I can’t be the only parent longing to kick open the pink gender box placing limitations on activities for girls.How many sewing projects, bracelets, and art projects can one girl make? My daughter is curious, creative, and experimental. In many ways, she is still an open book; eager to learn, to test boundaries, to discover new ideas and talents. Give her just a few more years, though, and I can see her buying into the proscribed list of “girls” activities. When I ask her leaders why they don’t push boundaries or try different activities, leaders will reply, “We let the girls choose. They don’t want to do any of those things.”
[bctt tweet=”Discover 25 Activities for Girls that think outside of the pink box. Includes STEM and STEAM activities.”]
I know that being a leader for Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, or Activity Days can be demanding. I’ve been there and I struggled to find the time and energy to find innovative activities for girls. Thankfully, the internet is bursting with amazing activities to engage any girl or boy. I’m sharing 25 Activities for Girls here (including many with STEM and STEAM connections), but be sure to follow my Thinking Outside of the Pink Box Pinterest Board for additional ideas.
- Build Your Own Tinker Box/Engineering Kit. This box is just the beginning of many building adventures. Create an engineering kit together and then encourage the girls to tinker at home. You can also build robots for your next activity!
- Participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count. Introduce girls to bird watching and identify wildlife in your local community. Bird watching is also a great activity to do in conjunction with hikes, boating, and nature walks.
- Learn Coding and Basic Programming. Invite a woman from your local community to introduce coding to the group. Show them how learning coding opens up a whole new world, where they can build their own websites and games. Encourage girls who are interested to complete a project and share it with the group. You can find some great apps for kids to learn coding here.
- Create a Shadow Puppet Show. Our church Christmas program last year featured a family putting on a shadow puppet show, while a narrator told the story and the audience sang carols. The show was simple, memorable, and delightful to watch. The shadow puppet tutorial shows how to create affordable puppets. Use one activity night to choose your story and build your props. Invite an audience to watch the show or arrange a time to put it on at a local nursing home.
- Take Electronics Apart and Invent Something New. Nostalgic movies and literature often show boys taking apart old radios and discovering how they work. Have each girl look around her home or at a consignment store for old electronics, including non-working items. Take them apart and discover what’s inside. Invent something for your next activity using some of the parts you found or just use the first experience as a springboard for inventing.
- Introduction to Pet Care and Volunteer at a Local Shelter. Many young girls want a pet, but are they familiar with what goes into caring for a dog, cat, fish, or gerbil? Introduce some pet care basics, possibly even inviting a local female vet to present. Then arrange a time to volunteer at a local animal shelter and learn about ethical animal practices.
- Build Your Own Cardboard Doll Furniture. My sister made amazing cardboard doll rooms and furniture for my niece for Christmas. This would be a fun, creative activity for girls. It focuses on design, art, building, and recycling. You can find additional ideas in my Pinterest Board.
- Choose a Local Cause and Learn How to Write an Effective Letter to the Editor. How can we become effective advocates? How do we impact our local communities? Introduce advocacy, choose a local cause, and then write a letter to your local newspaper.
- Make Your Own Newspaper. This can be completed on a computer, but good old fashioned art supplies will do. My daughter and I made our own newspaper one afternoon with markers and construction paper. Our “Sun Times News” included a feature story, local news, celebrity sitings, recipes, and arts and entertainment. We had a blast creating headlines, stories, and pictures! You could even create a troop newsletter.
- Create Upcycled Projects. This link details 34 projects kids can complete using upcycled materials. So many awesome choices that teach about environmental responsibility too!
- Go on a Virtual Field Trip. Bring the world to life! Invite someone from your community who has lived in another country to share special traditions. Include food or games from a different country. Invite the girls to share any photos from family trips. Discuss the beauty in diversity and differences.
- Create Props and Stage a Mini-Play. Putting on a play is about more than acting or playing the lead role. This fun Arthur Play Maker lists the different roles participants can play and gives simple tips for success. PBS Kids has an awesome list of plays for kids to choose from if you don’t want to tackle writing your own.Here are some fun ideas for building a castle and clouds.
- Build Robotic Hands. Such a cool project. It’s affordable, fun, and creative.
- Create Science in a Jar. My daughter would have a blast making a Hurricane in a Jar , Rain Cloud in a Jar, and Ocean Zones in a Jar. Combine these activities with a study of natural disaster preparedness or take a trip to the aquarium to explore the animals who live under the sea.
- Plan and Go on a Camp Out. This website is full of awesome camping printouts for a variety of camping skills that could be learned over a series of activities.[metaslider id=5912]
- Create a Local Lending Library. I always love spotting these lending libraries throughout the community. If your local area would benefit from a lending library, consider making this an ongoing service project.
- Perform Candy Experiments. What happens when you Experiment with Pop Rocks? What about the Mentos and Soda Experiment? Set up stations with multiple experiments for the girls to try.
- Make Newspaper Kites. A simple spring time activity. You could choose to decorate the newspaper first if you like. Talk about how kites work, create your own, then set the girls free to experiment, run, and enjoy the sun.
- Tie No Sew Fleece Blankets for Charity. These easy to make, no sew blankets require two pieces of fleece and scissors. If the girls are old enough to cut fabric and to tie a knot, they can make and donate these blankets to local shelters. Engage the girls in delivering the blankets, if possible, and discuss how they help others.
- Introduce Financial Literacy. You will know the needs of your group best, but financial literacy is an important part of building confidence and self-reliance. This could be as basic as an introduction to savings, an intermediate skill like budgeting for a shopping trip, or something advanced like recording expenditures and balancing a bank account.
- Practice Archery. See if you can locate a local range and introduce your group to archery. This is often a one-time camp skill. See if any of the girls are interested and potentially incorporate it as a once a month activity.
- Create a Mini Recycle Town. My daughter invited two friends over one afternoon after school. The two girls, also sisters, are clearly well versed in making new things out of the recycling bin. They proceeded to turn boxes and paper into magical mini towns for Pet Shop toys in just an hour.
- Introduce Wood Carving. My mother-in-law makes the most beautiful wood carvings. She gleans hours of pleasure from the entire process – from selecting the wood, to preparing it, to creating new forms. Find a woman in your local community to introduce this art form to your group. If it’s a hit, continue with more wood carving activities.
- Create Your Own Obstacle Course. Take advantage of warm weather and create an obstacle course. This will work at the park, a backyard, or even the beach! Weather turns bad? Take it to an indoor gym.
- Host a Spy Camp. Why not introduce a bit of STEM through a spy camp? This TicTac Flashlight involves a bit of prep work ahead of time (soldering), but is a terrific way to engage your group in building “spy” equipment. Have each girl bring five pennies and some sand paper to make her own Penny Battery. Then, create some secret messages using invisible ink.
Do you have ideas to add? Let me know, so I can add them to my Pinterest Board!
Photo Credits included in slide show and correspond with links.