GSSEM’s new patch program Keep Calm and Girl Scout On…
Visit the blog each week to explore activities you can do in your own backyard! This is week 4 of GO! At Home.
Celebrate Earth Day this year by learning more about Earth’s most incredible super hero: The Tree. Why are trees so important to a clean, healthy planet? Learn more about the incredible super powers of a tree here.
There are many names for scientists who study trees. Trees are a plant, so botanists study trees, but scientists dedicated to only studying trees are dendrologists. Maybe you aren’t interested in dendrology but you are curious about the trees in your yard or in your neighborhood, learn how to identify them here.
Make Earth Day every day at HOME. We now know that we all should be washing our hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds each and every time. You can still be safe, while conserving water and being a friend to the earth. Find out how much water are you using each time you wash your hands. Can you use less? Try this at home:
- Grab a large pot and put it in your kitchen sink to collect the water you use before you wash your hands.
- Ask a family member to set a timer to be sure you wash for the whole 20 seconds.
- Turn on the water and leave it on while washing your hands.
- Use a measuring cup or mason jar to measure the amount of water you used.
- How much water did you use? Write that down.
- Now keep track of how many times a day you wash your hands. Multiply the amount of water used in one handwashing times the number of times you wash your hands per day.
- Use this information to find out about how much water your family uses for handwashing alone, each day, each week, each month and each year.
- Try this again, this time turn the water off while you are scrubbing your hands with soap. Measure the amount of water used and do the calculations again.
- Show your family just how much water you can save each year by turning off the water.
Have you ever thought of doing yoga? Yoga is a practice that connects your mind and your body as one. Taking it to the outdoors adds another layer of connecting your mind and body to the earth. Grab a yoga mat or towel, put on some comfortable clothes, and embrace nature as you head outdoors.
Try these quick poses:
Quick Outdoor Pose Guide
If you are ready to master a yoga sequence:
Try this gentle yoga sequence outdoors
Inside out Badge
Our ancestors lived their entire lives outside, making this an ideal place to learn about our five senses!
Step 1: Look Around! Bring a beach towel, yoga mat or blanket outside so that you can get comfortable. Find a tree in your yard or along the sidewalk on your street and observe it closely.
- How does it move in the breeze? Can you dance and sway as the tree does?
- What signs of spring do you see? Are there flowers or little buds starting on the branches?
Draw a picture of your tree or learn the tree yoga pose and see if you can stand as steady as a tree.
Step 2: Listen to the world outdoors! There are some amazing observations that you can make with your ears. Different times of day bring different sounds. Bring along a chair or blanket and practice listening and share with an adult or sibling what sounds you hear and write them down. Try this cool exercise:
30 Seconds of Silence: Three times a day for three days, go outside, listen, and record what you hear. It can be nature or human sounds that you record.
- Sunrise – Listen for the sounds of the world waking up, what do you hear?
- Afternoon – Pick a consistent time to head outside, right after lunch works great for this one, what do you hear?
- Sunset – Listen for the sounds as the daytime noises change to night. Do you still hear noises or is everything silent?
Step 3: Put your nose to work! Go on a walk around your yard or neighborhood. Many kinds of trees, plants, nuts, seeds and berries are all around us. One way to tell the difference between the trees is to rub the leaves or needles between your fingers to release the scent. For example, hemlocks can smell sour and unpleasant – much like the poisonous plant from which it gets its name – while firs and spruce have a citrusy smell. Edible herbs like rosemary and thyme smell just like they taste.
- Make a Smell Jar: While on a walk in your yard or neighborhood “scratch and sniff” smells that you like (e.g. leaves, berries, buds, bark) and place them into a small container. Repurposed empty plastic spice containers, baby food jars or mason jars work well. After the hike, choose short, thick sticks to crush the contents of their jars to release the smells, adding a teaspoon or so of water if necessary. If you do this activity with a parent or sibling, sniff each other’s creations and talk about the aromas you sense from each.
Step 4: Touch and Feel! Find 10 different natural items in your yard. These can be leaves, flower petals, insects, worms, pine needles, grasses, bark or branches. Be creative! Organize them by roughest to softest. What other things can you tell by touching them? Which is your favorite? Use those items to make a self-portrait!
How will you celebrate Earth Day this year? Share with your Girl Scouts Sisters how you are Getting Outdoors while staying safe! We’d love to see what you are up to. Tag us @gssem and hashtag #GirlScoutsGO and #GSoutdoors