Hi everyone! I’ve been a little unblog-spired recently (and apparently having to make up words to compensate!). I’ve had quite a bit on, but not much more so than usual, but I think a combination of coming into summer, not really feeling like taking outfit photos and life have stopped me from blogging as much recently. There’s definitely no shortage of ideas as I have plenty of those, I just haven’t really got round to them – let’s hope this is the start of getting them down on paper (/on screen) finally!
I wanted to share a few more lifestyle posts though at the moment. As I said, outfit photos haven’t really been my thing recently. I don’t have as good a place to shoot pictures at this house – I can’t really set up my tripod out the front because of the way the houses curve round meaning everyone can see me, so it means dragging Ben or a friend out to take them, and they’re not always there or make a fuss, at least in Ben’s case! I have had some things happening recently though that I’m currently finding more interesting than outfits – shock, horror! As in, food, sewing, homeware (like my recent bedside table hack), exercise…whut?!
So stayed tuned for more on that, but I’m starting off with something I’ve been thinking about posting for a while: ideas for Brownie meetings. As some of you might know, I volunteer with my local Brownie pack. I’m still in the midst of doing my qualification (I know, I need to finish!) but I’m classed as assistant leader at the moment. We have an hour and a half meeting each Wednesday evening, then there are often weekend activities and we occasionally swap nights to join with other local packs. What it means is that I spend a lot of time planning for these meetings to make them fun and slightly educational too. It can be a difficult balance. Because I used to teach, I find myself trying to sway towards the educational a lot – ie. what can we do that will actually mean something. So I’m working on trying to balance fun and games into the educational side.
A couple of months ago, Penguin Random House Children’s got in touch to introduce a brilliant murder mystery series called Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens, set in the 1930s and featuring two teenage girl detectives, Daisy and Hazel (find the books to buy here). They have recently created an activity pack (Brownies Murder Most Unladylike activity pack – download it here) with fun things to do around the series including creating your own murder mystery story and creating a front cover for the book, guessing what 1930s and mystery related words mean, how to write in code, and wordsearches. We were lucky enough at our Brownie pack to receive a copy of the current books along with the activity pack, so we planned an evening all around murder mysteries and fun.
Our girls are big fans of detective games and murder mysteries already – we’ve done fingerprinting and wrote ransom notes then had to guess whose handwriting it was – so we knew they’d like this one. We started off with a quick game of Wink Murder (although ours is actually “Tongue Murder” as winking can be a bit of an issue with the younger ones!) as this is a favourite of theirs and tends to calm them down a bit if they’re feeling a little hyperactive…ours always are, we have what others call a “challenging” pack!
We then got straight into the activities from the pack. We split the girls into twos so that they could work together on their stories to start with then design their book covers. A lot of them got very into this and we ended up with the main focus of the evening being on their murder mystery stories. Once they’d come up with all their ideas – what the crime was (murder, kidnap, burglary etc.), who the main suspects were, where it took place, what the clues were, and more – they got serious on coming up with names and designing the covers. These pictures were taken half way through most of them, but there were some fantastic ideas!
We then got back into a circle and went round the pairs for them to tell the others their story, and we even had some re-enactments of certain events in their stories! There was a very ambitious kidnap that took place on a ship that snapped in half (a la Titanic) stranding the main characters on either side of a sinking ship, clinging onto the splinters and trying to avoid angry pirates – brilliant 😀
A few of the girls have read the books, and we sent some away with girls who were leaving the pack and moving on to Guides or Scouts as leaving gifts which they loved.
It’s a night I’d definitely recommend if you want something fun and imaginative but fairly quiet – it takes quite a lot of concentration! We still have some of the activities left in the pack too which we’re planning to use to fill in time on other nights as well, so there’s more than enough for one night. Just in case you missed it earlier, the Brownies Murder Most Unladylike activity pack can be downloaded here.