Commando Joe’s Mini Missions  - Commando Joe's

After the success of our daily YouTube missions, we wanted to continue and share with you some more missions. Our mini-missions are a great option to keep young minds occupied whilst having fun with the family at home. It’s been a tough year for all and we think it’s super important to talk about your worries and keep creative in testing times.  According to Mind, “Young people reported worse mental health, with nearly half (46%) saying that their mental health was poor or very poor during lockdown. Just over a third (35%) said their mental health was OK, while a fifth (19%) said it was good or very good.”* With many young people saying boredom was a key cause for their decline in mental health “83% said it had made their mental health worse.”** This is why we’ve come up with new missions every month to help eliminate boredom and improve mental wellbeing.

Mini Mission: Worry Monster

The last year has been tough for all, especially for young people across the UK. Lives have changed dramatically due to the pandemic, which has inevitably caused some worries and anxiety. This is why we’ve come up with the Worry Monster! It can be really helpful in writing down your emotions during difficult times and drawing a picture to represent them can help relieve some of your worries. This activity can help you create somewhere for your worries to go. Worry Monsters come in all different shapes and sizes, just like our worries. You can be as creative as you like when imagining what your Worry Monster might look like.

You can start simple with pen and paper and draw your monster. Add googly eyes, coloured cards, fabrics to make your worry monster come alive. 

Commando Jimmy and his mini Joe’s had a go themselves and they drew up their worry monster and then got super creative and created their monsters out of Paracord. You can buy a kit from several retailers online. 

Be creative, we can’t wait to see your results.  

Mini Mission: Gratitude Jar

Appreciating the little things and practising gratitude can make you a happier person all around. Studies have shown that gratitude practice:

  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Increases happiness
  • Makes us more resilient
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces materialism
  • Makes us more socially intelligent
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Makes us kinder
  • And even makes us more likely to feel love

For today’s mini-mission we will be creating our own gratitude jar, here’s what you need:

  • Jar (use an empty food/coffee jar cleaned out)
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Stickers (optional)

Step by Step

  1. Clean out your jar.
  2. Decorate your jar with stickers. Don’t forget to decorate the lid, add your name for extra personalisation. 
  3. Cut out blank squares of paper on which to write things for which you are grateful. You can also use a small notebook for this if the pages will easily tear out and fold small enough to fit quite a few into the jar over the coming days.
  4. Start the gratitude process by writing one thing for which you’re grateful and putting your slips in the jar. 

Write “I’m thankful for ______ today because…” and fill it in as completely as possible.

It can be as simple as “I’m thankful for the delicious breakfast I had this morning because it was my favourite cereal”

Make note of things that make you and your family smile:

  • Special Memories
  • Milestones
  • Daily Wins
  • Happy Thoughts
  • Something You’re Grateful for
  • Something Funny That Happened
  1. Add a new note or drawing daily. 
  2. Look back each week to remind you of the little things in life that make you happy. 

Will you be giving this a go? Share with us your results. 

Mini Mission: T-Shirt Design

Self-expression is a great way to unwind and have some fun. In today’s mini-mission we are designing t-shirts. 

Here’s what you need:

  • White Tshirt
  • Fabric Paint
  • Fabric Pens
  • Brushes
  • Glitter Jewels
  • Felt
  • Fabric Glue

There are no set rules when it comes to designing your t-shirt, let your creativity flow. Using fabric paint is super easy for children, simply apply with brushes and dabbers to create your very own design. 

Top Tip: Place a piece of cardboard between your t-shirt to create a stable canvas. 

Fabric pens are great for smaller details and writing your name. Experiment with different colours and designs. 

Once you’ve completed the painting and drawing add some glitter and embellishments. Remember to be careful when handling the fabric glue, ask an adult for assistance if you need. Once you’ve decorated, leave your t-shirts to dry on a flat surface. 

Top Tip: Print off some templates to help draw your pictures

Alternatively, if you don’t have any fabric paints or pens, design a t-shirt with pens and paper, You can download our template here.

Happy creating!

Mini Mission: Galaxy Bottles

We’re all in need of some Monday Motivation, today we’re heading into space to make Galaxy Bottles. This simple activity requires minimal resources:

Materials Needed:

  • 3-4 colours of acrylic paint
  • Water bottle
  • Cups/Funnel
  • Cotton balls
  • Glitter
  • Water

Step 1: Grab your empty water bottle and place a few of the cotton balls in, use a pen or utensil to poke them flat. Shake some glitter on top (we recommend silver for a superstar effect).

Step 2: Get your plastic cups and fill each of them with water, to about the half-way mark. Then put 3-5 squirts of paint in each cup (blue, pink and purple create an amazing effect). Mix well until the colour appears. 

Step 3: Next pour the paint on top of the cotton balls, then repeat Step 1. So add another layer of cotton balls, pour some glitter on, then add paint. Continue this process layer by layer with different colours! You can experiment with what happens when you use more or fewer cotton balls on each layer and different coloured glitter.

Step 4: Once all the layers have been added, sellotape the lid on the bottle to avoid any spills. You can use jars and empty bottles, whatever you have to hand. 

If you’d like to watch our video attempt at Galaxy Bottles, you can do so here. Let us know what you think in the comments. 

Here are 3 fun facts about Galaxies:

  1. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek word galaxies which means “milky”
  2. There are over 170 billion galaxies known in the universe
  3. The Milky Way as a whole is moving through space at a rate of approximately 600 km per second

Share with us your results on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we can’t wait to see them. 

Mini Mission: Animal Handprints 

It’s midweek guys and we’ve all got to overcome the midweek hump. Today’s mini-mission is a short and simple one, it’s perfect to get the creativity flowing. 

All you need is:

  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Hands
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • Pens

Think about what animal you want to create today, get your colours ready. If you want a super challenge, create animals from A-Z.

A (Alligator)

B (Butterfly)

C (Cat)

D (Dog)

E (Elephant)

F (Flamingo)

G (Giraffe_

H (Hippo)

I (Iguana)

J (Jellyfish)

K (Koala)

L (Lion)

M (Monkey)

N (Narwhal)

O (Octopus)

P (Pig)

Q (Queen Snake)

R (Racoon)

S (Snake)

T (Tiger)

U (Unicorn)

V (Vampire Bat)

W (Whale)

X (Xeniades Swallowtail Butterfly)

Y (Yellow-Eyed Penguin)

Z (Zebra)

Good luck, we can’t wait to see the results from your animal handprints.

Mini Mission: Mini Terrarium 

Hands up who knows what a Terrarium is? 

It’s a mini-ecosystem made up of plants, planted to look like a miniature garden or a little world. You can use any glass container, big fish bowls are a fantastic option to get an all-round view of your mini world. 

For any terrarium, you need:

  • Clear glass container. For example, aquariums of any size, fishbowl, cookie jar, pickle jar
  • Rocks
  • Potting Soil 
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Small plants of different colours, shapes, & textures. Try to get miniature plants that aren’t going to grow too big for the container
  • Moss
  • Decorative rocks or pebbles
  • Fun items like shells, little toy animals, fairies, gnomes

Step by Step:

  1. Start by adding a layer of rocks or gravel
  2. Next, add a thick layer of sand
  3. Next, add a layer of soil
  4. Plan your seedlings of choice, make sure it’s well covered with soil
  5. Add a layer of moss
  6. Add additional small plants (cacti for example)
  7. Add your decorative items

Water your plant with a spray bottle and watch nature take its course. It’s a fantastic way to see how plants grow and little ecosystems work. 

Gather your supplies and give it a go!

Source: Mind (2020) The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health? London: Mind. Available at: mind.org.uk