Tag Archives: winter

Snowmen and Jelly Babies

snowmen (10) - Copy.jpg

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.

Frozen party and Promises

Last week some of my Rainbows made their Promises, and we had a Frozen-themed party to celebrate.

We started with a snowball fight. Each Rainbow got a sheet of newspaper and ripped in half, and half, and half again so they had eight pieces (more or less!) to scrunch into balls. Then we had a free-for-all throwing paper at each other for a few minutes.

Next they made melted snowman biscuits (like the one above) with a digestive base, an icing puddle, a mashmallow head, a strawberry lace scarf, matchmaker arms, and a writing icing face. My Guides made them a couple of years ago, and I have to say there wasn’t much difference in artistic quality between the Rainbows and the Guides!

Then we played musical icebergs (like musical chairs, but dancing between bits of newspaper on the floor), which was good fun except a bit short because our Brownie helper didn’t always get the hang of taking away just one piece of paper each time!

After a round of that, we sat down for a drink and a Frozen cupcake, and parents started to arrive to watch the Promises. We had about 8 girls making their Promise, because a lot joined all together recently. We stood in a circle and the girls came up to get their certificates and badges, then we all said the Rainbow Promise together. I’ve only known them a couple of weeks, but it was still a warm fuzzy guiding moment to pin on the badges and say “Welcome to Rainbows.”

The other Leader and I had a little confused moment where we made the salute and realised the Rainbows were looking at us blankly because they’d never seen it before. It looks like the general consensus is that Rainbows are welcome to make the sign (or try to – some don’t have the co-ordination yet), so I’ll have a think about teaching it to them.

Finally, we gave all the Rainbows a little paper snowman (in the picture) to remind them of their Promise. I’m not sure where they came from, I think the other Leader just found them and thought they’d be nice keepsakes.

Ready, steady, snow!

First meeting back after the Christmas holiday!

Most years at this time we play games with Christmas cards, such as relay races to pick particular designs out of a big pile, or cutting cards into jigsaw pieces for the Guides to put them together.

This year I fancied doing something a bit different and offered to plan some snow activities.  First we made melted snowman biscuits (shamelessly copied from all over Pinterest).

Biscuits decorated as melting snowmen

Each Guide used 1 paper plate, 1 digestive biscuit, plain icing, 1 marshmallow, half a matchmaker, 3 chocolate chips, and writing icing.

Next we had a snowball fight!  I’d brought two carrier bags full of scrunched-up paper “snowballs”.  Another leader scrunched a few more while the Guides were decorating biscuits.  We split the Guides into two teams, one at each end of the room behind a table which they weren’t allowed to pass or touch.  Each team got a bag of paper, which was plenty.  On each table were a few mixing bowls.  The winning team was the one that got more “snowballs” into the other side’s bowls.  We played two rounds and had great fun.

Then each patrol filled a bowl with “snowballs” and we challenged them to make a snowman (or snow-woman or other snow-thing) in 10 minutes using the paper, sellotape, and any other props to hand.  They were very inventive – one patrol made a sweet little traditional snowman, one made a very lifelike snowdog, and the other three turned one of their Guides into a snowguide!  When time was up, the patrols took it in turns to stand up and introduce their creation to everyone.

A Guide's hands making a "snow" sculpture from scrunched-up paper

That left just enough time to get into a horseshoe, hand out letters, and talk about forthcoming events: Thinking Day and, very excitingly, summer camp.

After the meeting, our Young Leader said she’d been expecting to play Christmas card games and (jokingly) was disappointed!  It just shows that even if something seems a bit overdone to leaders, the girls might enjoy the tradition of it.

In fact, our Unit Guider had brought her stash of Christmas cards just in case we needed another activity, and we’ve left them in the cupboard in case we need a filler in future.