Tracie has been in scouting for over 10 years. Scouting values are important to her and her family, and she enjoys being with her children.
What are Daisy Petals
Daisy girl scouts are the youngest members of the Girl Scout family. They begin their adventure when they are in Kindergarten and First Grade.They are called "Daisy" after the nickname given to Juliet Gordon Low, who is the founder of Girl Scouts.
During troop meetings and events, Daisy girl scouts learn the Girl Scout Promise and Law through age appropriate activities. As they earn each of the 10 values of the law, they earn a petal to wear on their uniform.
Troop meetings should provide the girls with a variety of activities to help them understand and practice the value that is being learned. Previously earned values can, and should be reinforced in later meetings. However, troop meetings should first and foremost be FUN! Appeal to the interests of the girls and keep things moving.
This is a compilation of ideas for you to use with your troop as they work on their Friendly and Helpful petal. Where possible, I have provided links to sites that have detailed information about the idea. Enjoy!
Friendly and Helpful: the Yellow Petal
Ask a kindergartener what it means to be friendly and helpful, and they will most likely tell you it means "to be nice." Ask them what it means to be nice, and they will respond with "friendly and helpful." It is easy for them to see when people are being friendly and helpful to them, but they are not able to view their own actions through the perceptions of others. They need direct examples and instruction to learn what it means to be friendly and helpful.
Daisy girl scouts have many opportunities to meet girls from other troops. Providing some direct instruction on how to make friends, and how to be a friend, provides them with a set of social skills that helps them merge into these larger group outings. Practicing these skills within your troop helps the girls to relate to each other in the smaller setting as well. It is important to teach them skills on how to enter into a group of children that are already playing, as well as how to welcome a newcomer into their group. This helps build their confidence across all settings, and helps them develop as a team.
Girl Scouts is about working together as a team. This means that each person has an opportunity to participate. It is easy for the girls to want to participate in the fun activities like crafting, singing, and playing games. It may be more difficult for them to willingly participate in clean-up and other less interesting tasks. In Girl Scouts, we use the term "kaper" for a job that needs to be accomplished during a meeting or event. A kaper chart is created showing what each girl is responsible for during the meeting or event. Each week the assignments are given to a different girl so that each girl gets a chance to do something fun, like leading the flag salute. Likewise, each girl gets a chance to do something less fun, like picking up the trash. Each job is important, and the girls learn to take pride in their kapers.
At the Daisy level, the girls should have experiences that help them to
- Enter into a playgroup politely
- Welcome someone into their playgroup politely
- Speak to each other using words that are polite
- Take turns doing age-appropriate chores
- Complete assigned chores
- Ask for help when needed
- Offer to help when they can
Take advantage of teachable moments to show girls others who are being friendly and helpful. Ask them to generate ideas on how they can be friendly or helpful. Take time to reflect after activities and events, asking the girls how they could have been friendlier or more helpful.
Camping Kaper Charts
Stories are a wonderful way to teach girls a skill. Books provide girls an opportunity to see how someone else, often a fictional character, handled a difficult situation. This opens up discussion among the girls on how they would handle a similar situation. Encourage the discussion by asking questions such as:
- What would you have done differently?
- How did it make the people in the story feel?
- How would it make you feel?
After reading the story, girls can role-play what happened in the story, work on related crafts, or complete another related activity. All of these experiences help the girls to internalize the skills.
Here are some age appropriate books to help the girls learn about being friendly and helpful.
Books on being Friendly:
How to Be a Friend: Making Friends and Keeping Them by Laura Krasny Brown and Marc Brown. This book teaches children that friendship is a give and take relationship.
Chester's Way by Kevin Henkes. Lily is new in town and well...a little different. Chester and his friend Wilson learn that just because someone is different, doesn't mean they can't be friends.
Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban. Frances learns that even your sister can be a great friend.
You are Friendly by Todd Snow. This book provides readers with concrete examples on how to be a friend.
Books on being Helpful:
Let's Talk About Being Helpful by Joy Berry. The book helps children see ways they can be helpful and helps motivate them to want to be helpful. Part of a series called "Let's Talk About."
The Elephant Man, written for SSEHV the Education in Human Values. This is a short, online story, that opens up a discussion on how the reader can be helpful.
The Very Helpful Hedgehog by Rosie Wellesley. A little hedgehog learns the value of helping others and having friends.
The Community Garden by Nancy Battista Morgan. This online story comes with discussion and activity ideas. Short, sweet, and a good start for a community service project.
Make New Friends
Songs are a wonderful way to reinforce values and lessons. They help pass the time when doing less-than-interesting tasks, and bring a feeling of togetherness when everyone sings along. Here are some songs that are directly related to being friendly or helpful, but any song the girls enjoy can motivate these values with the group.
- Make New Friends - a scout classic
- Friends, Friends, 123 - Simple and fun
- You've Got a Friend in Me - from "Toy Story"
- The More We Get Together - simple song to be sung over and over.
- Never Had a Friend Like Me - from "Alladin"
- With a Little Help from My Friends - The Beatles
- Help! - The Beatles
- Clean Up Song - there a many variations.
- Height Ho - from Snow White
Any time the girls participate in games, they strengthen their friendship skills. Here are some ideas for games that can be played during troop meetings and events.
Girls gather in a circle. They place their right hands over their left and hold hands with the person on either side of them. Sometimes we sing a song, or we each say one thing we learned, or some other bonding activity. We complete the activity with the friendship squeeze which starts with one person and travels around the circle. When the friendship squeeze has gone all the way around the circle, the girls place their right arm over their head, without releasing each other's hands, and turn so everyone is facing outside the circle. Then they release hands. The Friendship circle stands for an unbroken chain of friendship.
This game lets girls learn how good it feels by making someone else feel good. Have the children sit in a circle and toss a beanbag to one of them. That child must say another child's name, greet him with a "hello" and then say something nice about their. Example: "You have a nice smile." "I like it when you play with me." After the game, have the girls talk about how the felt giving a compliment and receiving a compliment.
Gather the girls into a group. Ask them to reach out and hold the hands of two other girls in the group. Ask them to untangle themselves without letting go of each other's hands. Encourage the girls to talk to each other, using positive words, to help undo the knot.
Yes..video games. When children play together during a two player game (as opposed to competing with each other) they communicate to help each other through the game challenges. Even those who are watching the game can get involved by cheering and encouraging their friends.
Softball, kickball, capture the flag, etc. All these games help the girls work together as a team and build friendship skills along the way. Just make certain to speak with the girls about how to handle NOT winning the game. Learning to lose gracefully is just as important when it comes to friendship.
Swaps are small keepsakes that the girls give to each other. They provide girls with the perfect excuse to meet each other and promote friendship. Swaps should tell something about themselves or their group. This can be accomplished by adding a small tag to the pin. Here are some websites with ideas for making swaps...but don't stop here...the possibilities end only with your imagination.
Pinterest - Lots of pinterest sites. I just found this one really adorable
Hands on fun gives the girls another way to practice being friendly and helpful. The girls can make crafts to give to other, or just to keep for themselves. With this in mind, any craft can help promote friendship or being helpful. I have tried to highlight just a few that are specific to those values.
This is basically a fruit salad that the girls put together. The girls each bring in either a piece of fruit or a small can of fruit. They then take turns cutting up the fruit into small bite-size pieces. All the fruit gets put into the bowl and the girls take turns stirring it. While all this is going on, discuss with the girls that even though each fruit is different, together it makes something new and wonderful. The girls have etched helped to make the salad, and can continue to be helpful by getting plates and utensils, serving the fruit salad, and cleaning up afterward.
Friendship Puzzle Necklace
Take an old puzzle and spray paint the front and back white. Find two pieces that fit together and put a hole through the top of each puzzle piece. Do this for each girl. Using markers, have the girls decorate the puzzle pieces. Put a string through each puzzle piece. Each girl gets to keep one necklace and give the other away to a friend.
I like to incorporate flower crafts with the Daisy troop. Making tissue flowers is an easy craft that the girls can share with each other, or bring to others who need a little cheering up. You can use tissue paper or regular tissues. If using tissue paper, cut four sheets to approximately 5x7 rectangles. Layer the tissue paper (or tissues) on top of each other. Begin folding the shorter side accordion style. Twist a pipe cleaner around the center of the folded papers.Carefully separate the layers of paper and fluff into shape.
Kaper charts are good for girl scout functions, but they are more commonly known as chore charts at home. Have the girls talk with their family about ways they can be helpful at home. Using a piece of cardstock, the girls can draw a grid eight columns by six rows. The first column should contain the chores each girl does at home, followed by a column for each day of the week. Decorate the chart with markers, stickers, and glitter. Place the completed chore chart in a plastic sheet protector. Using a dry erase marker, the girls can keep track of their daily chores and reuse their chore chart each week.
Anywhere the girls go, they can demonstrate their friendliness. Any service project the girls do is an opportunity for them to be helpful. Here are some ideas for trips, but there are many, many places to visit.
The girls can collect supplies for the animal shelter. Many animal shelters and vet offices will host a short program to educate the girls about animal safety or pet car. Bring the collected supplies to the animal shelter and have the girls participate in the program.
If you know someone who has or is serving in the military, ask them to come talk to the girls explaining how they help our country. The girls can follow up the talk by collecting or creating care packages to send to men and women overseas.
Doctors and nurses dedicate themselves to careers where they help people everyday. Ask someone in this profession to come talk to the troop about how they help people. The girls can make cards and paper flowers to give to people in the hospital or nursing home. A trip to a nursing home can also be arranged where the girls can visit or entertain the people staying there.
Share Your Ideas
There are more ideas for this topic than it is possible to write into one article. Please share your ideas and website suggestions so we can help each other provide the best program ideas for our girls.