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Monday, March 31, 2014

A - Z Guide for Summer Fun in St. Louis -- 2014 Edition


I'm overwhelmed at the attention my St. Louis Summer Fun Guide posts have received!  It just goes to show that after a long, cold, snowy winter, we are all ready to get out and enjoy a fun summer in St. Louis!  Be sure to check back throughout the summer.  I'll be featuring some of the locations below in my "STL 250 Cake Quest" series.

A
ABC Chefs Cooking Academy – Lots of fun summer cooking camps for kids.
Amtrak Trip  Kids love trains!  Start at the Kirkwood station and take a day trip.  The train stops in Washington, MO, Jefferson City, MO, Lee's Summit, MO, Independence, MO and Kansas City, MO.
Arch – In addition to going to the top of the Arch, the website offers lots of other fun things to do around the Arch grounds.
Art Fairs – The St. Louis African Arts Festival will be held at the World's Fair Pavilion May 25-27.  Art&Air is scheduled for June 6-8 in Webster Groves.  Let them Eat Art is scheduled for July 11th in Maplewood.  The St. Louis Art Fair and Art Outside will be held the first weekend in September.
Art Hill Outdoor Music & Film Series – Come and enjoy free music and movies Fridays in July on Art Hill.
B
Ballpark Village  Check out the Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum, enjoy some Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and check out Busch-II-Infield for family friendly events and festivals year round.
Big Joel's Safari Petting Zoo  See all types of animals from "wild to mild"
Boathouse Boat Rental – Rent a 4-person paddle boat for $15 an hour.  Also, the boat house has live music most Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7pm throughout the summer.
Bob Kramer's Marionnettes  Get your tickets to see the Summer Follies puppet show.
Boy Scouts – There are lots of great summer camps available.
Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis – Check out their website for summer camp opportunities for kids ages 6-14.
Budweiser Brewery Tour – Everyone is invited (even kids!) to a complimentary tour of the brewery.  Come on Clydesdale Camera Day to get a picture of your family with the Budweiser Clydesdales!
Butterfly House – Come to see the butterflies and check their calendar for special events. The Butterfly House is located in Faust Park with the Carousel and a fun playground.
C
Cardinals at Busch Stadium – Come see a game with the whole family and visit the new Ballpark Village.  Check their website for the special promotions and giveaways.
Cardinals Alumni Kid Clinics – Learn baseball fundamentals the St. Louis Cardinals way! 
Carriage ride at Tower Grove Park – You can rent a 3 0r 4 person carriage and see the park.
Children’s Garden Club – This is a free club focused on getting kids interested in gardening. Click on "Calendar of Events" to see what's going on.
Circus Flora – The circus is in town!  If you have little ones, the one hour Little Top performances at 10am are perfect.  Hurry, it's only here in June!
City Garden – Come on a warm day with a change of clothes and plan to get wet.  Then cool off with a treat from the ice cream truck.
City Museum – The best kids museum in town and it's fun for adults too.
COCA Family Theater Series – Sign up for a summer camp or just enjoy the shows.
Cooking Classes - Schnucks and Dierbergs both offer cooking classes for kids.
Crown Candy Kitchen – Opened in 1913, they are famous for their candy, but also serve lunch and dinner.  They also have the oldest soda fountain in St. Louis!
D
Dramatic License Productions – Now offering plays for kids as well as summer drama camps.
Drive-In Movies @ Skyview – This may be the only drive-in theater left near St. Louis.
E
Eckert’s Farm –  Visit one of their 3 locations to pick your own fruit this summer.
F
Fair St. Louis  Celebrate the Fourth of July in St. Louis!  Sign up for the one mile Family Fun Run to kick off the holiday.
Family Musical Theater – Come see a show with the whole family.
Farmers Markets – Visit one of the many farmers markets around St. Louis for some fresh food straight from the farm.  Click here for a map of farmers markets in your area.
Faust Park  There are lots to do here in the summer including Olden Days of Summer, Historic Village Open House tours, Feast in the Park, Summer Concert Series and the Faust Heritage Festival.  Click here for the 2014 Summer Brochure.
Faust Park’s St. Louis Carousel – This carousel was built in 1920 and nearly lost to a fire in 1963, but it still operates today for $2 a ride.  Also, check the website for special events and summer camps.
Festival of the Little Hills – This festival will be held August 15-17 along Historic Main Street in St. Charles.
Festival of Nations  The festival will be held August 23-24 at Tower Grove Park.
Food Truck Fridays – Bring your picnic blankets to Tower Grove Park and enjoy the food and entertainment with your family.
Fox Theater – The shows continue through the summer, including "The Wizard of Oz" from May 13-18.  You can also take a 1.5 hour backstage tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30am.
Forest Park – Pack a picnic lunch and explore all the park has to offer.
Frisco Train Store - The kids can play with the trains in their free play area while you shop. Be sure to check their calendar for Family Fun Night.
G
Gateway Grizzlies  Come watch a minor league ball game with your family in Illinois.
Girl Scouts – There are lots of summer camp opportunities for Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts.
Grafton Zipline Adventures – 9 zip lines cover 1.75 miles!  Call to reserve your 2 hour tour.
Grant’s Farm – Admission is FREE!  Come see the Budweiser Clydesdale Stables, feed the goats and enjoy complimentary samples of Anheuser-Busch beer (21 and older of course!).
Green Center – Located in Kaufman Park in U City, The Green Center offers classes for kids, guided field trips and summer youth camps.  
H
The Hill – Enjoy the many bakeries and gelaterias as you tour this historic Italian village. You can even play Bocce ball!
Hot Air Balloon Race at Forest Park – The 42nd annual balloon race is September 20th.  And come to Balloon Glow on September 19th to see the inflated balloons up close.  
I
Innsbrook Institute Music Festival – Enjoy Innsbrook and a concert.  The musicians come from all over the US to perform at Innsbrook. 
Innsbrook Summer Camps – Summer camp opportunities are open to kids and grandkids of Innsbrook property owners aged 6-15.
International Children's Film Festival  Check the website for a list of films that will be screened from August 1-10.
J
Jewel Box – Located in Forest Park, the Jewel Box is open after a $3.5M renovation.
K
Katy Trail – Bike the Katy Trail and stop by a winery or two along the way.
Kimmswick Strawberry Festival – Visit Kimmswick for their annual Strawberry Festival on June 7th and 8th.
Kirkwood Peach Festival  Enjoy peach samples from local farmers as well as peach related treats and menu items at Kirkwood Farmers' Market starting at 8am on July 19th.  Check out Kirkwood's Calendar of Events page for more festivals in downtown Kirkwood, such as Mayfest, Tunes at Ten, Summer Concert Series and Sidewalk Sale.
Kirkwood Greentree Festival – The festival will be held September 12-14 in Kirkwood Park. There will also be a parade at 10am on the 13th.
L
Language Camp  French and Spanish language camps are offered for kids ages 5-10.
Laumeier Sculpture Park – Entrance to the park is free and open year round.  Art Fair will be held May 9-11. Also, check out their calendar for a Food Truck Friday schedule.
Lone Elk Park & World Bird Sanctuary – The World Bird Sanctuary is located within Lone Elk Park where you can see bison, turkey, elk, deer and other wildlife.
Lydia Buder Park - Come watch model airplanes take flight.  The park is also located near the World Bird Sanctuary and Lone Elk Park if you have time to visit.
M
Magic House – The first interactive children's museum opened in 1979 and has grown substantially since.  Check their website for special events and free days!
Meramec Caverns – You can take a cave tour or relax on a riverboat among many other things.  They also have a zip line tour.
Missouri Botanical Garden – Visit their website for a list of summer events and classes for kids. From May 24 - September 7 you can see handmade exhibits made with LEGO bricks. And the Whitaker Music Festival continues this summer on Wednesday evenings from June 4 - August 27.  The Children's Garden stays open late on concert days and is free after 5pm.
Missouri History Museum – Check their website for the free Summer Family Fun Series events, including story time, make-and-take workshops, family films and more.
Missouri Wine Country – Most wineries have live music on the weekends starting around 1:00pm - the perfect time to enjoy a picnic lunch with some wine.  Visit Augusta September 19-20 for the 11th Annual Harvest Festival.
Muny Opera – Their summer shows include Billy Elliot, Tarzan, The Addams Family, Seussical and Grease.
Museum of Transportation – Kids 5 and under will love visiting the Creation Station.  You can also explore trains and ride on the Miniature Train.  Check the website for train riding hours.
Myseum - This is like West County's smaller version of the Magic House.
N
The Nest - St. Louis' "stay and play creative cafe" opened in 2013.  They also host birthday parties, mom's groups and baby showers.
O
Old Webster Community Days  Celebrate the Fourth of July in Old Webster.  Visit their website for a schedule of events.
Outdoor Concerts – Outdoor concerts are offered all over St. Louis.  And they are FREE!
Outdoor Summer Movie Series at the Chesterfield Amphitheater – This new amphitheater is showing a free movie each month of the summer.  The 2014 summer movies are: "Planes" (May 30th), "Frozen" (June 13) and "Despicable Me 2"  (July 25).  Movies start at 8pm.
P
Peabody Opera House  Blue Man Group is coming April 25 - 27.  Check their website for other family-friendly events throughout the year.
Pick Your Own Fruit – You can find all the local farms in your area that offer fruit picking.
Piper Palm House Children's Concert Series  Free interactive concerts for kids on Wednesdays at 9:30am.  Click here for their 2014 Calendar of Events.
Play Your Art Out – Hands-on play and crafts using recycled materials.
Playgrounds and Water Parks – This website has a great, comprehensive list of playgrounds and water parks throughout St. Louis with pictures.
Playhouse Productions  Check their website for their summer show schedule.
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center – Explore the interactive exhibits in the Nature Center then hike along the many trails.
Purina Farms – Animal lovers can get up close and personal with barnyard animals and everyday pets.  They also have animal shows.
Q
Queeny Park – There is a fun playground and lots of hiking trails that are paved and good for strollers.
R
Riverboat Rides – Enjoy a guided tour on a replica 19th-century paddle-wheel boat.
River City Rascals  Come watch a fun minor league ball game with your family in O'Fallon. 
RockShow Academy Summer Camp – Check out the website for summer camps for musical kids.
S
Science Center – Fun for kids of all ages and admission is free.
Shakespeare Festival – Henry IV and Henry V will be performed in Forest Park from May 17 - June 15.  Come early for the Green Show at 6:30pm to see musicians, jugglers, singers, crafts artisans, and a 20-minute adaptation of the evening’s mainstage production (except on double feature nights).
Shaw Nature Reserve – The Nature Explore Classroom and the Whitmire Wildflower Garden are perfect for kids.  There are also lots of hiking trails to explore.
The Sheldon  During the summer, The Sheldon has arts and crafts projects for kids in the galleries ($3/child donation).
SLU Summer Camps – There are lots of camps to choose from for kids age Pre-K through high school.
Spraygrounds  Spraygrounds are a fun way to cool off and are great for little ones and big kids. 
St. Louis Art Museum – Summer classes are available for kids ages 3 and up.  Check the website for more family programs.
St. Louis Symphony Family Concerts – The Family Concert series starts back up in September. Check the website for more info on purchasing tickets.
Stages – Purchase tickets to see "Seusiscal Jr." May 9-11 and "Disney's Sleeping Beauty" June 18-29.
STL250  Celebrate the 250th birthday of St. Louis all year long.  Check out their calendar for upcoming events.  See how many cakes you can find around St. Louis!
Story Time at PBK, the Library and Whole Foods – It's so nice that there are so many options for free story time for kids.
Suson Park and Animal Farm – Farm Fridays start in May from 10am-1pm.  Admission is $8 for kids under 12 (adults free).  Hayrides, pony rides, barn tours and games for kids!
Swim Lessons at the YMCALittle Fishes Swim School or ASP Kirkwood – Feel more safe with your kids in the pool all summer by enrolling in swim lessons.  I've heard good things about these programs.
T
Taste of Clayton  The event will be held on June 2nd in downtown Clayton and features great food, live music and kids' activities.
Taste of St. Louis – The event will be held September 19-21 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.  Be sure to visit Kid City!
Ted Drewes – Perfecting frozen custard since 1929.  They just opened their 3rd location in Ballpark Village at Busch Stadium!
The Teacher's Lounge  Check their calendar for storytimes and family events.
U
Union Station – Come celebration National Train Day on May 10th.  Sample fudge from The Fudgery, play mini-golf, visit the Memories Museum or take a ride on a paddle boat.  There is also live music on select Thursday nights.
University City Loop – See the St. Louis Walk of Fame, listen to live music at Blueberry Hill, enjoy a Root Beer Float at Fitz's, browse the shops and enjoy the food.
V
Variety St. Louis – Visit the website for information on camps and events for kids with physical and mental disabilities.
Vintage Baseball  See baseball as it was played in the 1880s as the Perfectos play the St. Louis Brown Stockings.
W
Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad – Take a 30 minute ride on a live steam railroad on Sundays.
Weherenberg Theater Family Summer Series – See 10 great films for $1 each this summer on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am.
World Aquarium – Explore the wonders of water at the World Aquarium, located within City Museum.
X
XCEL Gymnastics – Lot of fun camps for kids are offered in the summer.
Y
YMCA Book Fair  The 36th annual book fair will be held August 15-20 at the Kennedy Recreation Center.
YMCA Summer Camp – Visit the website for a list of summer camp options for kids.
Z
Zoo – Summer activities include Camp KangaZoo, North Star Summer Zoo Weekends and Jungle Boogie.  Also, the 29th Annual Run/Walk will be held on May 18th.  Kids of all ages can participate.

Click here for your Summer Family Fun Passport too.


Have a fun summer in St. Louis!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Puppy Dog & Kitty Cat Birthday Party


Sidney turned 4 earlier this month and Ava turns 6 in April.  Somehow I got away with combining their birthday parties this year!  It helped that the themes they chose went well together.  Puppies and Kitties!  To be honest, I wasn't very inspired by the themes at first.  I was content to just get some good food and a nice cake and forget about all the decorating and activities.

Then I thought to myself, "I'll just take a peek on Pinterest and see if there are any easy, cute ideas."  Of course there are!!!  What was I thinking?  Everything snowballed from there. I couldn't stop myself.  Here's what I came up with...

PART 1: PET STATIONS

Station 1: Ava and Sidney's Pet Shop
The kids got to choose a dog or cat to adopt from Ava and Sidney's Pet Shop. 
Once they found their new pet, they filled out their Certificate of Adoption.
See below for info about purchasing the templates that I created.

Station 2: Ava and Sidney's Pet Supply Store
The Pet Supply Store has all the things you'll need for your new pet including cat snacks, dog treats, leashes, collars and ID tags!
I added some cat stickers to the snack baggies filled with Goldfish crackers.
Clara couldn't care less about all the cute dog and cat stuff, but she was VERY excited to have her own giant bag of Goldfish!
And I added dog stickers to the snack baggies filled with Scooby Snacks.
I used our Rainbow Loom to make the collars and I bought the charms (i.e.; ID tags) at Hobby Lobby.
To make the leashes, I used ribbon, 24MM split rings, swivel lobster clasps and Liquid Stitch (in lieu of a sewing machine).  It was super easy - I made them one night while watching my DVR'd shows.
This is how it looks put together.
Super cute - I loved how they turned out!

Station 3: Sidney and Ava's Pet Grooming
At the Pet Grooming station, the kids got to pick a wash bin to clean their pets.
The spray bottle was empty.
I found the pink bins, spray bottle and blue sponges at Dollar Tree.  The rest of the stuff I had at home.
The kids got to take home their pets and other goodies in their wash bin.

Station 4: Sidney and Ava's Animal Hospital
At the last station, the kids got to take their pet to the Vet for an exam and shots (yikes!).

I collected all our toy doctor tools from home - stethoscopes, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, tongue suppressors,  medicine dispensers, tweezers and shots - for the kids to use during the exam.
As the kids did their exam, they could fill out a check-up report for their pet.

The whole sha-bang:
I set up the four stations on small tables in our Sun Room.

PART 2: PHOTO BOOTH

The last thing I made was a Photo Booth.

To make the back drop, I found brown shipping paper in rolls at Dollar Tree.  Then I used circle hole punches and black card stock to make cat and dog paw prints.  I double stick taped them to the brown paper and hung it on a wall.
I used the cat ears that I made for Ava's Hello Kitty Party.  To make the dog ears, I cut dog-shaped ears out of felt, leaving a small rectangular piece at the top that I hot glue gunned to a head band.  Then I cut out small circles from different colored felt and used Liquid Stitch to adhere them to the ears.  If you need more help, follow this guide.

It turned out pretty cute!


I also made a runner for the table with the extra brown paper.
And as you can see, I hung pictures of the girls during the past year all over our kitchen.  They LOVE to see pictures of themselves and ask a million of the same questions: "When can we go strawberry picking again?" "When can we go to the beach again?" "When can we go to the Cardinals game again?"  You get it.

PART 3: OUTFITS

I got lucky and found Ava and Sidney's outfits at Gymboree on sale!  They happened to have a cat line of clothing this winter that had a matching tutu.
Purple is Sidney's favorite color too!  The tights were my favorite - there is a little cat face on the bum!

Then I went back to Gymboree a few weeks later when their spring clothes came out and they had this cute puppy dog birthday outfit with a matching tutu on sale!
Pink is Ava's favorite color - it's like Gymboree is in my head!  I bought some pink leggins to go under the skirt too.

PART 4: DESSERT

And last but not least, the cake!
I leave this to the professionals!  There is a great bakery near our house, McArthur's, and they make the most delicious cakes.  The dog and cat toys came from our Dora the Explorer doll house stuff. 

PART 5: TEMPLATES

If you'd like to purchase all of the PDF templates that I used:
1. Click the link below to my Paypal account to pay the $4 for the templates
2. Leave your email address, the name of your son/daughter (so I can edit your files) and the files you're requesting in the PayPal comments. 
My turnaround time is 1-2 days.  
I can also tailor the files for other animals if you are not using dogs and cats.

Click this link: https://www.paypal.me/CReeves/4


One last thing...
Just like last year after Sidney's Painting birthday party, we got SNOW!  In late March!  At least this year it was not as much as last year though!  Regardless, I think we are overdue for summer, or at least spring.


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chocolate Toffee Cake

I baked a cake for Sidney's birthday that she couldn't eat.  In my defense, I asked her if she wanted her "Sidney Cupcakes" for her birthday and she said "No, I want 'Sidney Ice Cream' and a 'Sidney Cookie'!"  Sidney Ice Cream is Purely Decadent Dairy Free Chocolate Obsession Ice Cream.
And Sidney Cookies are the vegan chocolate chip cookies the Whole Foods bakes daily.  Yum!

The rest of us enjoyed this delicious goodness:

I first discovered this cake when my friend, Yen, made it for me and my family along with a delicious dinner after Sidney was born.  Yen called it "Better Than XXX Cake".  It lived up to it's name!  When I made it last month for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon during Catholic Schools Week at Ava's school I called it "Chocolate Toffee Cake".  Apprope.

This cake is great because not only is it super tasty and a crowd pleaser, the best part is you cannot screw it up!  You dump so much sweetened condensed milk and caramel on the cake that it can't help but be delicious.  Here's how you make it.

Ingredients:
1 pkg. of devil's food or dark chocolate cake mix
Cake mix ingredients
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk 
1 (8-10 oz) jar caramel topping
1 container of Cool Whip, thawed
4 Heath candy bars, chopped (Skor bars or Nestle's Heath bits will also work)

Instructions:
1.  Bake cake in a 9x13 pan according to package directions.  

2.  As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over it with a fork or the handle of a wooden spoon.

3.  Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake, followed by caramel sauce (microwaved about one minute until warm and easily pourable - I use only about 10 oz of the jar).

4.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Shortly before serving, spread whipped topping over cake and sprinkle with chopped Heath bars pieces.  I had some helpers for this last part!


Nice work ladies!

Even though Sidney couldn't eat the cake, she very much enjoyed blowing out her candles!

And then she enjoyed her own birthday treat - Triple Double Oreos from Papa Reeves dunked in Sidney Ice Cream!
Love that sweet chocolate face!

Be sure to check back to see pictures from Ava and Sidney's Puppy and Kitty birthday party!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's just a phase.

That's what I keep reminding myself these days.  This wisdom was passed on to me from my good friend, Miquelin, when I was struggling as a first time mom.  I don't think she realizes how much this advice meant to me, but it seems like I refer back to it regularly.

Ava was an exceptionally tough baby and toddler and to call me inexperienced as a new mom was being generous. Everyone else seemed to have their act together and their little ones were well behaved and smiley and typical.  Ava, on the other hand, was a force to be reckoned with. 

While other parents talked about how their babies fell right to sleep when the car started moving, Ava screamed and cried from the moment we put her in her car seat until the moment we got her out.

Other parents could enjoy a nice, quiet meal at a restaurant while their baby sat quietly in a high chair chewing on toys.  Tim and I took turns walking Ava around the restaurant while the other quickly inhaled their food.

Other parents bring all their kids to church and I watch them sit quietly and read a book or color a picture for the entire hour.  I am currently letting Ava's kindergarten teachers train her to sit quietly during church.

At the time when Ava was my only child, this really weighed on me.  Was I doing something wrong as a parent? What book can I read to "fix" this? Did Tim or I pass along some bad genes to Ava that would forever curse her and hold her back in life? (PS - Tim HATES it when I project how things will affect our kids in the future, but I can't help it!)  

Then one day during a casual conversation with Miquelin, she told me the "It's just a phase" advice that her mom had passed on to her.  She basically said that when your child is continually doing something that is frustrating and tough to handle, know that it's just a phase and they will grow out of it eventually.  Unfortunately, there will likely be a new, frustrating phase to follow.  But that too, will be just a phase.  As parents, we are here to help our kids navigate these phases and learn from them.

Knowing that everything was a phase was comforting to me.  It helped me realize that things (good or bad) wouldn't always be this way and while I didn't know when the bad phases would end, I could rest assured that Ava would eventually poop in the toilet and not in a diaper.

I now have 3 little girls and my youngest, Clara, is giving me a run for my money in her effort to ensure that she will be the baby of the family.  I can hardly remember the days when our families would say what a "perfect baby" she was.  So sweet and easy.  We have have entered a new phase.  One minute she will be climbing on top my desk chair to reach my cell phone and launch it across the kitchen and the next minute she is shrugging her shoulders to her ears, tilting her head and smiling like and angel.  She will have you seething while at the same time, wrapping you around her pinky finger.

The worst is her ear-piercing SCREEEEEEEAM that is used far too often for reasons that do not warrant such a shriek in my opinion.  
Ava takes her back pack from Clara while getting ready for school - SCREEEEEEEAM!
Sidney won't move off the tiny space that she's occupying on the huge couch - SCREEEEEEEAM!
I won't let Clara take everything out of the seven drawers in my desk - SCREEEEEEEAM!
Tim won't let Clara eat chocolate chips for lunch (again) - SCREEEEEEEAM!
Some random kid at the library wants to play with the only toy...and so does Clara - SCREEEEEEEAM!

The examples go on and on.  We are all sick and tired of hearing Clara scream.  I try to think on the bright side...maybe she has a future in "voice over screaming" work (constantly projecting as I do).  But then I'm reminded of the little yet important piece of advice from Miquelin: It's just a phase.  Never-the-less, I'm still going to let Clara's future kindergarten teachers train her to sit QUIETLY during church.  ;)

It's just a phase.
It's just a phase.
Love you Beans! xoxo, mom

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Daisy Scout Meeting - Orange Petal

I got to lead another Daisy Scout meeting for Ava's troop.  I had to throw it together last minute (the mom who was supposed to lead the meeting got the flu two days beforehand), but I think the girls enjoyed it.  They earned their Orange petal from Mari the Marigold who teaches us "to be responsible for what we say and do".  

I structured the meeting much like I did the last meeting that I led despite the fact that the girls were SO wound up.  We've had some pretty bad weather this winter which means the kids have not been outside for recess in months.  So I had to do some activities to get the wiggles out throughout the meeting.  Here is what I did with the girls:

FIRST we did our Kaper Chart and recited the Girl Scout Promise.  Our troop doesn't have a fancy Kaper Chart so I just wrote down the girls' names and their jobs on a dry erase board. If you want to make a Kaper Chart to use at your meetings, click here for some ideas.

SECOND, while the girls had their snacks, we talked about the petal that they'd be earning and I read the book "Being Responsible" by Mary Small.

After reading the book we did some jumping jacks and ran circles around the room.  That helped (temporarily).  Then we talked about what it means to be responsible.  Here are some good examples  you could discuss:

It is important to remember that what I say can have an impact on others.
-- If I say something nice to someone, it makes them happy
-- If I say something mean to someone, it can make them sad
-- I can make someone sad even if I say something about them to someone else.

We have a responsibility to do the things we promise and to help when we see someone that needs help.
-- If I promise to put my plate in the sink after dinner, I am responsible to do that.  It helps mom and dad and it is a nice thing to do.
-- I am responsible to wear my seat belt in the car every time I get in.  It is the law and it keeps me safe. 
-- I can also be responsible for things no one asks me to be responsible for.  I am responsible for things around me, like nature or pets or even a baby brother. I am responsible to help keep all of these things safe. 

THIRD we did our craft.  This is the one I made as an example:

The supplies you'll need are:
- colored paper/construction paper for the hand prints and leaves
- wood sticks (you can find these in a big pack at the craft store)
- green paint to paint the wood sticks
- Styrofoam cut into squares for the base
- green tissue paper to cover the foam base
- colored printer paper for the "I am responsible for ..." signs
- tape
- Elmer's glue
- scissors

Before the meeting, I cut out the leaves, painted the wood sticks green and wrapped the Styrofoam in green tissue paper.
I had a couple of helpers at the meeting.  We traced the girls' hands and they cut out their hand prints. We helped them write their responsibilities on their hand prints and then they taped them to the wood sticks.  Then we did a glue-tape combination to stick the leaves on the wood sticks.  Lastly, the girls taped the "I am responsible for ..." sign to the green base and stuck their hand print flowers in the base.

FOURTH I handed out the Orange Petal Certificate to the girls.

FIFTH we played a game while the girls waited for their parents to pick them up.  We played "Petal, Petal, Daisy!" which is just like "Duck, Duck, Goose!".  The girls love that game!

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