Daisy Girl Scouts are ages 5-6, usually Kindergarten and First grade, and earn Daisy petals. When I saw the "Courage and Strength" petal I couldn't wait to offer my services and teach a class for our troop and share the activities with yours! Materials and recommended music are listed at the end for a group of 12 girls, two leaders, and one instructor; class length is about 40 minutes.
Kid Safety, Understanding Disabilities, and the Benefits of Team Work
Balloon Bop: Stand the girls in one to three circles each with one leader and an air-filled balloon. Taking turns, one hit per girl, keep the ball in the air within the circle. Now limit one body part: no R/L hand, no elbows, no knees, until they are left with only their head. Call out silly accidents such as "Oh no! You touched a hot stove! Stop using your right hand until it's all better! 10 seconds" as you play the song 99 Luftballoons (see link below). Discuss how you would problem solve if you were a person with limited range of motion or disabilities. Talk about encouraging your other teammates; discuss helpful things teammates said to one another.
Healthy Bodies: Pursuing Goals, and Practicing Active Skills
“I Am an Athlete” Song: Perform sports movements as the songs calls each one out, such as "Basketball: dribble and pass." Show gratitude for all our healthy bodies can do! Discuss how sports allow us to learn physical skills and how our bodies improve with practice: coordination, agility, flexibility, and strength, as well as our hearts (blood flow/nutrients) and brain (nervous system). Discuss discipline in repetition and performing hard work to reach goals. Win this CD, see above!
Balancing Strength/Control and Wisely Using Your Power
Breath and Voice Control: I've seen this exercise used in many formats with all ages, including UNM Dance and IDEA World Conference. Have all girl scouts lie face up in a circle, toes in the center and head toward the outer edge (on a mat or towel if no rug) with their eyes closed and calmly/deeply inhale and exhale. After a deep inhale (calm/controlled), have them yell (strength/courage) as loud and long as they can. Return to calm deep breaths and repeat two more times. Between each yell, explain how they must fill their lungs and control their breathing and courage to get the most power and volume out of their voice. Discuss stress in emergency situations and the importance of staying calm and focused; hand out whistles and discuss how small instruments can create large and powerful sounds. (And to use whistles wisely or parents will take them away, ha-ha!)
Discussing Fears and When To Be Brave
What is fear? Quickly discuss the fear in relation to the previous activities. “Fear can be a tool to protect people from harm and/or injury. You might fear walking in front of a moving car because you know the car would cause harm if it struck you, and so you make a wise choice to look both ways before crossing a street. Other fears might be emotionally/mentally frightening, such as the inability to control others' behaviors in an unsafe situation like bullying, moving or learning a new language, making new friends, and trying new activities. In a fearful situation ask whether: 1. your involvement might cause you harm, 2. your involvement will help or harm others, and 3. you can handle the situation alone or should get help from an adult or peer."
Read and Draw about Courage and Strength
Discuss what courage is: “Courage builds from many positive choices and experiences over time. Just like our muscles, courage can grow! Think of a time when you or someone you know listened to your strong side, kept a positive attitude, and preserved despite setbacks. It takes courage to: shout for help, tell a friend to stop teasing, be in a new situation, and refuse to go along with something dangerous.” Ask the girls to define courage (guts, fearlessness, spirit, bravery, superheros, knowing when to do the right thing at the right time…)
Read Girl Scout "Tula" Story: Have the girls draw a picture about their own courage and strength heroes, experiences of bravery, and/or desires to overcome a fear.
Ending Song and Parent Involvement
Finish class with a fun dance song! Have parents demonstrate bravery by dancing with the group because the best way to raise healthy and strong kids is role-modeling those behaviors. My daughter’s favorite song: “I Like to Move It” from the Madagascar Motion Picture Soundtrack. Be brave, be silly, and be safe by watching out for those around you; this is crazy fun! I also love on this CD Stayin' Alive (the official chest compression tempo song for CPR) and Chariots of Fire (check out the 2012 Summer Olympics page!).
- 16 Red Balloons, one for each team during (2-4) and each girl after the game (12)
- 15 Sport whistles with neck Strap, one for each girl and leader
- Mats, Towels, or Rug Squares for each girl to lie on the ground
- 12 Blank Papers and Crayons for each girl to make their “Courage” picture
- CD Player, Extension Cords, and Music songs (listed below)
- Girl Scout Story “Tula” and other related books and songs of your choice.
- Fahrenkrog, Peterson, and Karges. (1983). 99 Luftballoons [Recorded by Nena]. On Sounds of the Eighties: Big '80s [CD]. Time Life Music (1998): Sony Music Entertainment. Lyrics: http://german.about.com/library/blmus_nena99redb.htm
- Miss Amy. (2010). I am an athlete [Recorded by Miss Amy and Her Big Kids Band]. On Fitness Rock and Roll [CD]. Ionian Productions, Inc. Giveaway offer coming, see above!
- Morillo, E. and Quashie, M. (2005). I Like to move it [Recorded by S. Cohen and A. Clay]. On Madagascar Motion Picture Soundtrack [CD]. London: Dreamworks Animation, LLC.