Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Whistle While You Work, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,130 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,150 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Out There Kids/Whistle While You Work Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I took little Piper by the hand and off we went to frolic merrily in the field behind my house.

When was the last time you frolicked, my peeps? A day, a week, a year, or ten years? I heartily recommend a little frolicking at least once a month. It’s good for the soul, the legs, and you can soak up some Vitamin D. It’s a win-win, that frolicking.

Woman in a Meadow by Grace Hudson via Wikimedia Commons

Anyway, where was I? Right: in a field with an exuberant small fry. We weren’t here just for the pasture time, no, we were here for something serious. Something badge earning. Something I call Grass Whistling.

Never heard of it? Well, I’m hardly surprised, you anti-frolicker, you.

The glorious squawk of a grass whistle is one of the most giggle-icious sounds you’ll ever hear in the great outdoors, and anyone who can pick a blade of grass can. do. it.


Here’s how:

  1. Pick a thick piece of grass that’s about 6-8” long.
  2. Pinch the grass with the thumb and index finger of the left hand.
  3. Keeping the grass smooth and tight, press the right thumb against the left.
  4. There will be a little hole between your thumbs that is divided by the grass blade.
  5. Press your lips against the hole, blow good and hard, and get ready for giggles. You’ll be amazed how loud you can honk!

I know, I had you at ‘giggle-icious,’ am I right?

We got to honking so loudly, a flock of geese stopped by and invited us to Canada. Of course we had to decline; we were having too much fun.


photo by Laslovarga via Wikimedia Commons

It took some practice, of course, and Piper got the hang of it before I did, naturally, but we became so good we thought about starting our own two-person band. We already had Emmaline, the Bovine Princess, thoughtfully staring at us as she chewed her cud, so we were pretty sure we could drum up a respectable audience (even if half of them were barnyard animals and honking fowl).

Not only is grass whistling good for keeping you young at heart and on tune, but it’s a handy-dandy trick to know at boring parties, or when you’re waiting for your little brother to end his soccer match, or just when Mom tells you to go outside and play and your bike tire is flat. It’ll gain you friends and influence people. Okay, maybe that last one was a bit of an exaggeration, but still. It’s a life skill, chickadees.

Quite frankly, it’s right up there with frolicking.

  1. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    In the south where I grew up , we called these ” GRASS HARPS’ . Change the size of the blades of grass and you get a different tone. One of my favorite outdoor gsmes to pass along to the ones who never heard of it-a always brings a smile.
    Along with daisy chains and hollyhock dolls, and mudpie teaparties, a happy childhood memory

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I think learning how to whistle with a blade of grass was a rite of passage when I was growing up. We practiced and practiced until we had it down pat. However, I never mastered the whistle blow with your fingers on the lips. How does that work??? I sure tried for years to make it happen.

  3. Krista says:

    I remember grass whistling in elementary! When we went out for recess we would always run up the grass hill, sit down, pick our blade of grass, and blow the grass whistle. It was so much fun seeing who could whistle louder or longer. I haven’t done this since elementary. I think it’s time to try it out again and see if I still have the talent!

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