Tissue Paper Candles

I have to admit, I have wondered how this would work. I’ve read a lot of units on Facebook did this as a Mother’s Day craft which sounds great, and is so much more personal too.

This is one we’ll be trying in future – I have some pillar candles at home so I might give this a go at home beforehand – after all, if it’s just tissue paper, a hairdryer and a candle… well, it does sound fairly easy doesn’t it?

Here’s a link.

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Shrinky Dink Necklace

H and I had a trial run at the Shrinky Dink paper to see what colours worked the best, and how small what you’re colouring would end up being. My idea is now for all our girls to make a necklace with their name on – which should be a quick activity. All I need to do is bring the shrinky dink papers home to bake and bring back in the following week to finish off.

Shrinky Dink COllage

H and I drew a design, making sure it filled as much of the paper as possible. Where there were letters we made sure they were clear too with careful colouring around them.

I opted for my Brownies name, Snowy Owl and a heart which said “I heart Girlguiding”. H did one that says “I heart Mummy”.

So we sat, coloured on the rough side of the paper (I used pencils, H used felt tips – both worked fine), filled in gaps and made sure it looked as clear and even as possible.

A hole punch was used to make a hole for threading later on, and we trimmed carefully around the design.

trimmed shrinky dink

Warm the oven to 170 degrees (I did it a bit less as we have a fan assisted oven) and put the creations on some tin foil on a baking tray. Watch them curl and twist about, until finally they stop.

shrinky dinks in the oven

This should be no more than a couple of minutes, tops.

finished shrinky dinks

Take them off the tray carefully. We put them onto a tea towel, making sure they were still hot, and flattened them carefully with a book. Hold for maybe 10-15 seconds, not too long.

That’s it!

After that I put a metal hoop through the hole (easier than threading) and tied a piece of cord around the hoop and in a knot. Voila, a super easy necklace which has shrunk loads in size!

shrinky dink necklace

Twist Me and Turn Me and Make a new Pond…

It’s Enrollment week next week at Brownies, and our pond is looking a bit old… and a bit like a tin foil cooking tray (because it is). At the end of last week’s meeting I mentioned this to Tawny Owl, who agreed we should get a new one.

So inspired by some of the Brownie Facebook Groups I did some research… and our new pond is in the process of being made! Even better, it doesn’t cost much other than time.

I wanted to keep it simple. To try and use any old elements of the last pond (there are some leaves we could reuse, for example, Tawny Owl suggested) but make it look and feel like a pond.

Ebay was my first success – some mirror board which is nice and bendy, so no chance of broken mirrors in our cupboard (which is likely as our cupboard needs a good tidy). An A4 piece of acrylic mirror which is 3mm thick, and cost £3.73 with free shipping. Looking good!

A lunchtime trip to Tiger Stores and OH MY GOSH! They have some Grass Table Runners for sale at £3 each. I bought two. This is perfect!! (they wrecked my scissors though, so if you get some use a knife)

Tiger Grass Table Runner

Then I just needed some letters to add to the mirror. Poundland had some nice sparkly ones – I think I’ll only be doing the ‘I looked in the water and there saw….” part so bought enough to do that – cost £1.

Then it was just getting some MDF to put this lovely new pond on. Fortunately there is a yard over the road from my work so I headed there and got an offcut of 60cm x 60cm. I asked how much, but they donated it for free! So very kind of them and much appreciated – so far the total cost for this pond is £7.

Then all I had to do was work out where the mirror would go. As it hasn’t arrived the grass hasn’t been completely glued down yet. I had some Tiger Stores Hyldepapir with leaves on, so thought it would make a good background for now, and if the mirror wasn’t big enough (it should be!).

Brownie Pond, Tiger Stores Grass Table Runner

The biggest issue was finding a glue strong enough. The Tiger Stores grass is tough to cut and even tougher to stick. This isn’t glue gun territory, it’s proper heavy duty glue territory. Fortunately we had some in the cupboard at home. I taped down the grass underneath with some Duck Tape (as it’s nice and strong) and we glued the top in place, not too close to the edges. For added strength Shaun placed all our heavy books on top (mainly old Brownie and Guide annuals from the 1970s and 1980s). So now we have to wait…

Oh, and I need to tidy up those ends too… the grass was messy while cutting it but seems to be sticking together and not falling off now. I’ll post another update when we’ve finished the job – there’s still some way to go!

Brownie Painting Book

Brownie Painting Book 1970's WAGGGS Print

Back when I was a Brownie I was obsessed with a set of six books. They were something that grabbed my attention but also made me realise I was part of a much bigger thing around the world.

Brownie Painting Book 1970's WAGGGS Print

York had a Guiding shop and they sold for 15-25p each. The very wonderful Brownie Painting Book.

I’ve since managed to pick up two and the memories came flooding back.

The Brownie Painting Book, 1970s WAGGGS Spain

The Brownie Painting Book is still pretty useful these days. While the uniforms have changed a lot, the names of the Brownies are still the same (as far as I could see).

The Brownie Painting Book, 1970s WAGGGS India

I picked up books 3 and 6, and may have a book 1 on the way as well. The books were printed in 1970 by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Check these pictures though!

I want to work on the World Traveller Badge from September and want to use as much information from these books when we take our ‘flight’ around the world. I’m trying to think of a game which uses all the different Brownie names, but haven’t quite found the right thing yet… bear with me!

This picture is taken from the Brownie Guide Handbook from when I was a Brownie.

The Brownie Guide Handbook - Some Brownies of Other Lands

Shrinky Dink Keyring

This is an activity I really want to do. I loved doing Shrinky Dinks back in the seventies when I was young, and I know it will be a fun activity.

This might be one I try at home first to see what works, as I’m curious whether a sharpie design would work like these handprints.

You can buy Shrinky Dink paper on ebay reasonably cheaply. You need to work out what you’re doing and how many girls as to whether it’s worthwhile. Baker Ross also sell kits.

I’ve bought 18 sheets for £5 which feels like a good price and will stretch between 30 Brownies.

I’ve also bought some jump rings for £1.99 on ebay – a pack of 100.

For more information follow this link. I’ll be posting when we try the activity and what works best!

Thinking Day 2017

The theme for 2017 was Grow. So we decided to grow our friendships with other Brownies around the world.

I am signed up with several forums and a lot of people were asking for people to swap postcards and cards with. Our meeting fell after Thinking Day but that’s okay as the cards arrived in a three week period from around the world.

I asked friends who had children a similar age to my daughter whether they knew of any Guiding organisations near them, and while we had no luck with Australia, our friends in the United States took part!

We swapped cards with two Troops in the US, and are continuing this with the World Guiding Badge, sending them a reply.

We also coloured in some paper dolls with uniforms from around the world which the girls enjoyed. They’re now on our message board with the cards we have received. I have another 10 cards to add to it this week, and the girls have all really enjoyed reading out the cards in the meetings.

It was a fun way to start to learn about other Brownie-aged girls in other countries, wasn’t too costly (other than postcards and postage) and kept the girls busy!

World Thinking Day 2017 Grow

Promise Activity

These days GirlGuiding has moved away from god (which I agree with), and recognises that everyone is different and holds different beliefs. This activity could be quite sweet.

The line ‘be true to myself and develop my beliefs’ is the basis of this game.

Paint a tree (might be best to do this beforehand!) and then cut out leaf shapes, with each girl adding their belief to it. You’ll get all sorts of answers, and it’ll probably be quite sweet (and funny). Plus this ticks off one of the parts of the Adventure Badge too.

In addition it would look pretty cool if you have a message board to display things.

Newspaper Fashion Show

This has not yet been done but is another easy one and good for keeping costs down.

Ask the girls to bring in a newspaper to the meeting that week and each six has a set amount of time to get the newspaper and create a fashion outfit on one girl in their six.

All they can use to create it is the newspaper plus some sellotape. Could be interesting….

Easy Indoor Campfire

We’re working on the World Guiding Badge this term and after spotting this on Facebook I thought it was an excellent idea.

We’ve asked parents to save all plastic bottles. Bring them to the meeting clean, and we’re going to stack them up with glowsticks inside (I got 40 from Poundland for £2).

Turn out the lights when you’re ready and voila! A campfire. Just make sure you have some songs ready (I blanked out when it came to thinking of one)

indoor campfire with glowsticks