This week the girls learned about 2 different kinds of kids – there are “thinking about me” kids and “thinking about others” kids. When you are in a group, you need to think about others. We read the book Chester by, Melanie Watt to show an example of what it looks like to be a “thinking about me” kind of person. I do love Chester, but he only thinks about himself 😉 Here is one of my Junior Counselors as Chester. She is a great actress!
Next up we played some games that required that the girls work together to complete a goal. First was the blind maze game. One girl is blind folded and is given instructions on how to complete a maze from a friend. Not only did the girl in charge need to give good instructions, but the blind folded girl had to trust and follow the instructions (some were better at this than others…haha. I heard “go this way” more than a few times). Lots of laughs with the ant eater relay game as well.
My daughter entered middle school this year. This past weekend she had a sleepover with a new friend. I was surprised by her behavior, actually. Now, she is by no means a perfect little lady, but I usually know what to expect from her. Maybe this is why this past weekend was such a surprise for me. I pulled her aside during the sleepover and asked where Samantha was….. because the girl I knew was not at our house. Fast forward to tonight. She lost computer privileges after being nasty to our carpool friend. Then came the tears and a request to talk.
She shared that middle school is hard, and she is not sure who she is. This was my chance to jump in and remind her that she is an amazing young lady. I suggested that if she was not sure who she was in a situation, ask herself would she be proud of who she was? If the answer is yes, keep going.
I remember my own days of adolescence. It is such a hard time. Your body is changing, and you truly do not know who you want to be. I hope that I can help her through this process. Girls TALK is a good platform for us to keep talking. That to me is priceless!
Our book reading this week was I Don’t Want To Be A Frog by, Dev Petty. Frog wants to be everything except a frog but is reminded by another frog friend that you cannot change who you are. Instead we should celebrate what we love about ourselves. I was proud of the very honest discussions that came as a result. One girl said she wanted to be another girl in her class b/c it was super easy for that girl to make friends. We then talked about things that she could do to make friends in class. The girls in the group came up with some great suggestions for her as well. Another girl said she wanted to be another girl b/c she had long hair, and her hair was short. The bottom line? We cannot become someone else (frog showed us that in the book). So let’s concentrate on celebrating the special things about each of us.
Next we introduced the Smile Journal. Girls will write or draw things that make them smile each day this week. Again, a way to celebrate the good things that are happening. It made my heart happy when a girl at Willow Oak shared that what made her smile on Wednesdays was that she got to come to Girls TALK after school.
Lots of laughs were next with pantyhose bowling and face the cookie games. Think knocking down water bottles with pantyhose with a tennis ball over your head. Face the cookie was requested by a veteran GT participant. Goal: get the cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands. I was a bit rusty, but I did get the cookie to my mouth before dropping it 😉
Fun times for sure, check out some of the pics from this lesson.
Boy did it feel good to get back to work this week! What a great first lesson (and group of girls!)
After some get to know you games, we read Bea Rocks the Flock by, Victoria Jamieson. Bea wants to be unique, but sheep are supposed to be the same. The girls then created squares for a knot a quilt activity and wrote down something unique about themselves.
Throughout the program I will present activities that require the girls to be flexible and adjust their expectations in our group. The first example – the colors of the quilt squares. Only 2 of each color, so what would happen if everyone wanted the same color? That would be a problem. I have to admit, I was impressed with the possible solutions they offered.
More fun games (steal the bacon) and a little lesson about food. We played steal the turkey bacon, because if you eat bacon on a regular basis, the leaner turkey bacon is a better alternative.
Finally, we have a giving back component to our program. We talked about the fact that a lot of kids their age do not have enough food to eat at home. Imagine how hard school would be if you went hungry? So, the girls set a goal to bring in one canned food item each week to donate to TABLE (a local organization that provides food to needy children). This part of the program has been a huge hit over the years. Girls count the number of cans donated and are proud of giving back. I think learning to give back to others is an important skill for young girls to learn.
Cannot wait for week 2!
Girls TALK is officially back next week. I have 3 programs going this school year: Briar Chapel Clubhouse, Willow Oak Montessori, and Glenwood Elementary. I am starting with lessons on celebrating what is unique about each of us. First book reading – Bea Rocks the Flock by, Victoria Jamieson.
The fun activity (other than some hilarious ice breaker games I have planned) is for each girl to write down one thing that is unique about them on a section of a knot a quilt. We will build the quilt pieces throughout the school year with different activities. Sounds fun, huh?
I had a friend reach out to me asking if her high school daughter could help me with lessons. This gal is all about girl power, and I can always use a second pair of hands, especially at Briar Chapel. The school district is having to run 2 bus routes because of so many students living in the neighborhood. So K-2 ride the first bus, 3-5 the second bus, which means we cannot officially start our lesson until close to 4pm. Check out my helper for the school year….
Glenwood is offering mentor spots to some 4th and 5th grade girls since their school targets 1st-3rd for our program. I love that about the school.
Willow Oak will be my smallest group this year, but that is fine with me. I had close to 15 at one point last year which was a lot to manage solo. Samantha and Ila will be with me at Willow Oak, so I am really doing the program there so that they can still get to do the program another year. Both girls love and it say that want to do it “forever.” Those 2 have a special place in my heart.
2015-2016 school year…..hold on tight…..here we go!