At our most recent meeting, we continued work on the astronomy badges. We also began the Brownie Senses Badge. We have only five meetings left for this school year (including this one), and I want my Brownies to earn Senses and Painting before they Bridge. I am not adding any Junior badges into the mix – that will have to wait until we start up again in the fall. All of my girls will be Juniors, so badge planning will be easier. Relatively speaking because I still have one year of graduate school left, and my younger daughter will be in kindergarten, which means a new Daisy troop for me.
We started the meeting with the Senses Badge. I did a basic overview of the five senses before focusing on touch (Step 5). I found a nice, short description of touch on this site. It was a very good conversation starter. We talked about nerves and nerve endings, different kinds of touch sensations, and how we have a greater concentration of nerve endings in our fingertips.
This segued into braille. Some girls have never seen it. Others have seen it on signs in various buildings. I ended up putting hold requests on two children’s books in braille (one picture and one chapter). It was hard for the girls to wrap their heads around “seeing” with your fingers. Braille Bug looks like it could be a useful tool for teaching the girls about braille.
The activity we did was two modified versions of Touch It, Draw It from GSRV (a great badge activity resource, if you haven’t already discovered it). My AL brought various objects placed inside pillowcases.
Activity #1: The girls put their hands inside the pillowcases to feel the objects. Then they had to draw the objects based off how they felt. This was very hard because they kept drawing it from memory instead of touch.
Activity #2: The girls were blindfolded. A different object from the one they had before was placed in front of them. Again, they touched the object, and drew it based off how it felt. During both activities, I reminded the girls to “see” with their fingers and not with their eyes/memories.
It turned out to be both a fun activity and an informative one. Once we were finished we had a conversation about how touch is important when you cannot see, and how when you can’t use your eyes, you “see” things differently. I used grass as an example. Using sight, you know it is green, it is long and skinny with a pointy tip. When you use touch, you “see” how the sides are flat. There are narrow edges. If you move your finger in one direction, the grass is smooth. If you move it in another, it is rough.
The second part of our meeting focused on the astronomy badges, Sky Search and Space Explorer (both retired). We talked about what the Moon is and why it changes shape. Then we watched a short video about the phases of the Moon. The final activity (and the girls’ favorite) was to make an edible Moon phase chart using Oreos. I printed out a worksheet from 123homeschool4me (halfway down the page is link to download free worksheets).
I had 10 girls present, and we went through 2 1/2 packages of Oreos (a reference for how many packages to buy). Some of the girls had breakages and needed replacement cookies. The next time I do this, I will use double-stuffed instead. After experimenting at home, double-stuffed Oreos did not have the same kind of breakage as the single-stuffed.