This post is a continuation of the Daisy of Maine Patch Program. I previously wrote about the Art Knowledge patch which you can find here.
This Health and Food Knowledge patch generally takes about an hour to complete including snack. If your meeting is 90 minutes long you may need to either extend Step 1 or add on the My Plate activity which I have detailed at the end.
This patch does not require a lot of preparation, and with the exception of the jump ropes and yoga mats, you most likely have the art supplies on hand.
Health and Food Knowledge Patch
1. Learn at least one jump rope rhyme and learn to jump rope to it.
There are literally scores of jump rope rhymes to use here. My daughter loved the Cinderella rhyme when she was younger and I’ve heard girls still using it today.
went upstairs to kiss a fellow
Made a mistake and kissed a snake
how many doctors did it take?
1, 2, 3, etc
(The girl keeps jumping until she messes up)
If your girls are more advanced you can use the I Like Coffee rhyme. This will allow two girls to jump together. Even if they’re not experts at this particular activity I’m sure the girls will enjoy getting twisted in the jump rope!
I like tea
I’d like for (insert girl name)
To come in with me
The patch program recommends another jump rope song called Teddy Bear, but since I had never heard it I selected the ones above. I’ll include it here in the event you want to give it a try.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear, show your shoe.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, that will do.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, go upstairs
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say your prayers
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say goodnight
If you have a large number of Daisies I would suggest breaking them up into groups of 4-5 as this will allow them to rotate and give each girl a chance or two to do the actual jumping.
2. Learn at least three yoga moves to keep you healthy and relaxed
Now, when I did this with my Daisies I did bring some little mats for the girls but I don’t think they’re absolutely necessary. This is especially true if you have carpet in your meeting space.
Start by explaining what yoga is to the girls. Let them know that yoga is from a country called India. It is a different kind of exercise that focuses on strengthening your body. It also helps you with your breathing and reducing any worries they might have.
Here are three poses that the girls can learn. You may want to dim the lights or play some soft instrumental music in the background to make the environment more soothing. Feel free to demonstrate the moves but then also walk around the room to assist as needed.
A. Downward Facing Dog
I love starting with this pose because the girls love the name and it’s not that difficult of a move.
Have the girls kneel on the floor with their palms flat on the floor and their back straight. Next, have them curl their toes and then slowly lift their bottoms toward the ceiling. They should be on their toes and this point. Now have the girls slowly exhale and then stretch backward and try to put their heels down. They should try to keep their hands flat on the floor. Have them try to hold the pose. After a minute or two, you can have them return to the floor and kneel.
B. Warrior 1 Pose
This is a fairly simple pose that the girls will be able to grasp.
Have the girls stand straight with their arms at their sides. Then have them put their left leg behind them and the slowly bend their right knee so that they can feel the stretch. Now, they should take a deep breath in and raise their arms over their head. Stay in that position for a minute or two breathing quietly. The girls then exhale as they move their arms down back to the side, straighten their right left and slowly bring in their left leg. They should be at their original starting position now.
Repeat but start by moving the right leg back.
C. Lotus Pose
This is the most commonly recognized yoga pose and I usually end with this pose because it is so peaceful.
Have the girls sit on the floor with their legs outstretched. Instruct them to take their right foot and place it on their left thigh so that the sole of their foot is facing upwards. The girls should then take their left foot and pull it over their right thigh. The position they are in should resemble criss-cross applesauce except that their feet are on top of their thighs and not below them.
Next, have the girls stretch their arms out and rest their wrists on their knees. Ask them to make their thumbs and index fingers touch so that they make a circle. The girls should rest in this position while breathing deeply and with their eyes closed.
Tell them to think of a calm happy place such as walking through a forest or sailing across a calm lake. Do this for about 3-4 minutes.
After the exercise is complete ask the girls how they feel. Did the yoga help make them more relaxed and peaceful? Explain how they are more poses that they can learn to improve both their mind and body.
3. Create a song or poster about healthy living and share with others.
The last part of the meeting is around the Take Action section. Give each girl construction paper or a small poster board along with markers, crayons and any other decorations you have. (Maybe not glitter!)
Ask each of the Daisies to think about what it means to be healthy and draw a picture of herself either doing something healthy such as exercising, playing outside or eating healthy foods. Maybe one of the girls can make a Say No to candy poster! Be sure your Daisy signs her artwork.
Once the girls are finished have them share their creations with the other girls. You can either do this formally where each girl comes to the front of the room and presents or informally where you tape the drawings to the wall and have the girls walk around and discuss the different ideas shown.
Leader Note: Depending on the size of your group you may want to put the Daisies in smaller groups of 3-4 and assign one group healthy foods, another group exercise, etc. Each girl can create her drawing but stay within that particular category. The groups can then share with each other at the end.
4. OPTIONAL – Learn about eating a balanced diet with “choose my plate,” and create a collage of good foods.
If you have time left in your meeting, I suggest that you add to this additional activity which focuses on understanding what a balanced diet is. I’ve included the worksheet from My Plate. If you have issues with downloading you can access it via this link.
I’ve done this exercise two different ways but I always start with reviewing the five different food categories first and seeing if the girls can give me examples.
Fruits: Need 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fruit each day. Examples are apples, oranges, strawberries. Can be fresh or frozen. Is applesauce a fruit? Remind the girls that fruits have natural sugars.
Vegetables: Need about 1 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. Examples are carrots, corn, and the dreaded broccoli! Can be fresh or cooked. Six baby carrots are 1/2 cup of vegetables.
Grains: Girls their age need about 2 to 2 1/2 ounces a day where a slice of bread is about one ounce. Other examples are oatmeal, rice, and spaghetti.
Protein: Daisies need about 4 ounces every day of protein. Examples are meat, beans, nuts, and eggs. 12 almonds are 1/2 ounce.
Dairy: Girls need 2 1/2 cups of dairy each day. Examples are milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Once you have covered these basics with the girls have them create a balanced plate using the My Plate worksheet. You can do this either by (a) having the girls draw and color food items into each section or (b) cut out pictures of food from magazines you have on hand.
The one benefit of cutting the pictures out of the magazines is that the majority of items will be meals that combine several of these food groups – think spaghetti with meat sauce, chili or even a sandwich. This helps the girls understand that the food items do not need to be “independent” in order to meet the goal.
And that’s it! Leave a comment below and let me know how your girls enjoyed this meeting. Patches can be ordered by following this link.