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First Step in 4-H? The 4-H Cloverbud Program

Tuesday, July 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rhonda Williams and Bruce Zimmer, Ohio 4-H
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The primary goal of the 4-H Cloverbud program is to promote children’s healthy development—mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally.

The 4-H Cloverbud program is an informal educational experience through which parents, other interested adults, and youth help young people develop confidence, social skills, decision-making abilities, subject matter knowledge, and physical skills. The program allows for and encourages creativity and play. It is an excellent opportunity for children to reach their fullest potential because early life experiences, even subtle ones, affect future development.

Typically, 4-H Cloverbud children explore these subject areas: healthy lifestyle, environmental and earth science, citizenship and civic education, plants and animals, consumerism and family science, science and technology, personal development, and community and expressive arts.

The 4-H Cloverbud program is developmentally age-appropriate for youth age 5 and in kindergarten to age 8 and in the third grade. Children are involved in noncompetitive group activities, rather than individual projects. In doing so, the children learn life skills, which include getting along with others and feeling good about themselves.

The program brings members, parents, and volunteers together to have fun and learn to work together in meetings, activities, and special events. Parents are encouraged to become involved. Children can be involved in 4-H Cloverbuds in a variety of settings that include the following: 4-H clubs, classroom settings, after-school programs, camps, and day camps.

Ohio 4-H professionals have developed a wide array of resources for use in managing a 4-H Cloverbud program that are described on the Cloverbud Resources page. Here are a few of them:

·         The 4-H Cloverbud Volunteer Guidebook provides an overview of the program and quick reference for helpers.

·         My 4-H Cloverbud Year helps Cloverbuds track their activities and events. Finally, a “project book” that helps them feel like the big kids!

·         The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities includes hundreds of age-appropriate activities and lessons.

·         Cloverbuds can explore new topics and share answers to the easy questions posed on Clover Cubes. Twelve topics, one per cube, with six discussion prompts on each.

·         Choose and Tell Cards are a fun introduction to public speaking. The colorful, oversized deck includes instructions and materials list for 50 easy demonstration speeches.

·         4-H Cloverbud Blog houses lesson, activities and ideas for Cloverbud programming.

Publications are available at extensionpubs.osu.edu. Bulk discounts and partner pricing for state 4-H offices is available.

National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals


701 Exposition Place, Suite 206 | Raleigh, NC 27615 | T: (919) 232-0112 | E: contact@nae4hydp.org