Sunday, June 18, 2017

Wolf Finding Your Way Adventure

Our first den meeting for this geography badge was Pirate Day.

Gathering.  I had a few maps of our town and neighborhood and they had to find their house.  The neighborhood one was the most useful because with only 100 houses, they could all find their houses easily.  The city map blew them away it was so big although some of the boys had a good time looking at it and finding large things like the high school and fair grounds.  Then they started their pirate map.  I had made a den map example with my house and each boy's house marked.  Their assignment was to make a map showing how to get to den meeting.

Cub Scout maps often don't look much like maps.  To make it funner we did pirate maps.
I provided brown crinkly paper: brown water color wash, crumble (this makes it hard to write on perhaps skip this unless you are willing to iron the paper flat again) , burn edges.
I provided a stencil of our neighborhood to help because last time we did maps the boys struggled so much.  The blocks of houses looked like islands on our pirate maps.  The boys liked the map stencils a lot, it made this so much easier for them.  One creative scout colored the streets blue to look like rivers.  He marked each scout's home with an initial.  To finish I encouraged them to draw a compass rose and legend, although not all of them did.  We did find them on real maps and discussed them.

Last we played  with an iPad compass and learned how to use it to locate our very own pirate treasure!

Den Meeting #2
Snack Day (snacks are an optional requirement, but of course do this one if you have time!)
For our second den meeting we had a snack potluck party.
For the gathering we figured out where each snack had come from and located it on Google earth.  We talked about which ones were from far away and which ones were close to home.  

Activity #1 we played Compass Eye Spy.  One scout would leave the room and the others would choose an object.  Then when the other scout came back we told him what direction to face to look for it using the compass directions.

Activity #2 we played a "Life Size Map" game.  This is an old family birthday party favorite that I added to the den meeting to get the boys playing together and hungry for their snacks.  I give the boys a starting and ending point for their map pathway and they have to build it using objects from my garage.  However they are not allowed to touch the grass.  They must stay on their path hopping from object to object at all times as they go back and forth from the garage to the end of their path!  I have two teams building a path at a time to see who can make the most creative path the quickest.   Below you see the path they had to build and pictures of things in my garage.  I watch in the garage to make sure they get appropriate items and the other leader watches the paths to make sure they stay on their path and don't walk on the grass to add new stepping stones!  Sometimes I add things to my garage in advance to help get them started.
starting at my driveway ending at the playhouse in the back yard.
about one third of the way there.
jackets, sports bag, toy boxes, and pails
here are some stepping stones the boys could have located in my garage.
a bike on its side could be used this would be hard, but a long stepping stone
a camping chair could be a stepping stone or the life jackets underneath it
they could use the cooler for a stepping stone if they sat on it to get across it. 
the red blanket is a super easy stepping stone
lots of cardboard and plywood  work well too.
Finally the boys got to eat their snacks from around the world!

Den Meeting #3
A hike in the neighborhood or hills, lets the boys use their compass and map skills one more time!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Paws On The Path Den Meetings

Paws on the Path!

We had four activities (a lot I know) for the first den meeting on this adventure.  1) Stop Sign, 2) Buddy System, 3)Warm/Cold clothes relay, and 4) Egg Hunt.

If you get lost remember this stop sign picture!  Don't go far from where you are.  Stay calm, get in plain sight, close to the trail if you can.  Listen for the group you might be able to hear them.  blow your whistle, Pray!

The buddy system means 2 together at all times.  To make it fun we showed this picture.  Why would it be bad if socks didn't follow the buddy system?  Don't be a lost sock, stay with your buddy.

I know my kids actually wore their heavy winter coats in July last year and shorts with no coat on Christmas, but I'm hoping your cub scouts will have more weather sense when they dress for their hike!

I got a set of warm clothes and a set of cold clothes and set them on the far side of the yard from the cub scouts.  Then I would call out a cub and a clothing item and they would run get it.  Such as "hat for a warm day", "pants for a cold day".  The cubs didn't patiently wait their turn, so maybe I would have them dress each other up instead of running one at a time, but the running was fun even for my non-athletic den.
Egg Hunt to assemble the scouting six essentials.  I try to work in egg hunt type activities whenever I can because they are loved by this age.  Especially at the den meeting before Easter which this was.  Six of the eggs contained the scouting 6 essentials.  When they pulled out the papers, I helped them read them and then showed them an example of what was meant by each item.  You can trade the papers for special candy treats or have it already in the eggs.  I hid six eggs per scout and that worked well!

For the second den meeting, we did a 1-mile hike and the outdoor code.  We hiked to Look Out Point.  It was a perfect 1-miler for our boys, you can see our entire town with nice lake and mountain views all in about 30 minutes round trip.
The boys had a great time.  I was a nervous about it being too steep, but the boys were fine, it was just hard for me!  I pulled out these posters at the top of our hike while they munched on their trail snacks.

Posters we used for Leave No Trace and Outdoor Code:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

J is for Jump! Letter J Preschool Day.

We had fun learning about the candy-cane-shaped letter and even ate peppermints, since taste is one of my favorite senses to learn through!

Cutting Jello Jigglers with tiny playdough cookie cutters.  This was a five star "craft" because the kids could do it all by themselves.

Jack Be Nimble Jack Be Quick, Jack Jump over the candle stick (nursery rhyme of the week)

picture from inkablinka.comJingle Jewelry

And we turned my livingroom into a jungle for toy time with blankets and jungle stuffed animals.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Code of the Wolf-Den Party

A Numbers Den Party!
I am a new den leader, but the last den leader had been giving the boys points for good behavior, uniforms, and being on time.  They had just earned their party, so we did a Numbers party from the Code of the Wolf badge.

For the gathering activity we played "Go Fish for 10's".  I had set it up with numbers 1 through 9 in my skip-bo deck.  The wilds counted for the number 5 so that we could have more matches.  It took a minute to get the hang of adding up the NUMBERS to equal ten, but was fun once we got going.  We played until everyone got all their matches since they all wanted to win.  It seemed to make everyone happy.

I bought one mini-golf set and one package of plastic golf balls at the dollar store for the next activity.  I pulled out tape, markers, tons of cups, old cardboard boxes, and some old bookshelves I had lying around and told them to make a game that used numbers for keeping score.  This was so much fun, I actually had to make them stop because they spent almost the whole hour on it and I wanted to have time for treats!  I was inspired by the EPIC Dollar Store DIY Mini Golf video on youtube.  We played epic action music for the boys while they played their games and cheered them on it was very entertaining.  I have three kids of my own at den meetings, so that is who you mostly see in the pictures.  Have plenty of paper and pencils available for them to keep score on, because if they are like my scouts, they will love adding up the NUMBERS on their games! I let each boy take home the pieces for his game and a golf ball.


M&M decorated cupcakes!
Each boy sorted and counted his M&M's.  Then I quickly drew this chart with the totals for all the kid's bags put together so we could predict the NUMBERS in the last bag (I divided by 6 to help them predict).  Then we frosted and decorated cupcakes.

The next two activities are PATTERNS rather than NUMBERS:

For this activity I had written in Pig Pen code something that I like to collect and they each had to decipher it.  Then I showed them what it was once they figured it out.  (It was a set of mini-figures).  Then I had each of them write something they like to collect in pig pen for me or the other leader to decipher.  They wrote: plushies, rocks, and hugs!

Last we went outside to find a few shapes in nature.  I had cut out tangram shapes for the boys to make their favorite animal with and had some instructions and we ended up googling a few animals that weren't on my list as well!  We glued them on white cardstock to take home and share.

Image from

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wolf Motor Away Adventure

When the boys arrived we had them experiement with buoyancy to see how many pennies it took to sink a foil boat.  Kind of like this.

Then we made juice box boats and sponge boats with popsicle sticks and kabob sticks for masts and various shapes of cardstock for sails.  An exacto knife came in handy for the juicebox boats to insert the masts.  The sponge boats were cut to a variety of shapes.  Leaders used lots of hot glue to attach sails to masts.

We tested the boats in a wrapping paper storage box on the floor surrounded by tons of towels!  We made a tin foil ramp for the boats too.  When it was time to be done I just put the lid on the water and it was out of site.  Convenient!
Indoor boat racing station:)

I pulled out my Lego box and we made spaceships while the boys arrived for the next den meeting.  Then we made paper airplanes.

The last den meeting we played the Stacking Logs game out of the den leader guide and built balloon cars.  I tried many rubberband cars, none worked, so balloon cars it was.  I found the one from here worked well: Wiki How to make a Balloon Car.  I liked the tip about lightweight cardboard.  I punched the holes in the wheels in advance and precut the cardboard.  The boys measured and cut the kabobs, and straws and taped things with very close supervision.  We used posterboard and cracker boxes.  Making cars was difficult.  We let the boys build Lego cars and then we helped just two at a time build their cars.  If we had tried to build all the cars at once (we have four boys) it would have been crazy!  We have two special needs boys who were afraid to blow up their balloons.  We found that pre-stretching them and then stretching them while the boy blew helped every scout be able to blow up their own balloon.  They were very pleased with themselves!  Maybe you could have the boys watch Disney Cars or Mater's Tall Tales or something while they wait for their turn to make a car if you don't have a gazillion Legos for the boys to keep busy with.

My daughter made this car for a camp activity.  It has a sail on top and they did blow dryer races.  Anyway, I show this because if you don't have tons of bottle lids lying around for wheels, pipe cleaners and life savers can work.  The kids cut the pipe cleaners and stuck them through the TP rolls on their own, I like that there was no hot glue needed.