Tag Archives: craft

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.

All About Me: quizzes and door hangers

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Back in November, the Rainbows had another night of doing activities from the Roundabout All About Me pack, which they had voted for.

First they did a quiz about Rainbows around the world, running to different parts of the room depending on what they thought the answer was. My younger Unit Helper ran this, and I was so happy (and told her so). I’d love her to do more activities like this.

Then they made door hangers (to go on bedroom door handles – I printed outlines on card, and the Rainbows cut them out) with their name and a picture of what it “means”. I put a book of baby names on each table so they could look up their name (with an adult helping).

Now I’m a massive name nerd. Reading and writing about names, collecting books about names, and collecting news and blog posts about names, is my other big hobby besides guiding. You might think this made the activity more fun, but actually it made it a bit stressful! This activity just needs a simple easy-to-draw meaning for a name, which is easy for some names (like Holly and Ruby) but just doesn’t exist for others (like Ellie and Millie). So I found myself compromising the facts a bit to give the Rainbows something to work with (“Er, yes, Ellie means ‘light’ and Millie means ‘hardworking'”).

My nerdy struggles aside, I think the Rainbows enjoyed it. They enjoyed seeing their names printed in books – fortunately I brought books that have all the Rainbows’ names in, so no one was left out.

Snowmen and Jelly Babies

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First night back at Rainbows, and we made snowmen with toilet roll tubes (which has made a good dent in my stash), cotton wool, and bits of fabric, paper and stickers – and lots of PVA glue.

An hour or so after Rainbows finished, it actually snowed, for the first time this winter, more heavily than expected. I felt pretty smug that I’d accidentally chosen a timely activity!

Then we played the Christmas Card Game. It’s my go-to activity for the first meeting after Christmas with any section (for example, I did it with Rainbows last year and Guides in 2014). You need a big pile of old Christmas cards and some teams of girls. You call out something to find (like a snowman, a robin, some glitter) and one girl from each team runs and tries to find it on a card. The first one to find it gets a point for her team.

It was a pretty quiet evening, with only 11 out of 16 Rainbows there. We had two new girls, who both have friends in the unit and settled in so well I hardly remembered they were new.

I stayed on to help with Brownies and Guides (all together tonight), and they did a Jelly Baby-themed evening in sixes and patrols:

  • A game where a leader called a word and the girls had to do an action – after a while, the girl who did it last/did the wrong action/wasn’t in a group of the right size was out and joined the judges
  • A relay quiz: each group stood in a line with one leader, who had a question sheet and pen. The leader read the first question to the first girl in the line, she ran to the middle of the room to find the answer on a packet of jelly babies (for example, one question was “What is the sell-by date?” The girl ran back and told the leader the answer, then the next girl got a question. When the first team finished, everyone stopped and marked the answers
  • Each group designed a new jelly baby and presented it to everyone

Then I took the Guides and the oldest Brownies off separately and we brainstormed what they’d like to do this term. Most of their ideas were big and outside the meeting place, so then we had a brainstorm of how they could raise money to do them. I collected the ideas, so now I need to sit down with the other leaders and work out a plan.

I found I was surprised at how well-behaved and generally pleasant the Brownies were (ok, they went a bit crazy when it started snowing, but let’s face it, it is THE MOST EXCITING THING when you’re 8). This made me realise how tired and hyper they (and we leaders) were getting towards the end of last term, though I didn’t notice at the time.

So this is encouraging. I’m refreshed, the Brownies are quite nice actually, and things are looking up for this term.

Rainbows get sweet

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Going back to the summer term, my Rainbows filled and decorated sweet pots to sell at a fundraising coffee morning for the units who meet in our hall.

I got a load of smoothie cups with lids, and the Rainbws did a great job with Sharpies and stickers on these pots. They got to choose 10 sweets from a mixed bag to put into each pot.

I was proud at how restrained they were, not eating the sweets! They did get a few leftovers at the end 😉

Them bones, them bones

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My skeleton, rocking the blue bones

The last meeting before half term was billed in the programme as ‘My amazing body’ – the idea being that we’d keep it open-ended and decide nearer the time what body-related activities to do.

My unit helper suggested these cotton bud skeleton pictures, which tied it in nicely with Halloween, without being too Halloweeny.

So we started off with some songs to get the Rainbows thinking about their bodies: ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’, ‘I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor’, and the Penguin song. Then my unit helper read them a Funnybones story while the other leaders laid out the crafty bits. And then we did skeleton pictures.

There was great variety in the skeletons, from very accurate copies of the picture I’d put out as a guide, to skeletons with hair and accessories, to a wonderfully abstract picture from our only-just-5-year-old. The key with these pictures is to carry them flat and not bend the paper at all, otherwise all the cotton buds fall off.

We finished off with a chat about what the Rainbows would like to do after half term (since I haven’t planned it yet: it seemed too much in August to think about what we’d do in December). They came up with some great ideas, like sparklers and First Aid, so by now I’ve hopefully put together the programme for the next few weeks.

Rainbow Promise mobiles

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Artist’s impression of me keeping my Rainbow Promise

We managed to get to week 5 of term before doing any craft (well, apart from nature pictures and cake decorating), but finally it was time.

I like craft as much as the next person, as do my Rainbows, but I make a conscious effort not to just do it as a default every week – especially since reading this post by Leslie (it explains the role of craft in Guiding, which I’d never stopped to think about before).

These mobiles come from Roundabout All About Me, so we completed part of our Roundabout as well as reminding ourselves of the Promise – useful as we now have 2 new Rainbows who will be making it soon.

We started with the game where a leader calls out an action (like “sharing toys with my brother or sister”, or “calling my friend nasty names”) and the Rainbows run to one end of the room if they think it’s a way to keep their Promise, and the other end if they think it’s not.

Then we got on with the mobiles. The Rainbows enjoyed it, but it was a scramble for some people to finish them. There are a lot of bits to do: colouring, drawing, writing, threading beads on ribbons, tying ribbons on. Most people finished in the end, but next time I’d either allow more time, have more leaders, or maybe do something to make the beads and ribbons easier to handle.

The idea with the beads is that a Rainbow slides one up to the top every time she does something to keep her Promise. I forgot to ask the next week if anyone had been using theirs…must try to ask next time.

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I promise that I will do my best…

Bubbles bubbles bubbles bubbles MY bubbles

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We had a lovely warm afternoon for making giant bubble blowers.

I first came across them on Housing a Forest a few years ago. You cut the bottom off a plastic bottle (1.5 or 2 litre works well). Keep the top, and secure a piece of cloth over the end with a few rubber bands. Slightly fluffy cloth is best, eg a thick sock, flannel, or piece of old towel.

Dip the cloth end in washing up bubbly water, and blow – don’t suck! – through the mouthpiece. You have to make a seal with your mouth and blow hard, as if you’re blowing up a balloon or playing a trumpet.

The Rainbows cut a bottle each and constructed their own bubble blowers, with help. We went out into the garden and had a go.

It didn’t go quite as well as last time I tried it. It was hit and miss: some of the Rainbows’ blowers worked quite well, but others seemed to be doing everything right yet still didn’t get many bubbles, let alone a snake. Possibly the fabric we used – an old polo shirt – wasn’t fluffy enough, or some of the bottles were too small.

Even so, it was a fun experiment, and I was pleased that all the Rainbows persevered when their blowers didn’t work so well at first, and tried changing things to make them better.

Bubble blowing kept everyone busy for 10-15 minutes, then gradually the girls had enough of them and went into general playing with skipping ropes. When everyone was done with bubbles, we finished off with a game together.