely under 2 hours. At this one we only had a few short bits of business (introductions mostly for my benefit, a few awards achieved, the funeral of a Trefoil Guild member, and our Thinking Day event) and it was all over in half an hour, leaving more time for festive nibbles and mingling. I’m very impressed.

I chatted to most of the leaders there – some I already knew, others I didn’t, and others I’d heard of (“only good things I hope, ha ha”). Luckily in guiding it’s usually easy to get the conversation flowing. I got far with questions like:

  • Which group do you help with?
  • When/where do you meet?
  • How long have you been doing it?
  • How many girls do you have?
  • What have you been doing this term?
  • Are you planning any trips/holidays next year?
  • Are you looking forward to the Christmas holidays? (Ok, that one mostly goes without saying.)

What I’m about to write might not make sense outside the UK, but in my local area we don’t have districts, just a division. I can see the advantage – not so many meetings, a shorter chain of emails and paperwork hopefully more mingling between units, and one Commissioner (and her helpers) for the whole area rather than having to find several every few years when there might not be enough suitable people who haven’t already done it. On the other hand, it’s a lot of units and leaders for one Commissioner to be responsible for, and I’m in awe.

Anyway. It was a good evening, and I’m glad to have met more local leaders. I’ll see many of them at Thinking Day if not before.

I found my mouse!

Candy cane mouse paper (360x640)The  candy cane mouse from this Christmas crafty Rainbow meeting, that is. Just so you can see what it looked like. I drew the template freehand as I couldn’t find quite the right thing online, and cut them out (including the slots) so all the Rainbows did was colour them and insert the candy cane. Oh, and write their names on, of course.

Happy Christmas!

Christmas party

For the last Rainbow meeting of term, we had a joint party with the Brownies and Guides who meet on the same night, plus parents. Lucky we have a big hall!

After a welcome from the Commissioner, the girls and parents got into groups and played Christmas tree beetle. Roll a dice to make a Christmas tree from bits of laminated paper – you have to get a pot first, then a tree, then you can add the other bits in any order.

1=star 2=bauble 3=bauble 4=bauble 5=tree 6=pot

When we’d played that for a while, we had nibbles and mulled fruit juice. Last week Commissioner warned the Rainbows that there’d just be a few bits of party food, not a proper meal. My expectations were greatly exceeded: there was lots of festive party food! I was a bit worried there’d be lots left over, but then the Guides arrived and helped us out with that.

Then a lady came to play the piano and we sang some Christmassy songs: Away in a MangerJingle Bells, that sort of thing that most people knew to join in with. We might have had more joining in if we’d moved all the chairs round near the piano before we started, but as it happened it was nice and relaxed: those who wanted to join in came and sat near the piano to sing, while a few parents and girls (and leaders) who wanted to chat and play at the back of the hall did that.

To finish off, we sang the goodbye songs for the various sections and gave the girls presents as they left. It was a good evening for bringing the different ages together and reminding everyone that guiding is more than just our unit. I spoke to a few leaders that I hadn’t before, and met one of my Rainbows and her mother for the first time, as she hadn’t been to the last few meetings.

So that’s my first half term over, and after Christmas I’ll be getting involved in running the unit. Exciting-stroke-challenging! Come to think of it, I’m not sure which date we’re going back. I should probably find that out…

Christmas wreaths and mice

Last week the Rainbows did some Christmassy crafts.

Well, first we sang the penguin song, because I do enjoy a bit of singing and I wanted to test the waters with how much the Rainbows like it. Good news! Some of them knew it already, and the rest picked it up and got into it, so I think they’re ripe for more songs.

Then they made Christmas wreaths with paper plates, tissue paper and bits cut out of old Christmas cards. I’d pre-punched a hole in each plate and added a hanging ribbon.

This was my attempt:

Christmas wreath (5)

And here are some of the Rainbows’ masterpieces:

Christmas wreath (2) Christmas wreath (6) Christmas wreath (4) Christmas wreath (3)

Christmas wreath (1)When the majority of Rainbows had finished and were running around having a play, I rounded them up for a game of Duck Duck Goose. It feels like we’ve played that a lot – I should probably think of a different game.

Next we made some candy cane mice, like these but much simpler. I’d just cut out mouse-shaped pieces of card, drawn on eyes, nose and ears, and cut out two slots. The Rainbows coloured them in and the leaders added candy cane tails.

Speaking of leaders, I met the unit’s Young Leader (also an older Guide) for the first time, and our 18-year-old leader-in-training. They seem great, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them better next term.

When most of the Rainbows had finished their mice, we sat in a circle and went round saying our name (anything to help me remember everyone’s name!) and something we liked about Christmas. Then the outgoing unit leader reminded them about a trip to the pantomime at the weekend – it was the first I’d heard of it, seems like I joined too late to be invited. Oh well, perhaps next year – and practised their audience responses. (“Oh no they didn’t!”) And then it was time to go. I swear it’s the longest hour of the week!