1. Rita Wakim | Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana | April 1, 2016
Community Big Brothers Big
2. PAGE 1
Table of Contents
Perler Bead Crafting
Create a Gyroid
TALLEST TOWER EVER
Author and Illustrator
Swimming at Wildurmuth
The Monroe County Library
Cats and Creativity at Pygmalion
Vintage Phoenix Comics
Bowling at the IMU
Visiting Lilly Library and the Art Museum
Are You Hungry? Yeah, Me Too
3. PAGE 2
Congrats! You’re officially a part of the Community Big Brother Big Sisters program!
I’m super excited for you :D
When I first started Big Brothers Big Sisters, I was in high school. It was a small program
and I would visit my Little Brother once a week during study hall. After participating in
the program for two years, I found out that my high school’s BBBS program used to be
much more comprehensive and attracted a lot of students. In fact, every single elementary
school in my district used to be a part of BBBS! Now, only two continued the program.
It was too late for me to try and boost up my high school’s BBBS program. I was going
to graduate in a few months and go to Indiana University. There, I found BBBS@IU,
which opened the door for me to be a Community Big Sister for Bloomington.
The program here was bigger and got a lot of attention, but I couldn’t forget my high
school experience. It was what led me to BBBS in the first place. Martin and Krista, my
first two Littles, will always have a spot in my heart, along with my Bloomington Little,
And so, I created this guidebook. This book is for YOU, future Big. But it is also for my
dwindling high school program. For my former Littles, my current Little, and any Littles
I may have in the future. So that Big Brothers Big Sisters will stay full of motivated and
So that you may be inspired and in turn, inspire your Little.
Always remember why you joined this program and the difference you are making.
Believe me, you are making a huge one! I am so, so grateful for my Littles. They’ve
taught me so much; probably more than I’ve ever taught them.
There’ll be rough patches. But there will also be times when your Little will run to you,
hug you tightly and tell you all about their day and how excited they are that you’re here,
and they’ll ask that fateful, wonderful question, “What are we going to do today?”
Hopefully, this guidebook will help you answer that question.
4. PAGE 3
Perler Bead Crafting
This a super-creative activity that involves brainpower and LEGO skills. Actually, if you
like LEGOs, you’ll love Perler Beads.
In case you’ve never seen perler beads before, here’s what they look like:
They’re super tiny! You can use perler beads to create any kind of pop-up artwork or cool
design or 8-bit character that you can think of.
Perler beads are pretty inexpensive. You can buy a kit that comes with beads and a
couple of trays for around $10.
5. PAGE 4
You use the trays to build your character or design (we made a Pikachu!):
Afterwards, to keep your design forever, you place a piece of wax paper over it, and then
iron your creation!
WAIT! Be very, very careful when ironing over the plastic tray! You only want the
perler beads to melt, not the tray itself.
6. PAGE 5
Be careful while ironing: Bigs, you might want to take over a little here.
Now, your cool creation is finished! Go on to create another one!
Oh boy. Sometimes, there’s no winners or losers. Sometimes, things settle in a draw. A
drawING BATTLE! >:O
First, get a huuuge piece of paper (the art room at the Boys and Girls Club can help with
Next get two pencils; or two markers, or crayons, or colored pencils, of different colors.
Decide who will strike first! That person will draw their first warrior.
Next, you draw your warrior.
Now the first person adds a drawing on to their warrior to make him stronger.
As the game progresses, the warriors become harder and harder to defeat. You have to be
really creative to come up with ways to win against your enemy’s new tricks!
Finally, it’s over. You’ve run out of ideas or paper. A winner is declared.
Or, maybe, it ends in a draw.
7. PAGE 6
Create a Gyroid
This idea’s inspiration is credited to TheBitBlock on YouTube. Images provided here are also from
What is a gyroid? Well, if you’ve ever played Animal Crossing:
Gyroids are these cute little dancing figures. There’s dozens of them! And they all look
different and unique. Here, we’re going to show you how to create your own little gyroid.
First, you and your Little are going to need some Air Dry Modeling Clay (the art room at
the Boys and Girls Club may be able to help with this!)
You’ll also need:
A plastic knife
A small jar of water
And you’re ready to create a gyroid!
Model the body of your gyroid out of the air dry modeling clay: it can be shaped like a
rectangle with a curved top, or a cylinder. It all depends on how you want your gyroid to
8. PAGE 7
As you can see, there’s a lot of different kinds of gyroids!
After you’ve made your gyroid’s body, carve in your gyroid’s face: use the back of the
plastic knife at first and only use the blade if necessary for details.
9. PAGE 8
Take a toothpick and break it in half. Stick the first toothpick piece on the right side of
your gyroid (where you want his arm to be). Stick the second toothpick piece on the left
side (where his other arm goes!)
Model the gyroid’s arms out of clay. Most gyroids have one arm pointing upwards and
one pointing downwards, since they’re always dancing! But your gyroid can have his
arms facing any direction. Shape a small piece of clay into a rounded rectangle, then bend
it for the gyroid’s elbow.
Stick the clay arms onto the toothpicks, since they are there to support the gyroid’s arms.
Smooth the arm’s clay with the body’s clay (this helps the arm stick!)
10. PAGE 9
Details! Does you gyroid have a little rooftop hat? Add it using modeling clay! Does your
gyroid have a little rim? Add that as well. The clay is going to dry soon so it’s important
to add any last details to your gyroid now!
If you do add lots of details, be sure that you smooth the added clay to the body, so as to
keep the gyroid stable and help the details stick.
Dip you fingers in water and smooth over your gyroid. You can do this with a paintbrush
as well. Smooth your gyroid lightly, but enough so that cracks in the drying clay
disappear. This will help your gyroid to look smooth and polished, and also make it
easier to paint the gyroid!
Wait a bit (not too long) for the gyroid to dry. It should feel hard, like a rock, instead of
soft like clay. During this time, put away things you won’t need anymore and talk about
ideas for painting your gyroid.
11. PAGE 10
Oh, boy :D This is the fun part!! Go ahead and paint your little gyroid!
Some tips: start with the overall body color first. It’s easier to do details over the body
base color than it is to paint the base color around details.
Isn’t your gyroid cool? Set the little guy aside to dry. If you do this activity towards the
beginning of your visit, he should be ready to go home at the end of the day.
TALLEST TOWER EVER
At the Boys and Girls Club, there is usually a box of building blocks somewhere. This
box of blocks is what you will most likely use to build the TALLEST TOWER EVER.
However, if you cannot find a box of blocks, just about any material will do.
The goal? Break the laws of physics and build the tallest tower imaginable! Sometimes
you’ll have to tear down your tower and start over; that’s okay. You might need to plan
with your Little beforehand how exactly you can make this tower even taller, while
keeping it steady.
Set a height you want to reach, such as how tall your Little is, how tall you are, or even
There are actually two different games of Ninja and this guidebook describes both.
The first game of Ninja is essentially HARDCORE HIDE-AND-SEEK. But seriously, if
your Little is a hide-and-seek champion, try playing this version of Ninja. The rules? The
exact same as regular hide-and-seek, with one exception: the hider has to keep moving.
He or she can’t stay still. They have to keep moving hiding places.
12. PAGE 11
The key? Sneak past the seeker on your way to new hiding places. This game can be
made even more intense by playing it outside, or in a public place like the library; it’s
easier for the hider to sneak around and harder for the seeker to spot him or her.
After a certain time, say five or ten minutes, if the seeker hasn’t found the hider, the hider
The second game of Ninja involves discipline, strength, and balance:
Stand across from your Little
Keep your knees bent
Count to three, and jump into a fighting stance
Keep this fighting stance steady and perfectly still
Count to three again, and move stances once more
o Your Little’s goal to touch you, your goal is to move away and not get
Count to three, move stances
o Goals have switched; your Little moves away, you try and make contact
with your Little
The game continues until someone gets touched!
This game can be played with multiple people, which makes it even more intense :P
How low can you go? Hang on – this is a different kind of Limbo! This game is a great
way to get some physical fitness while indoors. To play this game of Limbo, you need to
be somewhat flexible.
First, bend your body like a bridge. If you’re really flexible, you can do it facing
Have your Little do the same. Now you’re both bridges!
Crawl around like a crab.
The first to lose their balance loses.
The loser from this portion of the game has to do either five push-ups or ten sit-ups while
the winner cheers them on!
For the second portion of Limbo!, get on your hands and feet as though you were
Form a starting line and finishing line (usually a good way to structure this would
be across the room and back)
13. PAGE 12
Hop! Hop as quickly as you can!
The first to the finish line is the winner!
The loser from this portion has to do ten jumping jacks.
The third part of Limbo! is a little difficult, but not impossible.
Get down on your belly
Set a finish line
Crawl forward on your knees, elbows and belly to the finish line.
First to the line is the winner!
The loser from this part must do five squats.
You can add lots of your own fun exercises and mini-games to Limbo!, or repeat the
pattern given here.
What is ooblick?
When I was a kid, ooblick was a substance that NASA would send to schools across the
country. It was soft, slimy and green in color. Whenever we squeezed it, it would become
solid, and when we let go, it became liquid. Ooblick defied the laws of psychics!!
Well, that’s what our teachers told us, anyway. But since then, I’ve learned to make my
very own glow-in-the-dark ooblick. It’s a top secret recipe, and I’m sharing it here with
Now, this ooblick only glows in BLACKLIGHT, like the mini-golf place at College
Mall. If you really want to, you can buy a blacklight from Amazon for around $15-$20.
Otherwise, this will be plain ooblick with the ability to glow in the dark.
First, you’re going to have to prepare a place to get messy. Ooblick is icky, drippy fun
and to prevent a major mess, put down some newspapers wherever you plan on playing
with your ooblick.
14. PAGE 13
My mom wasn’t too happy about this :/
Ingredients for glow-in-the-dark ooblick:
1 16oz box of cornstarch
2 cups Tonic Water with Quinine (regular water works too!)
A few drops of colored food dye (any color works! You can even mix dyes to get
a preferred color.)
Slowly mix in the two cups of tonic water with the box of cornstarch in a large bowl.
Use a plastic spoon or fork is possible. If it’s too thick, add a tablespoon more water.
Too runny? Add a tablespoon more cornstarch.
Ensure your ooblick is nice and smooth. Now add the food dye.
15. PAGE 14
Voila! Top secret, NASA-approved ooblick, ready to be squeezed and played with.
If you have a blacklight, turn off the lights and switch on the blacklight… BAM!
16. PAGE 15
This is a great crafting activity for both boys and girls! Creating thread bracelets can take
a little bit of practice, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you can personalize your
bracelet any way you want!
Pick out at least three colors of thread. You can find this thread at almost any craft store
or craft section. It looks like this:
This kind of thread is thick and soft and perfect for making bracelets! So, pick out some
colors. Remember, at least three are necessary. I’m using orange, dark green, and pale
Okay, got your colors? Good! Next step!
17. PAGE 16
Measure the thread so that each one can go around your wrist/ankle four times. Cut each
of the threads to an equal length. This will help keep the pattern equal and fair.
Tie all three threads together using a double knot. Leave some thread loose on the other
side of the knot: this will come in handy when you start making the actual bracelet
Secure the loose threads under something sturdy. Another way to do this is to make a
loop with the extra thread and put the loop around something sturdy (a friend’s pinkie, or
even your own toe for example!) I put my loose thread under my laptop.
18. PAGE 17
Okay, this is where things get a little tricky! We’re actually going to start making the
bracelet pattern now. The pattern I’m using is the Tornado pattern, as it is the simplest.
There are many other great patterns you can use; you can find a lot using library
resources or your computer.
To start the Tornado pattern, separate one thread away from the others:
19. PAGE 18
Loop that main thread around the other threads to make a knot:
Tighten that knot until it reaches the top of the bracelet (note: be careful when doing this!
Don’t tighten the knot too badly or the Tornado pattern won’t appear. Don’t tie it too
loose either, or the other thread colors will show up under the main thread’s pattern)
Keep knotting the main thread around the others until you get about an inch of this
color’s Tornado pattern:
Now continue with the next color! I went from orange to dark green:
20. PAGE 19
Knotting and making a nice pattern takes some practice. Continue repeating Step Five
until you have a full length bracelet.
Be sure to leave about two inches of loose thread at the end of the bracelet!! You will
need this in order to tie the bracelet together!
21. PAGE 20
Once you have a full length of bracelet, tie the loose inch at the end to the loose inch at
the top while the bracelet is around your wrist/ankle. Snip off the extra thread that
remains, but leave a couple centimeters of thread after the knot.
There you go! A Tornado pattern thread bracelet; if you like, you can continue practicing
this pattern, or you can go out and try and find some harder ones. There’s a bunch of
great creations out there to explore!
One of the activities we used to do in my art classes was draw portraits of each other. It
was a great way to express creativity and also practice drawing from a reference. We also
22. PAGE 21
would try and draw each other without looking at the paper, or draw each other without
lifting the pencil from the paper.
There are many way to do self-portraits, and they’re all equally fun! Painting them
however, gives the image a sense of importance, especially if it’s on canvas.
Have your Little sketch out a portrait of you on canvas and then paint it. You do the
same, but sketch out and paint your Little. At the end, you guys both have a great portrait
to take home! This doesn’t require any art skills at all. Art is subjective and supposed to
be fun; you can do abstract versions of yourselves if you like. Experiment with this
activity and you’ll find lots of artistic opportunities waiting!
Author and Illustrator
One day, Thea and I had just come back from the Library and were hanging around at the
Art Room at the Boys and Girls Club. She took a ruler, a pair of scissors, a pencil and
some paper, and made a checkerboard pattern on the paper. She then cut out the squares
and stapled them together to make a little booklet.
(Note: In order to simplify the checkerboard pattern, simply draw each line one ruler
She had me number the booklet pages, and when I asked her what she was making, she
said a story.
“What kind of story?” I asked.
“The story of what we did today. You write it.”
And so I did. I wrote down what we had done that day, and when I was finished, Thea
took the booklet and added little drawings to each page. When it was all done, we
presented it to Thea’s parents.
Something as simple as making a little booklet can be a great activity and allows kids to
explore their interests. Some days, you can be the Illustrator and your Little can be the
Author. Have fun coming up with story ideas. Maybe you can even make a little comic
book! Whatever you do, allow your Little to contribute as much as possible. Maybe some
days you’re just the Editor ;)
23. PAGE 22
Swimming at Wildurmuth
This can be a great outdoor activity when it’s warm outside (which isn’t very often,
which makes this an extra special treat!). Wildurmuth, attached to the School of Public
Health, is an indoor gym at Indiana University. Most of the gym activities here (cardio
machines and weight lifting) are probably a bit too advanced for your Little, but Royer
Pool allows you and your Little to have fun in fitness together!
24. PAGE 23
Royer Pool is the aquatic center at Wildurmuth, and is closer to the Boys and Girls Club
than the outdoor pool and the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center at the SRSC.
A quick warning: always alert your Little’s family beforehand if you plan on taking
your Little to Royer. You’re going to need their permission, as well as resources to take
your Little swimming (bathing suit, change of clothes, goggles, etc.)
Royer Pool does have family hours on Saturday and Sunday from 2:30-5:00 PM, but for
most pairings, the best time to go would be from 4:30-7:00 PM. *Noon to 1:30 PM are
faculty hours only, so don’t attend during that time.
ROYER POOL HOURS
Monday - Friday 6am-7:30am; noon-1:30pm*;4:30pm-7pm
Saturday - Sunday 2:30pm-5pm
The Monroe County Library
25. PAGE 24
The Monroe County Library is right down the street from the Boys and Girls Club. It’s a
huge, family-friendly library with an entire floor devoted to children’s books. There is
also a play center and a computer room, and board games for cold or rainy days in.
Monroe County Library almost always has a kid-friendly event happening, so you can
attend those with your Little as well. My Little and I attended an art exhibit for Where the
Wild Things Are, and had a blast! We also learned a lot about the artist/author of the
book, Maurice Sendak, and drew our own Wild Things (and crowns!).
Monroe County Library is a good place to go when your Little is tired or isn’t sure what
she/he wants to do. There’s something for everyone there.
Also, if your Little happens to be autistic or mentally disabled, there are events
specifically made for them at MCL as well, such as the Autism Friendly Movie night.
MONROE COUNTY LIBRARY HOURS
Monday - Thursday 9 am - 9 pm
Friday - Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday Noon - 6 pm
26. PAGE 25
Cats and Creativity at Pygmalion
NOTE: Pygmalion has actual cats at their store! If you or your Little are allergic or
scared of cats, this is not an ideal location to go to!
Pygmalion is an art supply store right next to Monroe County Library. As the title of this
section suggests, there are actual cats at Pygmalion, and they are very sweet and don’t
mind being petted. If your Little loves animals, this is a safe place to enjoy being near a
There are also plenty of cool art supplies at Pygmalion, and you can try out a lot of them.
Many of the offerings at Pygmalion are kid-friendly, so if your Little has a love for
coloring, painting, drawing, or sculpting, this would be a good place to go to let out your
27. PAGE 26
Kiki, one of the cats at Pygmalion.
Monday – Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm
28. PAGE 27
Vintage Phoenix Comics
While you can find a lot of great graphic novels at Monroe County Library, if you want
to check out the most recent issues of popular comic books, Vintage Phoenix is the place
to go! They also have a great collection of older comics, as well as newer ones featuring
popular characters such as Spider-man, Batman, Green Lantern, and Iron Man.
Vintage Phoenix also has a kid-friendly section of comics that are suitable for any age.
This is a good place to visit for your nerdy interests, but it’s very easy to spend money
here, so be careful!
29. PAGE 28
VINTAGE PHOENIX COMICS HOURS
Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: 11 am – 7 pm
Tuesday: 11 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 12 am – 5 pm
Bowling at the IMU
Indiana Memorial Union is the center of Indiana University and is well-known to IU
students. There is a bowling alley within IMU called The Back Alley that is often used
for Bowl for Kids’ Sake, an annual charity bowling event for BBBS. During Bowl for
Kids’ Sake, you and your Little can bowl for free at The Back Alley.
30. PAGE 29
On normal days, bowling at IMU costs a student $2.50 per game and $2.50 per show
rental, while prices for the public are $3.00 per game and $3.00 per shoe rental (prices go
up $0.50 on Friday and Saturday). However, bowling is a great bonding activity that
encourages competition and good sportsmanship. There are also plenty of chances to get
discounted or free games, so be on the lookout for those!
THE BACK ALLEY HOURS
Hours for The Back Alley are slightly irregular, so be sure to check before heading there
that they are open!
Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 11 pm
Friday: 9 am – 2 am
Saturday: 12 am – 2 am
Sunday 12 am – 11 pm
31. PAGE 30
Visiting Lilly Library and the Art Museum
Lilly Library and the Art Museum are across from each other, with the Showalter
Fountain in the center (if you are a student and remember the story of the small fish from
Freshman Orientation, this is good time to share it! :D*)
Lilly Library and the Art Museum are probably better suited for older Littles, but both
locations are great learning environments for younger Littles as well.
At Lilly Library, there is wide array of old, rare literature and artwork, and every month
or so there is a theme that the Library follows. One month there was a showcase on
famous children’s literature, one month was on magic and wizardry, another month on
puzzles and cryptology. This is a quiet place to look at older books and research
interesting topics, so a shy Little interested in such things may find it perfect! The Library
is free to anyone who wishes to attend.
32. PAGE 31
The Art Museum follows Lilly Library’s idea of themes as well, with changing exhibits
every month or so. There are three levels to the art museum, and each one showcases art
from different parts of the world, as well as the monthly exhibit. Sometimes there are free
concerts and family days too, so keep an eye on the website for cool events! The Art
Museum is also free to anyone who wishes to attend.
LILLY LIBRARY HOURS
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
ART MUSEUM HOURS
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm
33. PAGE 32
*The story of the small fish: One of the fish in Showalter Fountain is different from the
others. The last time IU won a basketball championship, all the fish were stolen. All but
one was found, and so the fish they couldn’t find was replaced. There are many rumors
about this missing fish; some say former basketball coach Bob Knight took it and IU
won’t get it back until they hire him again. Others say IU won’t get the fish back until
they win another championship; some say IU will never win another championship until
they get the fish back!
Normally you do have to purchase admission to WonderLab, but if you have your BBBS
badge you and your Little’s admission fees are waived!
WonderLab Science Museum is a great, kid-friendly location not that far from Boys and
Girls Club. Art exhibits, live animal shows, changing themes, and a garden make
WonderLab a great place for any interest. There are also events every week in lots of
different topics, from birds to lizards to opera to Jedi Knights!
34. PAGE 33
WonderLab is an awesome, fun learning environment, especially for younger Littles.
Tuesday – Saturday: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
First Friday of Month: 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Right across from the Boys and Girls Club is a small local park with an outdoor theater.
When its warm outside, the park is a fun place to try out some of the games mentioned
above (such as Ninja or Limbo!) or something traditional like tag or hide-and-seek. The
outdoor theater is the PERFECT place for silly dancing, so you can play some music if
There’s also playground equipment like slides, monkey bars and a merry-go-round that
are also lots of fun. Try and be careful though; you don’t want to come back to the Boys
and Girls Club with an injury.
Some days, your Little may just want to relax on a swing and talk with you, and that’s
35. PAGE 34
Are You Hungry? Yeah, Me Too
Learn this and don’t forget it: your Little is probably hungry. They’ll probably bug you
about it forever until you get them something to eat, and then they won’t eat it.
This will happen at least once, I promise you, especially if you have a younger Little.
There are lots of cool places to eat around Bloomington, but here are some things to keep
There is usually some sort of snack at the Boys and Girls Club for the Littles to
Be aware of any and all allergies and dietary restrictions your Little may have.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. You’re better off talking to your Little’s
guardians before giving your Little any food at all.
Don’t just feed your Little junk food like chips and candy. Yes there will be a
crash. Either you will have to deal with it or your Little’s guardians will. Either
way, somebody’s not gonna be happy. Just…please don’t, I’m begging you, I
learned this the hard way.
You don’t have to break the bank to feed your Little reasonably healthy food.
Right next to Boys and Girls Club is a little Turkish café that sells $2 lentil soup.
Near the library is a CVS where you can get a small bag of popcorn or a piece of
fruit for a hungry Little.
In fact, you can even bring some wrapped snacks or fruit from home for your
Little (again, check with their guardians!)
There are many ways to go about solving the “I’m hungry” complaint, just be sure to not
do anything that harms you or your Little in the process!
1. Ask their guardians. Always. If you plan on doing something with your Little and
you’re not sure if it’s a 100% good idea, ask your Little’s guardians; you will
never go wrong on this.
2. If you have a friend that’s interested in the BBBS program, bring them along one
day to meet your Little!
3. Your Little has about two hours with you every week. Keep the focus on your
Little during that time (put away your phone – Instagram can wait).
4. Take pictures! These are gonna be great memories someday, and both you and
your Little will be glad to have them.
5. Never take your Little anywhere where you and your Little are alone. This is to
protect you and your Little from liability. Always be somewhere public.
6. Remember why you joined this program!
36. PAGE 35
About the Authors
Rita Wakim (Me!): Hi there! I’ve been a Big Sister for about three
years now, going on four. I love this program and decided to write
this guidebook to help any incoming Community Bigs. I love
strawberries, Star Wars, and going to the library with my Little, Thea.
Thea: Our energizer and creative thinker. A brand new Little Sister, with plenty of ideas
and imagination. Loves Barbie, Chocolate Moose ice cream, and playing hide-and-go-
seek (and usually winning).
Aubrey Shumway: Editor and photographer, as well as a native
Bloomington resident. She helped find a lot of cool, kid-friendly
outdoor locations for Bigs and Littles to check out! A Big Sister
hopeful for next year. Loves classic literature, Mother Bear’s pizza,
and playing harp music.
Michael Wakim: Guidebook engineer and crafter. My actual little brother,
he’s got a lot of wacky, original ideas. Loves origami, Japanese food, and his
gecko Echo. He helped bring forward a lot of great ideas for indoor activities.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana:
Team authorization and guide distributer. The Site-
Based Match Support for Bloomington.