• This site is not sponsored by Girl Scouts, USA. All opinions and suggestions are those of Jennifer and Jill.
  • website statistics
  • Advertisements

Plants Try It With A Thanksgiving Twist

Pilgrims of Plymouth
This activity can be easily adapted to Daisies.

The Plants Try It can take place over two meetings, ending close to Thanksgiving.  Read the book The Pilgrims of Plymouth, which we’ve had no trouble finding at the library, or you can purchase at Amazon by clicking here.  

Discuss with the children the pilgrim’s life.  Did they have a grocery store to buy food, etc?  Talk about how important it was that the Indians taught them how to grow corn (which you can tie into several different laws – Considerate and Caring, Friendly and Helpful).

The girls might enjoy a popcorn song (original author unknown):

One little kernel (Hold up one finger)
Sleeping in the pot. (Curl up and pretend to sleep)
Turn on the heat
And watch it pop. (Jump into the air)
Popping, hopping popcorn (Hop around)
A munchy, crunchy treat. (Pretend to eat)
Pour on the butter (Pretend to pour on butter)
And let me eat! (Pretend to eat)


Now would be a great time to pop corn for the girls.  If possible, use a popcorn popper that allows the girls to see the corn as it heats up, or even an air popper.  Most girls have had microwave popcorn, but may have never experienced popping corn in a popper.
Corn Is MaizeEat popcorn and share parts of the book Corn is Maize.  This book is a little long to read, so look at the book before the meeting and read the parts your girls will find the most interesting and you find the most educational.  


The Plants Try-It is a favorite for our girls, and the best time is Fall, when there are a lot of leaves on the ground.

Activity #4 – Leaf Hunt (page 123 in Try It book – Plants) 

We went on a nature walk around our meeting area searching for unique leaves.   When we returned and made rubbings. Activity #2 (page 122 in Try It book – Plants)

Depending on how far your girls walked, or how warm your Autumn may be, the girls might be hot, thirsty and ready for a snack (although do we really need a reason for a snack?).

Snack:  For a quick snack, you could make sugar cookies and use a leaf cookie cutter to keep with the theme. 

If you have more time, you can make a Fall artwork snack.  Take a piece of bread, and spread with it with peanut butter.  This will be your canvas.  Give each girl a handful of thin pretzels.  These will become your truck and branches.  Then give each girl a small packet of M&Ms.  Ask the girls what are fall colors?  Then have them separate the fall color M&Ms from the others.  These fall colors will be the leaves.  AS ALWAYS: MAKE NOTE OF FOOD ALLERGIES.

Why Do Leaves Change ColorsFall Leaves FallWhile the girls are reading, this is a good time to read a story.  

Two personal favorites are Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

and Fall, Leaves, Fall (which can be found in your library or substitute with another Leaf Falling themed book).



 Afterwards the girls drew their leaf’s picture, gave it a name.  For Share Time, the girls introduced their leaves to the rest of the girls.  

Plants Try-ItActivity #5 – Simple Plants (page 123 in Try It book – Plants)  Jill was happy to donate the dust from her home – she usually has plenty.  Our troop has done this activity twice.  When we met in our homes, we sent the bread home that night with an explanation to the parents.  Many of the girls had very vivid descriptions of the mold.  Now we meet at our school, and were able to keep the bread in a plastic bag in a darkened closet.  The girls were very excited to see what their bread looked like, but no one wanted to take it home.

Activity #3 – Baby Beans (page 123 in Try It book – Plants) Instead of beans, we used pumpkin seeds left over from halloween pumpkins (emphasize Making The World A Better Place).  If you want to stay with the popcorn theme, you can use kernels.  Preschoolers Today has lots of ideas for indoor gardening, and you can view it by clicking here.

We adjusted the directions a little bit.  Instead of the wide-mouth jar we used the (very clear) plastic cups, black construction paper as a backdrop for the seeds and a damp paper towel.  

Cut the black construction paper so that it fits inside the cup.  Place pumpkin seeds between the cup and the paper so the girls can really see their seeds sprout.  Place the wet paper towel inside the cup to keep the construction paper damp.  Girls should start seeing signs of sprouting in just a few days.

Plants will grow very quickly and sprouts will need to be transplanted into a larger pot for each plant.  You can also have the girls observe that the plants will lean toward the sun, so turn your plants before they get lopsided. 

A favorite activity for our girls is making playdough.  We do it every year, and even our Cadettes still enjoy making it.  (Making the dough could also go with Activity #3 “Making Dough Shapes” from the Try It book, page 91 for the Colors and Shapes Try It.  I’ve used the recipe out of the Try It book, and have always had to add extra water or extra flour.)

Since we’re talking corn, here is a fun recipe for cornmeal playdough:

Cornmeal Dough (uncooked)

1 1/2 cups white flour

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1 cup salt

1 cup water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl

2. Add the food coloring to the water and mix into the dry ingredients.

3. Knead until pliable.

4.  Give to girls in zip bags to take home.

NOTE:  This will need to be thrown away pretty quickly, as it has a tendency to ferment.


Spider Fun For Daisies

Surprise, surprise another Daisy lesson based on a book.  You may be asking yourself why so many of our meetings involve children’s literature.  Well let me tell you.  For starters Daisies and Brownies can be easily distracted and don’t grasp abstract ideas all that well.  Children’s books engage the girls visually, audibly, and linguistically.  Which is a fancy way of saying that you are engaging more of their senses. 

If you just talk to the girls their eyes may wonder, if you are just showing pictures they may be distracted by other sounds in the room.  So it is usually best to keep them fully engaged.  Abstract ideas like the Girl Scout Law can be difficult for the girls to fully grasp.  Yes, they know they should be friendly and helpful, but when we present this law in an abstract way, we have no way of knowing if they really have an idea of how to make that law a part of their own lives.  Reading a story that reflects the law gives them a concrete example of the law and a great basis for discussion.

This lesson will focus on being friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, and courageous and strong.  (You may want to choose just one aspect of the law to talk about with your girls.  It’s up to you and what you think would be best for your group.)

How Spider Saved Halloween In this story Spider is going to go trick or treating with his good friend lady bug, and lady bug’s friend fly.  Fly of course is not too crazy about spider.  Spider proves himself a loyal and courageous friend when he gives of himself to “save Halloween”.


Snack:  Spider Cookies.  Ritz crackers, choclate icing, raisins for eyes, stick pretzels for legs, craft sticks to spread icing.  Give each girl one cracker, then pass out craft sticks with icing on them ask the girls to spread it on the cracker (tell the girls they are to be responsible for what I say and do, if they eat all of the icing before it is on the cracker it is their responsibility), each girl will then recieve 2 eyes and 8 pretzels (it might be fun to let them help with the counting), guide the girls in placing 4 pretzels on the edge of one side of the cracker and 4 on the other, place the eyes on.  Now you have a yummy snack!!  This is another idea for a spider snack.

Shared Reading:  Read How Spider Saved Halloween.  Ask the girls how fly felt about spider? (he didn’t like spider too much)  Why?  Could it be because he was different? (remind the girls that when we respect our selves and others, we are accepting that we are not all the same, but we can still be friends.)  What was spider’s problem at the start of the book?  (He didn’t know what to be for Halloween)  How did he decide what to be?  (When Ladybug’s pumpkin was smashed she was very sad.  Spider wanted to help, so he dressed up like a pumpkin Friendly and Helpful.)  What happened when the 3 friends saw the bullies who had smashed the pumpkin? (The bullies were scared of the walking, talking pumpkin. Of course it was really spider all dressed up.  Remind the girls that sometimes they will come across others who are bullies, but bullies are usually scared and unhappy themselves.)  Do you think spider was scared of the bullies?  (Yes, but he didn’t want them to pick on his friends so he showed courage and stood up to them Courageous and Strong.)

Activity:  Show the girls how to draw a simple spider.  First draw a circle and then draw 4 legs on each side of the circle and add a face.  Now encourage each of  the girls to think of a different costume for the spider to wear.  Have them draw that costume on the spider.  You may want to keep their drawings and make them into a book that they can read together each week.  (If you do enough of this type of activity you will have enough group books for each girl to take home.)

Other spider crafts: Handprint Spiders , Spider Bracelet

This is an easy but meaningful lesson for the girls!!

We may be tiny, but we are stong!!

The first year of Daisies can really be devoted to learning the various parts of the Girl Scout Law.  Feel free to combine them in each lesson.

Sometimes our youngest Girl Scouts may feel that they are too small to make a difference.  Many of them are timid and shy and may be intimidated by the older girls.  This is a lesson for Daisies to encourage them to be Courageous and Strong, while learning to be Friendly and Helpful and Respect Myself and Others

Prior to reading the story ask the girls if they have ever felt too young or too small to help someone else.  Have they ever been afraid?  Would they be afraid if they were bigger?  Tell them that in today’s story they will learn that something small can grow into something bigger than anyone could imagine, but it sometimes takes courage!!

The lesson starts with The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.  This is the story of a tiny seed that is carried by the wind across harsh elements.  As you follow the travels of the tiny seed you will also follow the changing season.  By the end of the book, the girls will realize that size is not what is most important.  Sometimes having the courage to grow and change is what really matters and even the smallest of things can grow into something beautiful.

Read The Tiny Seed, pointing out elements of the story that would require courage (ie almost being eaten by a fish, flying close to the sun…).  Ask the girls if the tiny seed stayed tiny (no, it grew into a giant flower).  Look at the page where the tiny seed has grown ino a lovey flower and birds and butterflies have come to see it.  Ask the Daisies if the tiny seed was friendly and helpful? (yes, butterflies and some birds feed on the nector of flowers) 

Snack:  Sunflower trail mix.  Bring a combinaiton of items for trail mix, be sure to inclued sunflower seed nuts.  Tell the girls that today they will hear a story about a seed.  Items you might include in the mix:  sunflower seed nuts, raisins, M&M’s…Pour all ingredients into a zip lock, and allow each girl to shake it.  Remember to always check for food allergies.

Activity: Purchase at least 3 different types of flower seed packets (could be daisies, sunflower and zinias).  Compare the seeds.  Are they the same or different?  Tell the girls that even though the seeds are different they all produce lovely flowers. 

Ask the girls if the seeds all look the same.  Then ask the girls if they all like the same things? No, but they are all beautiful in their own unique way.  Remind the girls that Girl Scouts Respect Myself And Others, and that one way to follow this law is to accept that we are all different, and that is okay.  The world is a much better place with flowers of many colors, wouldn’t it be boring if they were all the same.

Craft:  Our new Daisy leader Misty shared this craft.

The girls will make a Daisy Craft that will help them to remember the Girl Scout Law.  Remind them that a Daisy is a flower, and just like the tiny seed they (as Daisy GS) are growing.  Every time they follow the GS Law they are growing in Charcter.  Character is what make us who we are, when we make good choices we are growing in beauty.  Remind them that sometimes it takes courage to make right choice, but if they are courageous and strong they will grow into something beautiful, just like the tiny seed. 

As they work tell them that they are never to young to make a difference.  Ask them ways that they can be friendly and helpful.  Finally you may want to introduce a service project.  Do they have toys that could be donated to a shelter, could they bring canned goods for someone’s Thanksgiving…

As always, they help clean and straighten up their meeting area.  Girl Scouts always leave a place better than how they found it.