Make Your Own Paper Beads

We’ve all been at home for quite a while now, and there is a good chance you’re looking for something to fill the time with your girls that is productive and uses supplies you likely have at home. If that’s true- paper beads are the perfect activity for you! We recently made them during one of our Girl Scouts Connected all-ages sessions, and they not only allow you to make beautiful art with your girls, but will also allow you to reuse some paper products that may normally be thrown away!

Instructions

1. Place your paper face down on your work surface so that the side facing you is not the side that will form the outside of the bead.

2. With a sharp pencil mark the reverse side of your paper in the design you’d like to follow to make the bead. (Straight strip, triangle, etc.)

3.  Continue marking up the paper until you have the desired number of designs to cut out. To simplify this step, you could make a paper bead template to draw around.

4.  Carefully cut out the shapes using scissors or for a more accurate cut use a straight edge and a craft knife or rotary cutter.

5.      Take your skewer or dowel and starting at the wide end of your paper sample roll the paper around the skewer slightly so that it starts to form a cylinder. Once you are happy with the alignment roll this back and apply a little glue across the width of the paper.

6.  Now carefully roll the paper past the glue and continue as straight as you need for your design.

7.  Add glue as you roll, making sure the roll is tight.

8.   At the very end, make sure the last inch or two has glue and is firmly down as you finish.

9.  Transfer the bead from the skewer or dowel to a toothpick and stick on to a foam block.

10. When you have a good number of beads prepared you should then brush each bead with a few coats of varnish to make them water resistant. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but ensure that when touch dry you rotate them on the cocktail stick so they don’t stick when fully dry. Several thin coats over time give a much more polished result than one thick coat. Be patient for the best results!

DIY Bird Seed Feeders

Since the founding of Girl Scouts in 1912, our organization has always had a focus on outdoor experiences and appreciation of nature. As time has marched on, our love for all things planet Earth has only grown and the correlation between outdoor adventure and leadership development is not only something we suspect, but a proven fact. In celebration of Earth Day, we walked girls and adults through making their very own bird feeders using just a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of cold water
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 packets of gelatin
  • 2 Tablespoons of corn syrup
  • 2 ½ cups of bird seed, “Country Mix” shown here
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Straws cut in 2” pieces
  • Parchment paper
  • Twine or another kind of string (biodegradable if possible!)

Instructions

STEP 1: First, you want to mix the gelatin with a half cup of cold water until it’s all dissolved!

Now add a half cup of boiling water (adult help required) to the bowl, and stir it slowly until its completely dissolved.

STEP 2: Next, add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and again, stir until dissolved.

Quick Tip: Spray the tablespoon with a little non-stick spray and the corn syrup will slide right off!

STEP 3: Finally, it’s time for you to mix in the bird seed.

Keep mixing until the gelatin/ corn syrup mixture evenly coats each seed. Let this rest for a couple of minutes if the mixture seems watery.

STEP 4: Now for the messy part, time to spoon the seed mixture into the cookie cutters. Fill the cookie cutters about half way and use a small piece of parchment paper to press the seeds firmly into the mold. Fill the cookie cutter to the top & press again.

STEP 5: To make a hole for your twine, push the straw into the birdseed. Leave plenty of room between the straw and the edge. Press around the straw to ensure the seeds will hold shape around the hole.

STEP 6: Place the cookie cutters in the fridge to set overnight. Once set, remove the cookie cutters by gently pushing at the edges until it falls out, taking extra care with detailed cookie cutters.

Pop the straws out & thread the twine.

Want to know where you can watch the full video tutorial of this activity? Every weekday, at 3 p.m., we go live from our Facebook page with a fun all-ages activity, and host grade-level specific activities through video conference at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Zoom. Find out more about our virtual programming, Girl Scouts Connected, here on our website.

DIY Edible Slime

Are your girls slime obsessed? If they’re between the ages of 5 and 13, there is a good chance the answer is yes. Not only can traditional slime be expensive to make, but it can take up tons of space since kids seem to want to keep it forever. Edible slime is not only cost effective, but since it’s delicious and edible, you don’t have to make space for it because your girls will eat it up! Let’s dive right in and make some edible slime!

Ingredients

  1. 1 bag of marshmallows (mini marshmallows melt quickest, but any size will work)
  2. Oil of any kind EXCEPT olive oil
  3. 1 pack of powder drink mix
  4. Powdered sugar (1-4 cups depending on marshmallow quantity)
  5. Measuring spoons and stirring utensils

Instructions

  1. Pour marshmallows into a microwave safe mixing bowl, and add in oil and mix until marshmallows are coated and moist.
  2. Microwave in small increments (we did 10 seconds at a time and stirred each time) until the marshmallows are melty.
  3. Mix marshmallow mixture well and add in powdered sugar and powdered drink mix.
  4. Make sure the mixture is isn’t too hot and then use your hands to keep mixing until the desired consistency and you’re ready to play/eat your slime!

Want more awesome activities, programs, and events? Join in our free virtual programming, Girl Scouts Connected, for more great content for you and your girls!

Do Your Own Ice Tie-Dye!

Have you been following along with our virtual programming series, Girl Scouts Connected? Every weekday, we host multiple virtual programs designed to teach girls important skills, while keeping them engaged and connected in this time of social distancing. If you want to know more about virtual programming, which is free to all girls, head over to our website to register for the next live webinar, or view our archive of past sessions!

During one of our Facebook Live sessions, Outdoor Programs Manager, Lauren Pace led us in a new twist on tie-dye! If you have some extra time on your hands these days, or are just looking for something to get your girls outside or keep them engaged, try ice tie-dye!

Instructions

Prewash and dry cotton article you will be tie dying.

Soak article in a solution of soda ash or simple table salt for 5 minutes to 1 hour before you plan to tie dye. Make up a solution of ½ cup per gallon of water. You may soak the item rubber banded, ready for tie dye, or un-banded.

After pulling your article from the solution, when you are ready to dye, squeeze the excess solution out so that the article is damp but not dripping.

Rubber band your item in any way you want to create designs. (Look up tie dye designs for more intricate patterns!)

Next take your aluminum foil and cut a piece long enough to wrap around the edge of your item.

Fold your foil down the middle long ways (hotdog) and then again down the middle (hot dog style).

Wrap your foil around the article making a small tower to hold your ice.

Place your item, wrapped in foil, on your rack above your tub (without a tub the dye will drip everywhere and will stain your picnic table or sink!)

Add ice to the top of your item. If you want a stronger color or less movement of dye, add less ice. With more ice, your color will dilute and move through your cotton more.

Using gloves or a plastic bag, open and shake powder dye onto the ice. More dye will result in stronger colors in that area. Be careful when adding colors that will compete and may absorb one another! For example, yellow, orange, and red will compete for space and the red may over power!

Leave ice to melt. You may want to put into the sun, just remember the faster the ice melts, the less time your dye will move around the cotton.

After you have let the dye process for 5-24 hours, using gloves, un- band your article and rinse gently in cool water.

Once the water runs clear with cool water, switch to warm water and finish rinsing the cotton out.

Squeeze the water from the article, dry it with an old towel. Left over dye may bleed on to the towel while it dries.

After it is dry, wash in cold water with a mild detergent. Be sure to wash with other items that you are ok with getting dyed, like old towels.

Dry and wear!

Lauren Pace proudly sporting her finished shirt and bandana! Did you try it yourself? Make sure to email us your photos at mtaylor@gssc-mm.org!

Edible Campfire Recipe

When kids are home from school they tend to go snack crazy, don’t they? Constant trips to the pantry and refrigerator may make staying fully stocked a challenge, but what if snack was the activity? That’s what we have here in edible campfires. They are delicious, easy to make, and will make for a great activity for your girls of all ages.

Here is what you will need and what you need to know!

Want to follow along with us as we show you how to make edible campfires? Head over to our Facebook page to make them with us!

DIY Edible Bird Nests

Spring is in the air! While we’re all itching to get out and celebrate spring and all it means, we have a great way to get in the spirit of warmer weather, nature, and new spring life with your girls right at home. Edible bird nests are as cute as they are delicious and we have the quick and easy recipe for you here:

Ingredients

-15 oz box of shredded wheat, crushed (not frosted) – can substitute a whole 20 oz can of chow mein noodles -One stick of butter -A whole 10 oz bag of marshmallows -Egg shaped Easter candies of your choice

Instructions

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. 
2. Add the marshmallows and heat until bubbly and the butter is incorporated into the marshmallows. Stir occasionally. 
3. Mix in the shredded wheat until all marshmallow mixture is fully blended in. 
4. Using a round-shaped scoop, scoop about 1.5 Tbsp of the mixture into a lightly greased muffin pan. Then press the rounded back of the scoop into the dollop of the mixture to form the cup inside the nest. 
5. By the time you finish filling the muffin pans, you can remove the nests and place on a tray for display. Fill them with the candy eggs of your choice.

A HUGE thank you to volunteer, Emily Houghton, for leading us in this recipe on Facebook Live and providing the recipe! Have a great recipe or activity for girls to do while practicing safe social distancing guidelines? Send it to Michelle Taylor at mtaylor@gssc-mm.org!

Walking Tacos Recipe

The air is getting warmer and the sun is shining brighter and you know what that makes us want to do, right? Go camping! But, if you can’t make it out to camp, how about at least bring the taste of camp right to your own home? We made walking tacos live today on Facebook, but if you want the recipe to print, or just reference quickly, here you go!

Ingredients

  • Single serve bag of Doritos, Fridos, or your favorite chip! One bag of chips per serving.
  • Whatever protein is your favorite for tacos- chicken, beef, etc.
  • Favorite taco toppings (chopped lettuce, tomatoes, homemade guacamole, shredded cheese, or sour cream)
  • Rice- you can make this in a pot the traditional way, but feel free to use microwave rice as well!

Instructions

  1. Prepare your taco meat and season well.
  2. Prepare the taco toppings.
  3. You will need at least one bag of single serve chips for every person.
  4. Each person will crush their bag of chips to crunch up the chips- this step is crucial!
  5. Open the chip bag.
  6. Spoon the protein of choice inside and then top with your favorite taco toppings.
  7. Stir with a spoon and eat straight from a bag!

Want more fun ideas and activities like this one? Make sure to follow us on social!

DIY Armpit Fudge

Hey there Girl Scouts! Did you catch our all-ages activity on Facebook Live today? If you didn’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get in on the fun and make your own armpit fudge. This quick and silly treat only requires 5 ingredients, a sandwich bag, and an armpit! Here is the recipe in-case you missed it, or just want to refer back to make it again:

Ingredients

  • 50g icing sugar (half a cup)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons cream cheese
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa

Instructions

Place all ingredients in your sandwich bag and squeeze out all of the air once you’re sure it’s tightly sealed.

Place the bag in your armpit and squish and jiggle it until all the ingredients are well mixed and it has a creamy consistency.

To make it extra tasty, you can add in some extra flavours like raisins, peanut butter, nuts or some M&Ms. The mixture should be ready to eat now, so grab a spoon and enjoy!

We hope this recipe makes a quick, fun, and tasty treat for you and your girls. Make sure to share your photos with us by tagging us on Facebook and Instagram!

A Bridging Tradition: A Guest Post by Kelly Stover

One of my favorite traditions that we have in my troop is our Bridging/Rededication Ceremony that we have at our first meeting in the Fall.  On our first trip to Savannah when most of our troop were Brownies, they had a beautiful driftwood candle holder with one space for each of the ten parts of the Girl Scout law.  I loved the ceremony so much that one of our parents who is a cabinet maker made one for our troop.

We have used it for every one of our Bridging/Rededication Ceremony since that trip which has been for the last 10 years.  The ceremony is what connects us to Girl Scouts all across the country.  It bridges our future to our past.  The basic ceremony is the same where each part of the law is read as the corresponding candle is lit until all ten are glowing.  We have changed the beginning and end of the ceremony to add for each level as the bridge up. Silver keys are given to our Cadettes for the Silver Award.  Gold Keys are given to our Seniors as they bridge up for their Gold Award.  The Bridging section is for all girls Bridging to the next level, while Rededication is for the girls who are at the same level as they were last year.  All of the girls receive their year pin and if they Bridge up a certificate, bridge patch and key necklace for their new level. 

We made a wooden bridge that has 10 sections, one for each part of the law.  Each girl walks across the bridge to receive her bridging packet or year pin.

As we are starting our 12th year, I am so happy that we share this connection with the girls and families in our troop as well as Girl Scouts from the past and the future.


Kelly Stover Troop 2900

Is Girl Scouts something you’ve been thinking about for your girl? Join now by creating your own troop or joining a troop in your area!

How to Make a Quick, Easy Sit Upon: Step-by-step

What’s a sit upon? Great question. Sit upons are to Girl Scouts what popcorn is to the movies. A sit upon is a mobile cushion you can take anywhere, and use to “sit upon” the floor, at the park, or outside camping! They are a staple craft for your first troop meetings, low cost, and useful to have for years to come.

What you will need:

  • Reusable sturdy, plastic bags, like the kind you buy at the grocery store, or get from a shoe store (it will even have a built-in handle!)
  • Shredded newspaper for the filling (you can have the girls shred it themselves!)
  • Duct tape for sealing them up
  • Sharpies for decoration

Step 1: Stuffing the Bags

Take your shredded newspapers and stuff the plastic bags until they resemble chair cushions.

Step 2: Sealing the Sit Upon

Take your duct tape, any color you like, and seal up any openings to keep the stuffing in and any moisture out.

Step 3: Decorate to Your Heart’s Content!

Take out your sharpies and let the girls go crazy decorating their new sit upons, and of course add their name at the end.

We told you it was an easy craft! Now that you have sit upons, pop a squat in the floor for a fun game, story time, or to enjoy the outdoors and let us know how they turned out!