Category Archives: Pfadfinder scouts

Getting Greener

The IPCC report has been published for 2021 and it is clear that humans have not been doing enough to halt climate change. We have made many “green” changes at Spielwelt, won environmental awards, and implemented our Keen-to-be-Green initiative.

As a parents association responsible for our children’s future, we applaud the ACT government’s efforts, and although we are just one of many organisations in Canberra, we feel we must ramp up our efforts further. We all should. And can.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

The place we can make the biggest difference is in education (our specialty!) and leading by example.

Starting straight away, we will:

  1. Decommission the children’s fridge, and have children store their food in their insulated lunch bags (like in schools).
  2. Encourage meat-free days.
  3. Offer more vegetarian options at our special events.
  4. No longer use plastic googly-eyes, craft pompoms, foam stickers and plastic stickers in craft, as they are non-biodegradable.
  5. Encourage families to walk or ride to school where possible.
  6. Ban little plastic toys (like the little collectible toys used in supermarket or restaurant promotions) and educate children about why we don’t want them. (If children bring them to school, they will need to leave the toys in their bags.)
  7. Run two toy swaps per year.
  8. Run two clothing swaps per year.
  9. Ensure Nikolaus gifts, Mothers- and Fathers- Day gifts are “green”.
  10. Educate and encourage children to use the backs of paper as well as the front; and using recycled paper.
  11. Replace wet-wipes with reusable cloth wipes.
  12. Replace sponges with reusable cleaning cloths.
  13. Gradually replace as many of our plastic sand toys with metal or wooden pots or implements from the GreenShed.
  14. Replace our many plastic playdough implements with a few simple wooden ones.
  15. Replace our double-plastic-wrapped rice crackers (that we give to children who are still hungry even after eating all their lunch) with similar products in more friendly packaging.

We are further committing to:

  1. Install ceiling fans to make our heating and cooling more efficient.
  2. Provide a reusable yogurt container to each family and strongly discourage single-use yogurt pouches and plastic tubs. (We already provide a bees wax wrap to each child, in their Schultüte, and discourage cling-film.)
  3. Examine how we can reduce any excess use (or waste) of soap, by changing soap formats and educating children on proper use.
  4. Explore options for environmentally friendlier cleaning products.
  5. Teach our scouts about the mountains of waste caused by toothpaste packaging, and ask our scouts if they would like to try making Zero Waste Toothpaste.

Igelchen and Echidna Lesson

The little echidna pictured at the top of this blog lives in Canberra. I took a little video for the children, showing the echidna walking along. She has short bent legs, and it reminded me of a German children’s song about a hedgehog (ein Igel). Hedgehogs and echidnas look quite similar.

Here is my very silly Igelchen action song video (5 min) which includes a little chat, an action song, a silly story and a very simple craft.  

There’s also an Igelchen colouring sheet for you to download and print.

 If you want to sing along to the song, here are the lyrics:

Igelchen, Igelchen, schau in dein Spiegelchen,
Deine Beine sind krumm!
Igelchen, Igelchen, schau in dein Spiegelchen,
Deine Beine sind kurz!

Sind meine Beine auch krumm,
Dreh’ ich mich trotzdem herum!
Sind meine Beine auch kurz,
ist mir das piepe und schnurz!

Make a Crown

Paper crowns are super easy to make, and who doesn’t want to be a Queen, King, Prince or Princess for a day? Schön wäre es, Königin, König, Prinz oder Prinzessin zu sein!

One of our Pfadfinder venturers models the crown she made (… for her Queen Mother, no doubt…ahem!)

Lisa3 has kindly created a fancy crown template for you to download, print and colour in.

Once you have coloured it in, all you need to do is cut it apart along the zig-zag lines, as seen in the photo at the very top of the blog.

Turn one piece 180 degrees and line up the points all in a row, and stick the two pieces of paper together with some sticky tape!

Wrap the length of paper around your head to see how big your crown needs to be, then tape it together at the size you want.

All done, and you’re ready to wear your crown, start issuing orders to your servants, blessing your royal subjects with gracious acts, and generally ruling the world!

Vacuuming Paper Bits

Here’s an extremely simple and fun activity that children (3yrs and up) can do themselves.

Give your child some paper, scissors, a straw and little container.

Your child can cut the paper into little squares (or other shapes). For those who like learning to cut in straight lines, here’s a downloadable sheet of squared paper to print.)

By sucking through a straw, your child can vacuum up the paper pieces, one by one, and them drop them into the container. (The vacuuming can sometimes make a funny noise, which adds to the entertainment!)

Once you have a pile of papers in your container, try blowing down the straw to make a little snow storm in your container! You might even be able to blow the papers out of the container… and start the game again!

Gut gemacht, Gerda! Weiter so! Only 25 more pieces to go! Hee hee hee!!

Bohnenblumen: Bean Flowers

Spring is in the air and flowers are starting to appear! Maybe you can make flowers appear inside your house too…

Join GAP Teacher Gerda in making some beautiful flowers and hearts using beans and lentils! Click on the link to download / watch the video.

As you know, we love art and craft using natural and recycled items!

The educational value here is developing fine motor skills, art and creativity, counting, colours, and the concept of symmetry, if you like.

You can download Gerda’s Bohnenblumen instructions (in German and English) to augment your educational experience by reading aloud and following instructions in German, and be inspired by some of her example pieces.

Please supervise and/or discuss safety with children, as we have heard stories of children putting beans up their noses… and nobody wants that to happen!

Natural objects like beans and lentils make great things to glue to your art work!
Glue on your stem and leaf, and then clutter (ähm! I mean decorate) your house with your beautiful creation!

Once you have made your flower, try some of the variations below.

Variation 1: You could also decorate other shapes (see our activity about learning geometric shapes).

Variation 2: Hunt around the house and garden for other little objects to glue on: grass, pine needles, tiny flowers, wool, cereal, pasta shapes…

Try different shapes!

Vogeldrachen: Bird Kite

A craft and an outdoor activity in one! Here is Lisa3 to show you how to make a super bird kite that you can take to the park or play with in your garden!

Download and watch Lisa3’s awesome Vogeldrachen instruction and demo video.

Tip: Before you punch the hole for the string, reinforce the area with sticky tape. Try to make sure the hole isn’t too close to the edge of the paper too.

Craft variation: You could decorate your kite to look like a rocket, astronaut, butterfly or anything else you fancy.

Song: You might also like to try learning this German children’s song about flying kites! (The lyrics appear on the screen, the singing is fairly slow and each line is sung twice, making it easier for beginners to learn.)

Kite vocabulary: In German, we say “einen Drachen steigen lassen” (to let a kite rise). For fun, when you are letting your kite fly, be sure to call out, “Alle Vögel fliegen hooooooch!” (This actually refers to another popular German children’s game, the instructions for which are below.)

Game: Alle Vögel fliegen hoch!
Alle Mitspieler sitzen an einem Tisch. Der Spielleiter beginnt indem er ruft. „Alle Vögel fliegen hoch!“ Die Kinder trommeln während er dies sagt leicht mit beiden Handflächen oder de Fingerspitzen auf die Tischplatte. Bei „…fliegen hoch!“ heben alle Mitspieler die Hände mit aus gestreckten Armen in die Luft.
Danach ruft der Spielleiter ein weiteres Tier, zum Beispiel, „Alle Pferde fliegen hoch!“
Die Mitspieler müssen nun blitzschnell überlegen, ob das Tier fliegen kann. Kann es dies nicht, dürfen sie auch nicht die Hände hochstrecken. Hält jemand fälschlicherweise doch die Hände in die Luft, sagen alle “Ausgetrickt! ___ [Tier] können nicht fliegen!”
Nennt der Spielleiter wieder ein Tier, das fliegen kann, schnellen die Hände wieder nach oben. Vergisst dies ein Mitspieler, sagen alle “___ [Tier] können fliegen!”
Ein spaßiges Spiel bei dem man blitzschnell überlegen und reagieren muss.

Potato Prints

Here is a great craft you can do indoors or outdoors: Kartoffeldrucken (potato prints)!

Parent supervision / help will be needed with the knife and cutting part, but the rest children can likely do themselves.

You can download and watch Lisa3’s lesson about Kartoffeldrucken in German.

Tip 1: If you plan to do letters, make sure to cut out the mirror image so when you print it, it will be the right way around.

Tip 2: If you are ready to make a new print shape, just slice off your old shape and start again on the same potato.

Tip 3: After a good wash, your potato scraps are ready to make delicious German Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes)!

Dancing Stick Figures

Lisa3 has another great activity for you to try at home: These dancing stick figures she made are so cool!

You will need:

  • Eine Auflaufform mit eine ganz glatte Oberfläche — Glas oder Keramik. (A flat bottomed casserole dish — preferably glass, but ceramic will do.)
  • Whiteboard-Markers (keine Permanentmarker) (Whiteboard markers (not permanent markers))
  • Ein Becher oder Kännchen Wasser. (A little cup or jug of water.)

Tip: Whiteboard markers are available at supermarkets, in case you want to add one to your ‘essential groceries’ list.

Download Lisa3’s Tanzende Strichmännchen Video and Lisa3 will explain what you need to do (in German). For non-German speakers it is easy to follow along by watching.

You can make dancing flowers, animals, birds, whatever you like. Send us your photos!

Viel Spass!

Verstecken: Hide and Seek

Good old fashioned Verstecken (hide and seek) is always a popular game with children of all ages. The best part is calling out, “Gefunden!” (found!) at the end.

You can refresh your child’s memory of the rules and counting (and what it looks like at the GAP/Scout Hall) by watching our hilarious video of Truffle and Lisa playing Verstecken from last year.

Here is a handy German translation sheet for Verstecken (which I clearly did not have when making the video… ahem!). You will be able to keep your child’s (correct) German going at home!

Fussparcours: Foot Challenges

Spring is here and we can walk barefoot a lot again. Our feet can do a lot more than just walk. Try Gerda’s Fussparcours / foot challenges!

Endlich ist der Frühling da. Jetzt können wir wieder viel barfuß laufen. Aber unsere Füße können noch viel mehr als nur laufen. Probiert doch einmal diesen Fußparcours!

There are six things to try!  You can also invent some of your own.  Here is the first challenge, below. Download the Fussparcours sheet to try all six challenges.

Viel Spaß!  (Have fun!)