*This post contains affiliate links. It is the gift giving time of year, and new Daisy leaders often get into the spirit of things by buying themselves or their daughters some special Girl Scout gifts. Here are some special ones that you may not find elsewhere, Girl Scout Cookie Jar The holiday season comes right before Girl Scout cookie season in most parts of the country. Why not give yourself a place to store your favorite treats with this adorable Girl Scout cookie jar?
*This post contains affiliate links. It's that time of year where the Girl Scout forums and Facebook pages are getting a little heated about the upcoming holiday season. There are three viewpoints on this matter: 1. We are going to celebrate Christmas and do Christmas activities even though everyone in our troop does not celebrate the holiday. 2. We do not celebrate any December holiday because that is not inclusive to those who do not celebrate any holiday this month. 3. Everyone in our troop celebrates Christmas so we do it as a troop...what is the big deal? I covered this topic in depth in this blog post from last year. Bottom line for me...there should be no specific holiday celebration of any kind if it means that a single girl in your troop will be left out. Girls Scouts is inclusive...that was the intent of the founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
Photo from Pixabay
So what can a Daisy Girl Scout leader do with her troop that will make a December meeting fun and meaningful? Of course, you can do many different service projects with your troop, so your girls learn that there are others in this world who need a helping hand. Young children are compassionate, and this is one way to plug into this. Here are some fun ideas for you to have an inclusive December meeting. Make a Sock Snowman You can find the directions for this adorable craft here at Diply. You can simplify it for Daisy Scouts. There are other versions of this craft and you can find the directions and videos here. Make a Styrofoam Snowman
Photo from Pixabay
You can also make a snowman out of styrofoam balls. Directions for this craft can be found here. There are plenty of snowman craft kits available if you are too busy to go out and buy all of the components for these snowman crafts.
This picture frame snowman craft kits makes 12 crafts.
Gift Exchanges I am not a fan of gift exchanges, as I explained in this blog post from a few years ago. However, one thing I have read about on the Girl Scouts Gab Facebook page was a Sock Exchange. Each girl brings in a cute, inexpensive pair of non-holiday socks and they can pull it from a grab bag. The girls can also bring in an extra pair of socks to be donated to a nursing home or homeless shelter. One troop leader mentioned that the girls filled the sock with small items like candy. I would only be concerned with food allergies is you decide to do this. The same ideas can be done for books-make sure they are not holiday themed or based on a particular movie or television character. An extra book can be donated to a children's hospital or local preschool. Marshmallow Games to Play Marshmallows are a sweet and inexpensive treat to use for games. They do not leave a big mess and the girls are sure to want to eat them when the games are over. One game to play is to see how many marshmallows the girls can stack in a set amount of time. Start with a longer time like 60 seconds and then shorten them as the next round progresses.
Photo from Pixabay
Another game to play that I used to do with my children's class parties is to tie a piece of yarn around a marshmallow. Divide the girls into teams of two each. One girl swings the marshmallow towards the other girl and she tries to catch it in her mouth. After she does, then the girls switch and the other girl gets to try to eat it. Using mini marshmallows and chopsticks, you can have the girls play this Minute to Win It game. Here is another game that uses mini marshmallows, straws and paper cups. Host a New Year's Eve Party For younger children, New Year's Eve is a time that many grown ups get dressed and leave the house for a fancy party. I remember being left with a babysitter on this special night when I was a child.
You can host a child-centric New Year's Eve party for your troop. This article has lots of ideas that you can use to get the party started. December is a wonderful time to host a party for a meeting...just make sure you are being considerate and caring and inclusive with all the girls in your troop.
Are you knee deep in holiday preparations at home? Are you busy buying gifts, hosting a party, attending parties and decorating your home? I thought so! December is a time for you to have a fun meeting that does not involve too much work on your part.
It's that time of year when it officially sinks in that the holiday gift giving season is upon us. We could ignore the Christmas decor that arrived in stores the day after Halloween (or was it the weeks before trick or treating?), but with Rankin Bass Christmas and Peanuts Christmas specials already airing, your co-leader and you need to have a talk and discuss whether or not you are going to give gifts to your troop for the holiday season.
Photo from Pixabay
In my nine years of leading a troop, I have never given gifts. Many of my girls already owned better technology than I do and traveled to places I have never visited. I always considered my gift to them the time and energy I put into being their leader. If you do want to give your troop a gift, then please be sensitive (my post on having a holiday celebration during your meeting). Giving each girl an ornament is a fine idea if everyone in your troop celebrates Christmas. If you have a diverse group with different beliefs, then a gift that is not tied to any December holiday is what is most appropriate. Here are some fun ideas that are not expensive, especially if you are splitting the cost with your co-leader.
Jalousie 12 Sets Deluxe Girls Party Favor Jewelry Collections of Necklace and Bracelet
This set of 12 tea bag totes measure 6" x 6 " and have a 4 " handle. Fill with some chocolate and add a gift tag that reads, "We think you are pre-TEA awesome!"
Sundae Lip Gloss Whether we like it or not, most little girls love to wear some kind of makeup so they appear to be more grown up. Lip gloss is an innocuous way for girls to get their makeup fix without really wearing makeup.
There are four different kinds of sundaes that you will receive in this set of one dozen. Each one measures about 2.25 inches. Simply adorable! Your girls are going to love this! Cupcake Bubble Necklaces
Kids love bubbles. Girls love necklaces. Put the two together and you have this adorable gift that will certainly be a hit! If you have fewer than 12 girls in your troop this works out to be a little more than a dollar a gift. Extras can be donated. For many more fun and inexpensive Girl Scout gifts, you can look here on Amazon.
*This post contains affiliate links. Chances are if you are a Daisy Girl Scout leader, then your daughter or granddaughter is in the troop. With the holiday season fast approaching, you may be considering what you can give her that is related to her first or second year as a Daisy Scout. If you celebrate Christmas and put a tree up every year, then here are some wonderful Daisy Girl Scout ornaments for you to choose from. They are available on Amazon and you can also find these andmore on eBay.
Zazzle has a huge collection of Daisy Girl Scout ornaments. They come with all skin hues and hair colors, and can be personalized with names and the girl's troop number. Here are just a few of the dozens of choices.
*This post contains affiliate links. I love to shop, and as my dear friend who can spend any amount on anything she says, "Quality at a discount!"
This weekend only, Zazzle has Girl Scout ornaments (and any other kind of ornament) on sale for 65% off! Here are some of the dozens of Girl Scout ornament designs you can have for your daughter, granddaughter or favorite scout in your life! These are available in many levels of scouts, in different hair colors and different skin tones. They can all be personalized and are available in shapes other than the ones featured here.
The final leaf that your Daisy Girl Scouts can earn is called Talk It Up. At this point, the girls are starting their cookie sales and you will be tracking your progress to reach the goals that you made with the Count It Up leaf. Armed with knowledge about the different types of cookies, what money looks like and knowing what things cost, the girls are ready for the big time! Here is how your girls can earn the Daisy Girl Scout Talk It Up leaf.
By Dsafdy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons and altered by the author on Picmonkey
Step 1 Decide How to Use Your Cookie Money Ask girls if they know what saving money means and discuss why it is important to save. If the girls want to go on a big trip with their earnings, then it cannot all be spent on other things during the rest of the scouting year. At the end of the sale, make a chart like the one in the Daisy binder and have the girls see the numbers. Step 2 Talk About How to Use Cookie Money to Help Others Life isn't always about us. It also has to be about others...that is the crux of the Girl Scout Promise. Friendly and Helpful, Considerate and Caring, Respect Myself and Others... it is what scouts do. After you have decided on where you want a portion of the money to go, have the girls create a poster to share at your booth. If it an animal shelter, you can print out pictures animals and the organization's logo. Step 3 Inspire Your Customers Some girls do not mind talking to strangers while others can do it easily. It is a good idea to role play different cookie scenarios with them so they do not get upset if someone says, "No, thank you" or asks them how the money they raise is used.
The third Daisy leaf in the quartet the girls can earn is called Count It Up. This can be done at the start of cookie selling season. Although I am not a fan of first year leaders selling cookies, if you are going to, start by reading this blog post on 10 Girl Scout Cookie Selling Tips for New Leaders. Here is how your troop can earn the Daisy Girl Scout Count It Up Leaf.
Photo by Hannah Gold
Step 1 Find Out What Cookies Cost Depending on where you live, Girl Scout cookies cost $4.00 or $5.00 a box. How many one dollar bills is that? If someone gives you a $5.00 bill, how much change should s/he get back? Step 2 Learn About the Different Kinds of Cookies Here is an opportunity for a taste testing party (of course, if there are allergies, you will either have to skip this or make sure that child/children does not eat something she shouldn't). This also does not mean that you have to open one of every flavor, maybe one or two of the classics and one of the newest flavor to join the cookie family.
Before the meeting, make a large thermometer on a piece of posterboard and entitle it "Troop 12345's Cookie Goals". This is a TROOP GOAL POSTER and not to be an individual girl poster. Cookie season brings out the worst in leaders. Troop money is troop money and if you do not believe me, it is written on page 21 in the official Girl Scouts Blue Book.
Talk to your girls about how many boxes they want to sell as a troop. Are they realistic? Young children really do not have a strong concept of numbers that are large, or even small for that matter. It is hard for them to visualize the difference between 100 and 1000. You may want to bring in some kind of visual, like a bag of beans or math chips, to demonstrate the difference. You may want to make incremental goals with a small reward as you go up the chart. For example, at the 100 box mark you may want to give them a special sticker or a small, edible treat. While not necessary, it does give little girls a reward for the work they are doing.
Are you looking for something fun and easy to do during the busy holiday season? Then look no further...here are some fun Thanksgiving craft kits that will have you avoiding spending hours on Pinterest to find a craft to do.
If you are a parent, then you know the challenges of taking your child out to a store. It does not matter what kind of store it is, almost always, children will find something that they want. Then there is the inevitable conversation about why she cannot have the newly coveted item. And all you hope for is to leave the store without a scene. It does get a bit better when your child is older because they have a clearer understanding of needs versus wants. My kids still ask for things, and if they truly want it, they have to figure out a way to earn all or part of the money for the item in question if I do not feel it is a need. The Daisy Girl Scout Making Choices leaf is all about teaching the girls about needs versus wants.
Photo from Pixabay
Step 1 Find Out the Difference Between Needs Versus Wants Materials Pictures cut out of magazines or printed off the internet of needs (houses, food, clothing) and wants (toys, a swimming pool, a television). They should be large in size so the girls can see it easily. Sit the girls in a circle and ask what they think they need to live. How is that different from things they want? (you need a house, you do not need a Barbie car). Show each picture. Have the girls stand up if it is a want and stay seated if it is a need. Ask why they made the choices they did. Step 2 Try Setting a Goal and Saving for What You Want Materials
Goal chart (search for one that you like online)
Crayons or markers
This step ties in with the third step of the Money Counts leaf. Once you find out what the item you want costs, then you have to figure out a way to earn the money to buy it.
Ask the girls to think about one thing they want to buy but have not earned the money for it yet. Talk about ways to achieve that goal. Can they do chores around the house or save money from birthdays or holidays? Have the girls color around the goal chart and write the name of what they want at the top. At home they can find out how much the item costs and then start working towards that goal. Step 3 Help Others With What They Need and Want Ask the girls to imagine what they feel like when they are hungry. Is it a good feeling? How do they feel if they are wearing shoes that are too small-can they run and play like they do if they are wearing shoes that fit? Talk about children who may be lacking in the basics that the girls take for granted. How can they help? List their ideas and vote on one to work on. Inform the parents that for the next meeting you will collecting items for the organization the girls want to donate to. Remember to contact them prior to the meeting so they do not forget.
One of the most important things I learned during my first year as an elementary school teacher was classroom management. My second grade class had 25 children, and some of them had some very real behavioral issues (Yeah, welcome to teaching. Why give these kids to the teacher across the hall who had over 20 years experience under her belt? But I digress...) Managing your troop of kindergarten and first grade Daisy Scouts is necessary for your meetings to run smoothly. For someone like myself who has been doing this for a living since 1987, it comes as second nature . For those who have never been in charge of a large group of children, the task can seem overwhelming.
Photos from Pixabay
This is where good management comes in. Children will get themselves into mischief or misbehave if they are bored or undirected. If there is nothing to do, then they will find something to do...and it may not be to your liking.
There are two times during a meeting when girls typically get into trouble. The first is when the meeting starts. Latecomers take you off task, and waiting for them to arrive causes the others to get antsy. You can use free Girl Scout coloring pages as a "sponge" activity to get the girls who have already arrived on task. Have the girls at the table with the crayons or markers and the page you have run off. Have your co-leader at the table talk about the page, which can be one for earning a petal and a springboard for your meeting. If your troop meets after school like mine did so latecomers are not an issue, then you can use free Daisy coloring pages for those who finish early the craft or activity that you planned. Again, have your co-leader or parent volunteer sit with the girls to keep them focused. Here are some websites to find your free Daisy Girl Scout coloring pages. Coloring Book Fun
Remember, if you are printing at a local store like Staples, save your receipt so you can be reimbursed. You might want to run off several meetings worth at a time to save yourself a trip. Girls who miss the meeting can be given the extra paper the next time she shows up.
*This post contains affiliate links. The Financial Literacy leaves are easy to incorporate during Girl Scout Cookie season. Late fall, right before the holidays, is the perfect time to introduce them because advertisements on television, radio and online are all focused on what to buy for someone or what you want someone to buy for you during the upcoming holiday season. The first leaf to introduce is the Daisy Girl Scout Money Counts leaf. Be prepared to see that young children are not money savvy, and for many, they have never handled coins or bills before. When I was growing up, candy could still be bought for a penny, candy bars for a nickel or a dime, and packs of Donny Osmond cards for 7 cents. When Staples used to have the penny sales a few years ago during the Back to School season, I took my children there to buy items with coins. There is little opportunity for children to do that today. The point of this leaf is not to make this seem like school, but to introduce money in a fun way. Here are activities you can do to help your girls earn the Daisy Money Counts leaf.
Photo from Pixabay
Step 1 Understand Different Kinds of Coins Before your meeting, you will have to decide whether you are using real coins or play money. Then put the same type and amount of coins in individual baggies for each girl so they can do the activity. Sit in a circle and do not hand out the girls their individual bags of coins until you are ready to use them. Teacher tip: A child will not pay attention to you, but they will start playing with any object set in front of them. Hold each coin and talk about it-what is it worth? Whose picture is on it? Then hold one up at a time in random order and have the girls shout out which coin it is. Hand out a bag to each girl and have them empty it in front of them. Call out the name of a coin and have each child hold it up. Then have them make a pattern based on the name of the coin you say. For example, "Lay out each coin as I say it. Penny, penny nickel, nickel, penny, penny, nickel, nickel: etc. Repeat a few times with different combinations. Collect the coins when done. Another activity you can do with the bag of coins is to have the girls sort them. Place four paper or foam bowls in the center of the floor. Ask the girls to take turns and place whatever you call in the correct bowl. For example, "Place two pennies in the penny bowl." The bowls can have a coin taped to the outside so the girls know which one to place it in. A third thing you can do is have the girls examine each coin with a magnifying glass. Discuss how they are the same and different. Step 2 Know More About Paper Money
When it comes to paper bills, I would use play money. This is an investment because there are activities you can do with them to teach the girls about money and giving change when they are older Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts. Give each girl a play one dollar bill and talk about it. Repeat for the other bills. Then ask them how many one dollar bills equals a five dollar bill? A ten dollar bill? In teams, they can count the money together. Step 3 Find Out the Cost of Fun If you are going to be selling cookies, what are you going to do with the money you make? Many girls want to go to a fun place like Build-a-Bear or make your own pottery class. Of course, this costs money! Talk with them about planning such an activity at the end of the troop year. You can use your phone to look up the cost of the trip and break it down for the girls to see.' In addition, you can ask them what things they like to do that do not cost money and see if you can incorporate some of them into a meeting. For example, going on a hike will cost nothing or playing at the park has not cost as well. Taking a craft class at the library or visiting the Fire House are two more free activities you can do with your troop.
There are many different ceremonies that are a part of Girl Scouting, and one of them is the Investiture. Simply stated, this ceremony is to welcome girls to the sisterhood of Girl Scouting. Many new Daisy troops hold one a few weeks into the genesis of their troop. Older girls welcome new scouts to their troop by having a Rededication/Investiture ceremony. This is very simple and should not be something to cause a brand new leader any kinds of stress. You can do this towards the end of a meeting or at the very beginning, your choice. It is done with parents so they can see their daughters begin their Girl Scout career.
Photo from Pixabay
Hosting a Daisy Girl Scout Investiture ceremony should take place after meeting a few times simply because you do not know the girls all that well and they know very little, if anything, about being a Girl Scout. You get time to practice the Girl Scout Law and Girl Scout Promise and begin to gel as a unit. Before the ceremony, make sure you have purchased the Girl Scout Daisy and Girl Scout pins ahead of time. Girls should have purchased a yellow tab for this. During the meeting before your ceremony, the girls can make a simple invitation. Materials
Blue Construction paper
Printed Daisy flower coloring page that fits on the front of the card
Ceremony details printed out to fit on the inside of the card
Have the girls color in the Daisy, cut it out and glue it to the front of the blue construction paper. On the inside, have them glue the details that you have printed out. For example, you can write:
Daisy Troop 12345
Invites you to their
October 21, 2016
Here are some great resources for your short and simple ceremony.
Scouting Web has two short and simple ceremonies for leaders to use.