Tag Archives: rainbows

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!

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Christmas disco

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Our summer disco (which apparently I didn’t blog about) went down so well that we hired the same people back to do a Christmas disco for three local Rainbow units, plus the Brownies and Guides who meet after my Rainbows.

The girls had fun, and we adults didn’t have to do much beyond giving out drinks and snacks, looking after Rainbows who found it too hot and noisy, and clearing up afterwards. It could have been a little shorter and no one would have minded, but all fine.

At the end, we did some giving out of badges to those who were owed them, and one of my Rainbows made her Promise (she missed doing it the week before), so I’m (was) all up to date with Promises for now – hurrah!

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.

Rainbows do First Aid

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When I asked my Rainbows what they’d like to do in the autumn term, one thing they asked for was first aid.

Great idea, girls! Especially as one of the activities in the Roundabout we’re doing involves learning about the emergency services. I set aside a meeting in November for first aid funtimes.

I asked around a few charities to see if anyone could visit and teach us (as I’m sure the Rainbows would listen to them better and learn more), but had no luck, so I kept it simple with things I’m comfortable teaching.

We started with a Rainbow chat about emergencies and calling 999. This turned into a big sharing session about people they know who have been injured – in a few minutes we heard everything from grazed knees to heart attacks to one Rainbow’s cousin who swallowed a battery (and pooed it out).

Everyone loves a good injury story, but I thought we’d better not spend the whole hour telling them, so we moved on. We did a quiz about emergencies and first aid. We played a game where the Rainbows had to listen to a story and run when ‘their word’ was spoken. Then we practised putting bandages on dolls and cuddly toys, which was definitely what the Rainbows had been looking forward to.

I’m not sure if the Rainbows learned anything really useful, but it gave them a reminder of things they already know, and anything that gets them used to thinking about and talking about first aid can’t do any harm.

It was a bit of a strange evening, as my Unit Helpers couldn’t make it, so it was just me, a (lifesaving) mum helper, and a Guide who showed up early and was willingly roped into helping. They put up with our slightly crazy ways.

One sad thing: the Rainbow who first asked to do first aid and really wanted to do it, missed it. Her sister’s a Brownie, Brownies was cancelled that evening, and their parents thought that Rainbows was cancelled too. Sadface. I said we can do more next term. By that time, I might have found someone proper to come and teach us.

Potato people

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Last week at Rainbows, we started Northop Brownies’ Vegetable Challenge badge. I’d planned to do Roundabout Healthy Eating, because according to the badges of my oldest Rainbows it was the only Roundabout they hadn’t done. (I’ve only been with this unit for a year, so some of the older girls were there before me .) But it was out of stock in the guiding shop, so I found a challenge badge on the same sort of topic.

Anyway, we made Potato People. My unit helper read a storybook called Potato People (I found a cheap second-hand copy of the book, and it was too perfect not to get), then the Rainbows made their own by rolling a dice to tell them which part to add.

  1. Googly eye
  2. Nose or mouth (draw with a felt-tip)
  3. Hair (wool, glued on)
  4. Arm (cocktail stick)
  5. Leg (cocktail stick)
  6. Button (push pin)

It’s a bit of a weird craft, and as my partner pointed out when I showed him the prototype, it ends up quite spiky with all the cocktail sticks poking out of the potato. The Rainbows enjoyed the game, and no one got stabbed. Most of the potatoes ended up looking similar-but-different, with the same number of features in slightly different places and styles. But my youngest Rainbow decided that four limbs were not enough, so she kept adding arms and legs until she had a sort of alien-octopus-potato. It was excellent.

After Rainbows, I led the Guides and older Brownies in an activity about being “true to myself and develop[ing] my beliefs”.

They stood in a line, one behind the other, I asked them a question with two options, and they had to jump one way if they agreed with the first option, and the other way for the second option. Then I asked another question, and they jumped one way or the other from where they were standing, so they soon ended up scattered around the room. Or that was the idea. We were in a small room so it wasn’t very scattered.

The idea was to get them thinking about how easy (or not) it was to go your own way and not be affected by other people’s choices.

The questions were a mixture of fun and serious ones (like “Do you prefer cats or dogs?” or “Which is more important to you, following fashion or being an individual?”).

Then they chose patrols and Go For Its, and planned their activities for the next couple of weeks.

The Guides are a tiny group, now that 3 of the girls are over 14 and are dipping between going Guides activities and being Young Leaders with the Brownies. We haven’t fully planned the term yet, but it looks like I’ll be leading a lot of their meetings although I’m not officially the unit leader (Brown Owl is, but she has a Brownie unit to run at the same time). I’m happy to, but I’ve been concentrating more on Rainbows, so I feel guiltily like the Guides aren’t getting anyone’s full attention. We can but do our best!

 

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.