Thursday, September 18, 2008

Senses Brownie Try-It

Each parent-daughter team in our Brownie troop is asked to lead a meeting. AnnaBeth and I chose to present the Try-It on Senses.

After our opening ceremony we stayed in circle seated on the floor. I brought out 4 plastic Easter eggs -- each egg was double wrapped in plastic bags. Inside each egg was a cotton ball with a single scent on it (by the way, I had double bagged them just so they didn't smell up the place; all the fanfare of unwrapping them turned out to be a major attraction of this activity). I used vanilla, coconut extract, lemon essential oil, and peppermint essential oil.

We carefully unwrapped each egg and opened it, then passed it around, each Brownie smelling it. We told them not to say what they thought they smelled -- let everyone have a turn first. Then we discussed what the scent was. We passed around coconut first, which was a tough one. One girl eventually said sunblock, and another nailed it as coconut. Next we did lemon, which was very easy and everyone was excited to get right. Then vanilla, which was a bit hard. And finished up with peppermint, another easy scent. Thus ended task #1 Only the Nose Knows.

Next we moved on to our sense of touch. As per task #4 Can You Feel It? we had prepared 2 bags with matching items:

sponges, golf balls, ping pong balls, snails out of Snail Pace Race, game pieces from CandyLand, poker chips, dominoes, popsicle sticks, wooden beads ... a large assortment. AnnaBeth demonstrated the idea of reaching a hand in each bag without looking, and withdrawing matching items using solely sense of touch. Each girl returned the "found" items to the bag after her turn; I wonder if that was the best way to do this. Sometimes the items didn't match in color, and we briefly discussed that your fingers can't tell the difference in color.

One of the girls suggested that it would be really cool to team up with their buddy (our troop pairs off with assigned buddies at each meeting so the girls get a chance to work with various girls and not just hang around with the same girls every time --- the buddy pairs are re-assigned at each meeting) and have the 2 girls try to come up with matching items. It sounded like a great idea, but we didn't get around to trying it.

Onward to the tables for craft time. We made thaumatropes -- not that the Try-It book bothered to tell us the name of this little toy in task #3 Now You See It -- I managed to google it to find out the actual name and more information about why they work (persistence of vision). We drew fishbowls and fish on index cards before the meeting; we did the drawing ahead of time so we could be sure they were drawn large enough to be effective. The Brownies colored them in (some did striped fish, faux seaweed in their fishbowl -- amazing stuff). They folded them over a straw, glued with gluestick. We stapled them to help them be a little more firmly in place, since gluestick is sometimes a little iffy.

UPDATE:  I've put New Improved Directions for Making Thaumatropes with a Crowd of Kids at Tales of Homeschool 11/10/11 when I did this with my 3rd to 5th grade Science class.  For Brownies I'd probably still draw an outline and let them color it in.

When you twirl them quickly between your hands the fish appears in the fishbowl. Pretty cool.

For our final task we worked on #6 What's It Like? in which we taught the troop to sign the Girl Scout Promise. I printed out the Promise on poster board since about half the troop doesn't quite have it memorized. AnnaBeth and I signed the entire thing, then we went back through it bit by bit. I tried to give mnemonics for some of the signs -- for example, the sign for "girl" traces a bonnet string. After we went over it several times we handed out a pdf I had found here (yep, that link is to a pdf) which handily included permission to copy. The Brownies seemed pretty entranced by this activity.

We then had our snack and discussed taste. We still had plenty of time -- I had given the leader a heads-up the day before that I thought we'd have extra time -- so our Brownie leader had us play Kim's Game, which was about sight AND started the group on the Playing Around the World Try-It. After that, a game of Red Light, Green Light, in which we had to listen AND also did another activity from Playing Around the World. Woohoo, multi-tasking! Not double-dipping, though, because those last 2 games weren't used to earn the Senses Try-It.

I'm so glad this is over. Leading Brownie meetings isn't my strong point, but now I'm done for quite a while. By the way, that's why I'm giving tedious detail here -- I would've loved to find a detailed account of how someone did this Try-It, and mooched their ideas.


Carrie said...

Thanks for your ideas. I am working on this one also with my daughters troop.

Anonymous said...

Your the best...sure enough I have to lead a troop tomorrow on the Senses Try-it and I googled it and got your blog...Thanks for the great ideas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I am leading a mtg tomorrow on the Senses Try-It and this came in so handy!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you. You made leading a meeting sooo easy!

Lacey said...

Thank you! I am "stealing" some of your ideas. This was wonderful!