Brownie Troop 1014 and Junior Troop 4623 celebrated Halloween by creating a unique concoction – slime! It’s an innovative approach to earning their Senses and Detective badges at the same time. Troop co-leaders Erika Grabish and Lauren Pascarella take Girl Scouts’ girl-led process seriously and knew the most important projects the girls wanted to do this year. Making slime was definitely on the list for these girls. Just before Halloween, the girls were discussing options for a way to honor the spirit of Halloween traditions, while still respecting that not every girl in the troop celebrates Halloween as a holiday. How thoughtful!
Pascarella found inspiration online for cute Halloween-themed jars of slime, and the group started combining activities from badges to keep working toward their goals. Garbish describes the meeting’s activities: “We started our meeting by closing our eyes and using our other senses to observe our surroundings. Then, the girls spent the meeting making slime to learn about their sense of touch, listening to spooky music in different genres to hone their hearing, practicing with hidden object puzzles to think about their sense of sight, tasting five different foods (baking chocolate, marshmallows, Altoids, Sour Patch Kids, and Goldfish crackers), and checking out our “sniff station” where we set up witch’s sleeping potion (hot chocolate powder), Big Foot’s lotion (lemon juice), monster’s bath bomb (a slice of onion), mummy toothpaste (coffee grounds), and mummy’s powder (cinnamon) which they had to smell and and try to identify.”
Brownies used the activity to earn their Senses badge, while Juniors refined their observation skills in preparation to earn their Detective badge a few weeks later. Bonus: the girls practiced working in teams and discovered that things aren’t always as they appear. Troop co-leader, Erika Grabish, was pleasantly surprised that the girls were so eager with the tasting and sniffing activities, but also had a good laugh when each girl bit into the baking chocolate expecting a sweet treat, only to discover it wasn’t what they expected!
- The Slime Recipe:
- 6 Oz Elmer’s Glitter Glue (You can use regular Elmer’s Clear glue instead if you like, and color with a little bit of washable paint and loose glitter, but make sure you use Elmer’s brand glue. Not all brands slime up the same way)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Contact Lens solution (make sure it contains boric acid)
- Pour the glue into a bowl or container for mixing.
- Add the baking soda and paint if you’re using it.
- Stir well.
- Add 1 1/4 Tbsp of sensitive eyes contact solution and stir well. The slime will start to thicken and stiffen. Continue adding contact lens solution a little at a time and stirring or mixing by hand until you get the right consistency.
Erika’s advice for troop leaders who want to try similar activities: “Do it! You may want a blindfold for the sniff station, but we did fine without one. Check allergies carefully for your troop before you do any tasting-I know we have several, so I had to read labels very carefully choosing the tasting items, and it meant, for example, that I couldn’t use anything with chili peppers or strawberries, but I still had plenty of options. You do need extra hands to run the sniff station while you’ve got slime making and puzzles and tasting going on, but it was a lot of fun for adults and kids.”
Best of all, the skills girls learned and practiced while making slime and using their senses paid off weeks later, when the group had a real problem to solve. They were working on an escape room challenge for the Juniors’ Detective badge and one small group didn’t have enough mirrors in their supply stash. Instead of waiting for another group to finish using one, the girls used their observational skills to realize that they could solve the mirror puzzle by holding the paper up to the light backwards to read the words. Way to go, Innovator G.I.R.L.s!