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Brownie introduction activities

TawnyRach

Beginner (10+ posts)
#1
Hi
This term we will jump from 14 Brownies to 22 so we are looking for fun activities to introduce Brownies to the new girls, and help all the girls get to know each other. Everything we've come up with so far is kind of worksheety so does anyone have any experience or ideas that might help us? Thanks
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#2
We don't do 'Getting to know you' activities any more, we find that just getting them sitting down and doing an activity/craft will get them talking naturally, without it being forced conversation!

We also find that most girls know at least one person from school or Rainbows or swimming etc, so it's very, very rare we get a girl that noone knows at all!
 

TawnyRach

Beginner (10+ posts)
#3
We are in a large village with only one primary school so 99% of our girls 'know' each other before they start. This makes the problem worse. Unfortunately we had a Sixer who left in July not knowing the names of the girls in her Six. Other older girls have also not made any effort during normal activities to get to know younger ones because they can chat to the girls they already know. Therefore we would like to focus on them making the most of the chance to make new friends as well as spending time with existing ones.
We have also never taken on so many girls in one go before, as usually we have 2 or 3 new starters each term. I'm nervous about so many starting all at once and how we can quickly establish the Guiding environment/routine etc without it feeling like school.
 

Tregi

Veteran (100+ posts)
#4
In this situation, I would suggest making sure your Sixes are strongly enforced and imformed. Make your Sixers and Seconders your eyes, ears and mouth, asking them to pass on the messages. That way, it isn't the leaders telling 22 people, it's the Sixers telling 5 or 6. Do some activities in these groups, small challenges, looking at the handbook (new or old) and ask your Sixers to make sure that the new girls in their Six know 'the Brownie way' of doing things - however you do them in your unit. Once they have got that sorted, whole unit things should be easier.
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#5
We have some standard getting-to-know-you games that we use fairly often especially with new girls:
Step forward if... (or come and get a drink/run round the chair/hop three times if...) you have a brother/sister/pet/go to X school/are in X year.
Ball throwing to someone else in the group only we use wool so we end up with a web of friendship... they love this. And they have to learn names.
Hedgehogs.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
A couple of ideas:

Inner and outer circle facing each other, moving round potentially to a song. When stopped face to face with another Brownie they discuss a topic a leader shouts out (what was something new you did over the summer, what’s you’re favourite ice cream, what was the last good film you saw…).

Electrical appliances: have everyone evenly spaced milling around the hall, shout out a number, girls have to get with those closest to them, an electrical item from around the house is called out. They then have to make it with themselves, so three then TV could be two girls making a box with their arms with one girl being a TV presenter. Two and toaster could have a girl knelt down and another popping up behind her. Gets girls away from the same people and more comfortable working with others.

Find a Brownie… Similar to human bingo just without the sheet. Brownies have to find someone based on what’s called out. Maybe there’s only one Brownie who went to the seaside this year or maybe there’s loads? Who knows until they have to chat to other Brownies…You could also mix it up, all the Brownies who have one thing in common have to find each other until they end up in two groups.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#7
Avoid 'icebreaker' games and go straight to doing activities in Sixes. Far more valuable for the new girls to get to know a small number of girls well, the ones they will be working with.
 

TawnyRach

Beginner (10+ posts)
#8
Thanks, some good ideas. Sixes are so important to the identity of Brownies, I think. We meet in a small space so often can't have 4 Sixes working separately but I think we can try some of these. And we'll have to work out the logistics of small group working with the new programme, so it will be good practice!
 

Ali Brown Owl

Beginner (10+ posts)
#9
We did a Brownie Scavenger hunt in sixes last week - in their six they had to find 2 brownies who: had a little sister, had two letters the same in their name, had been a Rainbow etc etc (got my young leader and leader-in-training calling things out) they came up and got tokens for every two (then three) they found, and counted them up at the end. It went down well
 

AnotherOwl

Regular (50+ posts)
#10
Ooh yes we did something similar with guides. They had a sheet printed with a grid with a different thing in each box (eg. likes cats, was born in another country, has two or more siblings, etc) and they had to find one guide's name to put in each box - they couldn't use the same person more than once so had to talk to lots of different people. It worked quite well
 

guiderlinda

Veteran (100+ posts)
#11
Thanks, some good ideas. Sixes are so important to the identity of Brownies, I think. We meet in a small space so often can't have 4 Sixes working separately but I think we can try some of these. And we'll have to work out the logistics of small group working with the new programme, so it will be good practice!
On the Sixes point, we had 2 new Sixers last week, so we spent 45 minutes on an inter-six challenge.

Each team was given a sheet of paper with a few challenges on, and it was up to the Sixer and Seconder to work with the team to complete the challenges. Examples included:
All girls to introduce themselves to all leaders
Hop the length of the hall
Skip for 30 seconds
Throw beanbags into a bucket
Draw a picture of what you do when a leader raises her arm (with labels)

Each challenge was scored on the sheet and points went towards the Six score for the half-term, as well as a small prize for the evening (a pack of lego cards each from Sainsburys)

In terms of room size - we didn't have enough skipping ropes or beanbags for everyone to do, so part of the challenge is to do things when they can.