Tag Archives: nature

An arty autumn walk

autumn-walk (2).jpg

A person, I think

For our third Rainbows meeting of the term, we took advantage of the still-light evenings and good weather, and went for a walk in the park.

I gave each Rainbow a carrier bag and asked them to gather any interesting natural objects they thought would be good to make a picture. (With discussion of what was natural versus man-made, and what was safe/not safe to pick up.)

There weren’t many obviously exciting natural objects on our walk: we didn’t pass many trees, and the ones that were there hadn’t dropped their leaves yet. Still, the Rainbows managed to get collections of a few leaves, sticks, stones and bits of grass. Some absolutely filled their bags while others were very selective about what they took!

They made pictures on a bit of grass – it was a bit windy, which added an extra element of challenge! Then we went to the play park until it was time to go back.


We’re going on a bug hunt


The summer term has begun!

For our first meeting the Rainbows went on a minibeast hunt in the garden behind our hall. My helpers “hid” these stones around the area. We got into 3 groups, and each group searched for a different animal.

After a few minutes we counted up how many each group had found. Then they wanted to do it again, so they hid their stones, swapped animals, and did it again.

They looked out for real minibeasts as they went around. We found lots of earthworms, which my Guide helper kindly rescued from being trodden on.


Then we played the game where the Rainbows have to pass something (in this case, one of the minibeast stones) around the circle behind their backs, while one stands in the middle and guesses who’s got it.

I wasn’t sure if they’d get the hang of the game or be patient enough to sit still, but they seemed to enjoy it – they just needed a lot of reminders to keep passing!

Then a few rounds of Duck Duck Goose, handed out the term programme and a few badges, and it was time to go.

Hello Rainbows!

Last week I went to my first proper normal meeting with my new Rainbows.

I met 14 of the 20-ish Rainbows – right now I can remember about half their names, but we’ll see how well I’ve done next time when they change their hairstyles and shoes! I also met the unit helper, and some mothers who stay and help, so they’re really unit helpers too. And I saw my Commissioner again, who’s acting as the unit leader.

I’d forgotten how long an hour is with Rainbows! We played a game and decorated plant pots and planted bulbs, and we were still only halfway through! Then Commissioner read a story (I think it was about being kind, but I was sweeping up soil so didn’t catch most of it), the Rainbows talked about their Promise party next week (it’s Frozen themed, of course) and chose which activities to do. Or rather, they voted to do both activities and games rather than just playing games, and Commissioner suggested a couple of activities and they cheered. Decision-making is easy with Rainbows 😉

Then they voted on where to go on a trip at Easter. We’re going to a rare breeds farm. I’m pretty excited, love a good farm.

The Rainbows had a drink, and we played another round of “Duck, duck, goose” and sang a song they’d learned for their weather badge. It’s a good’un. It goes to the tune of If you’re happy and you know it and the verses are:

If it’s raining and you know it, stamp your feet [stamp stamp]
It it’s sunny and you know it, lick a lolly [lick, lick]
If it’s snowy and you know it, let’s go skiing [swoosh, swoosh]
If it’s windy and you know it, do a twirl [twirl around]

And then it was time for the goodbye song!

I’m in love with the hall where we meet. It’s in a modern building, it’s clean and light and there’s lots of space inside (not sure if there’s an outside, it was too dark to see), there are some break-out rooms and plenty of space to store crafts etc, and there’s a cupboard for tables and chairs and a big kitchen with lots of stuff. It’s 3 or 4 times the size of my dear old Guide hall…

Looking forward to the party next week! I’m debating whether to go in costume, or maybe just crack out the face paints.

Grow Wild!

flower trail (4)Another leader at Guides very thoughtfully managed to win us a Grow Wild pack.  I hadn’t heard of Grow Wild till she told me about it, but it’s a campaign to get people growing wild flowers around the UK, particularly to brighten up flowerless areas, and to generally boost communities and wellbeing in the process.

The pack included a packet of seeds for every Guide and leader, a few information booklets and bee house kits (here’s a video showing how to make them), and discount vouchers for Kew Gardens (which is supporting the campaign), enough for everyone.

We wanted a plant-themed evening that would get the Guides keen and knowing enough to want to go and plant their flowers, and between us we came up with one.

flower trail (11)The girls spent all evening working in their patrols.  Each patrol got a “flower” (a cup with paper petals taped on) to fill with as much “pollen” (Smarties) as possible, which they’d win by completing challenges:

  • A relay race collecting balls (“pollen”, yes I know we used that symbolism twice!) with velcro pads and passing them over heads and between legs down the line
  • A “match the pairs” game with pictures of the wildflowers in the packets they’d be getting.  This was meant to be a relay race with teams sending a member to collect a card until they’d all gone, then seeing who had the most pairs.  In fact it got a bit chaotic and the teams ended up swapping cards to help each other, which was nice of them!  So everyone got almost the same number of pollen points in the end.
  • A race to build 2 bee houses per patrol, using the instructions in the booklet (extra points for the patrol who went straight for the felt tips and decorated their houses with flowers!)
  • flower trail (16)A town plant trail to get them noticing plants in built-up areas, sometimes in unexpected places.  This one took a bit more preparation: a couple of days before, I’d gone round town taking close-up pictures of plants and flowers round the market place (like the ones in this post), including images/carvings of flowers to bulk it up.  I put them in a document and added simple questions like “What is the name of this shop?”.  The patrols had to find the plants in the photos and answer the questions, as many as possible in the 15 minutes we gave them.  They all managed to get most of the answers, so the right level of challenge, I think.  (NB the usual rules applied, like not going outside the boundaries we set, and only crossing at crossing places or on quiet roads.)

We had a couple more challenges for if there was time or if the weather was too wet to go out (like pictionary of places they could plant their seeds), but that was all we had time for in the end.  The night finished with them sharing and eating the Smarties they had won.  I do hope some of the seeds get planted!

flower trail (1)


Flowers for mums

This week, like many other units, my Guides made gifts for Mothering Sunday, for their mothers or other significant women in their lives.  On the term plan we called this meeting “Spring crafts” so the families didn’t suspect a thing…

We put the girls into two groups.  One half potted pansies (equipment: plastic flower pots, bedding flowers, compost) and decorated the pots with ribbons and stickers.  The other half made decorations to stick into the soil (equipment: lolly sticks, funky foam, double-sided tape, minibeast templates, googly eyes, PVA glue, and other random craft bits we had in stock).  The groups swapped over gradually as each girl finished her first activity.

Potted pansy with a bee decoration

The results were clearly made with love and most looked really good quality, so I’m sure the recipients will be pleased.  I made templates and demos for a ladybird, a butterfly and a bee.  Some followed these exactly, some used the templates with different colours or added extra eyes, stickers, ribbons, et al.  Some Guides completely did their own thing – I saw some flowery creations and a very impressive funky foam wolf-howling-at-moon on a stick.  I didn’t take any photos of the Guides’ creations, so you’ll have to make do with mine!

Funky foam / lolly stick decorations for plant pots: bee, ladybird, and butterfly

It took quite a while to clear up the crafty bits and compost and get everyone finished, so for the girls who finished quickly there was a bit of milling about and geeing up to help with the tidying.  There wasn’t quite enough clear space or time to play a game, but heigh-ho, a Guide meeting isn’t a school lesson and a bit of unstructured time is ok, right?  We finished on a good note with International Trip Guide selling some of her lovely knitted chicks with Creme Eggs inside.