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Cooking with Cloverbuds: Apples, Apples, and More Apples!

Everyone loves apples!  And fall is a great time to check out all the varieties of apples available.  Cloverbuds will have their favorite but bring in different kinds of apples for a tasting party.  Before you show them the apples read the story The Little Red House with No Doors and No Window and a Star Inside. Here is a link to the story: https://www.ncagr.gov/agscool/commodities/redhouse.htm

See if they can guess the answer to the riddle before you finish the story.  After you show them the star inside the apple, let your Cloverbuds taste the other varieties of apples you brought and let them decide which kind is their favorite by making an apple graph.

Below are some other apples activities and recipes to enjoy.

Activity 1:  Apple Science

When apples are exposed to air they start to turn brown. Try experimenting with kitchen ingredients and see which items will work so apples do not turn brown.

You will need: milk, baking soda mixed with water, vinegar, lemon juice, 6 small bowls, knife for cutting the apples and of course apples.  In small bowls put each of the ingredients and leave one bowl with nothing.

Cut up your apples and place them in the bowls. Pour each ingredient over the apples and wait and see what happens. (While waiting you could read a story about How Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro or choose any book about apples.) Check on your apples and see which item worked best. Discuss with your Cloverbuds why they think one worked better than another.

Activity 2: Apple Art

Use your apple star and dip in paint to have Cloverbuds make apples creatures. You will need paint, construction paper, markers, paper towels for clean-up, and plastic bag paint shirts to protect clothes.

Activity 3: Apple Snacks

  • Apples sandwiches – Cut apple in round slices so you can see the star. Cut out the middle with the seeds. Spread with peanut butter, hazelnut spread or cream cheese. Fill with raisins, chocolate chips, coconut or whatever snack you would like.
  • Apple Pie in a Cup – Layer in a cup diced apples, graham cracker, and whipped topping. Don’t forget the caramel topping.
  • Yogurt Delight –Layer apples in a cup and top with yogurt. You can add sprinkles too.

Let the fun begin as you explore the world of apples with your Cloverbuds!

Autumn Activities for Cloverbuds

It seems like summer flew by and we are looking towards autumn. This is the time to enjoy some of those last outdoor activities before the weather turns really cold.

Start Simple.

Activities do not have to be complicated and require a lot of planning. Just doing things together is important. What might you do?

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin to paint or carve
  2. Rake up a pile of leaves to play in – Remember to think about safety and make sure that the pile is deep enough if your children are going to jump in it.
  3. Take a walk – visit a local park or your own backyard and enjoy the sights of autumn. Ask your child to describe how nature looks different at this time of year.
  4. Pick apples together. Eat them plain or make a salad or dessert from what you bring home.

Fall is also a great time to try new science activities or get a little crafty. Try these activities:

 

How Do Leaves Change Colors

from https://www.123homeschool4me.com/why-do-leaves-change-color-science_52

 

Supplies:

Glass jars

Coffee Filters

Leaves

Rubbing Alcohol

On your nature walk collect a variety of leaves. Sort the leaves by color into the glass containers. Cover with the rubbing alcohol and grind the leaves up.

Make a cone shape from the coffee filter and place the tip in the container. Allow to sit long enough to absorb the liquid. It may take a little while to absorb the liquid. As the liquid travels up the coffee filter, it separates into the colors that were inside the leaf.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT…

Plants create the oxygen that we breathe through photosynthesis. They turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. We breathe the oxygen. The plants use the glucose to grow. Photosynthesis means “putting together with light”. Chlorophyll is used for photosynthesis and gives plants their green color.

Sunlight is an important part of photosynthesis. In the winter when the days are shorter, plants are exposed to less sunlight. Because of this lack of sunlight, plants go into a resting state. They use the glucose that they stored over the summer to live through the winter. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves and we start to see the fall colors like orange and yellow which have been in the leaves all along.

Leaf People

This is a simple activity that you can get creative with.

Collect a variety of leaves of different shapes and sizes. You can also collect small twigs and other natural materials to use. Have on hand craft supplies such as google eyes.

Using glue, glue dots or double sided tape, attach the leaves to a piece of paper create people (or even a favorite animal). The leaves might be all the parts of the person – head, body, arms and legs. You can also use the leaf as the head/body and use twigs as arms and legs. Just allow your child to be creative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images from MyMommyStyle.com, handsonaswegrow.com, fun-a-day.com, smallhandsbigworld.com

Fall is a great time to explore activities with your Cloverbud age youth.

Cloverbuds….Moving to the Next Level

Finally!  It’s an exciting time for a Cloverbud when they are ready to take 4-H to the next level and become engaged in 4-H projects like their older siblings or older club members.  How can you, as a volunteer, help them to be successful during this time of transition?

First of all, does your club have some type of “ceremony” acknowledging this milestone?  This ceremony could be a graduation activity, a special induction or initiation ceremony, or something else that is appropriate for your club.  In addition to some type of acknowledgement activity, you might want to plan a meeting with the Cloverbuds and their parents to explain the different types of projects and the opportunities that are available to members who are eight and in the third grade and older.  Take time to explain that projects are primarily self-directed but there is help available.  Let them know your expectations in terms of project completion and project deadlines.  Help them to be realistic in project selection for their first year.  Encourage them to take one or two projects, rather than several, so that the member and the parent do not become overwhelmed and discouraged.  Lastly, check in with them throughout the project year to be sure that they are on target and meeting their goals.

It might be helpful to assign an older 4-H member to serve as a mentor for the younger member.  The older 4-H member should have similar project interests and be willing to assist the younger member with their project work.

Celebrate and enjoy this momentous occasion along with your Cloverbuds, as they move to the next level!

Focus your Head, Heart, and Hands on the 4th H at the Fair!

Although fairs might have a reputation for deep fried foods and rides, there are plenty of ways to make a day at the fair healthier for you and your young child.

Here are some suggestions:

HEAD

  • Plan ahead. Before you head to the fair, offer your child a healthy meal or snack.  Fresh or frozen fruit is a good choice, since it might be difficult to find at the fair.
  • Seek out healthier food options at the fair. Most fairs offer some or all of these items. Although some contain added sugar or a fair amount of sodium, they are healthier choices than corn dogs, fries, and elephant ears.
    • Corn on the cob
    • Roasted nuts
    • Dipped fruits
    • Pickles
    • Popcorn
    • Turkey leg (often big enough for the whole family!)
  • Don’t be fooled! For example, before you order a “fruit smoothie” ask if it has real fruit in it or if it comes from a mix.
  • Avoid smoking areas and ask that tobacco and e-cigarette policies be enforced so children won’t breathe secondhand smoke.

HEART

  • Getting your heart rates up by walking depends on comfortable feet. You and your child will see and do more at the fair if you both wear the right shoes.  Athletic shoes might be better than sandals, as you might need to walk through gravel, dirt, grass, straw, or even mud.
  • Help your child identify one thing he or she really loves about the fair, and spend plenty of time making the most of that experience. It might be a ride, a game, a certain barn, or a petting zoo. If it involves a sweet or fried treat, choose a reasonable serving size or consider splitting it among several people. For example, one funnel cake can serve up to 4-6 people. After the treat, enjoy some lower sugar and lower fat items at the fair.

HANDS

  • Carry a water bottle so your child can stay hydrated without loading up on sugary soda with empty calories. Save money by refilling the water bottle at the drinking fountain. For a fun beverage, order a hand-shaken lemonade with half the usual sugar.
  • Slap on a hat and spread on plenty of sunscreen to avoid getting sunburned, even when the day is a little cloudy.
  • Avoid spreading disease by not eating in the barns, washing hands (yours and your child’s) before you eat, and washing hands after touching animals. If you can’t find hand-washing stations with soap and water, use hand sanitizers.

Cooking with Cloverbud Science

Kids love to experiment, so what better way than by using kitchen science? The best part about beginning kitchen science is a lot of ingredients are already available as common items in the kitchen. Children will be able to:

  1. Experience scientific method

When looking at scientific method, there are basically five points to take a look at:

  • Observe/Question: What do you want to find out?
  • Hypothesis: Predict what will happen.
  • Experiment: Conduct you experiment.
  • Draw Conclusions: What happened? Was your prediction correct?
  • Share Results: What did you learn? Share with your fellow Cloverbuds
  1. Explore the differences between a mixture, solution and a reaction

A mixture is when two or more items are combined and no reaction takes place. A solution is a type of mixture that is formed when one substance dissolves in a liquid with no reaction.  A reaction occurs when two materials are combined and a reaction occurs or something happens.

Materials list for each Cloverbud: ¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, ½ t sugar, ¼ c water, 1 t baking soda, ¼ c vinegar, three small cups, small stick for stirring, small snack baggies and one sandwich size zip lock bag. Prepare one baggie for each dry ingredient.

Activity 1

  1. Have the Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they put salt and pepper together in a small cup.
  2. Have the children mix salt and pepper together in the small cup.

Did anything happen? Can you still see the salt and pepper? Did your prediction come true? What is a mixture? What other ingredients could you use to make a mixture?

Snack mixes make great mixtures because you can still see what ingredients you used.  You can use any snack ingredients such as pretzels, cereal, veggie chips, peanuts, or corn chips. A fun activity is to have several different snack items available and let the Cloverbuds make up their own recipe and name for a snack mix.

Activity 2

  1. Have the Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they put sugar and water together.
  2. Have them stir the sugar and water together in a small cup.

Did anything happen? Can you still see the water and sugar? Did your prediction come true? What is a solution? What other ingredients could you use to make a solution?

Smoothies work for making a solution. Here is a simple fruit smoothie recipe: 8 strawberries 1 banana and ¼ cup milk. Put in a blender to combine.

Activity 3

  1. Have Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they mix vinegar and baking soda.
  2. Put baking soda into sandwich size zip lock bag. Pour vinegar into small cups. Place cup into plastic baggie and seal. Dump the vinegar out of the cup and watch what happens.

Did anything happen? Did your prediction come true? What is a reaction? What other ingredients could you use to make a reaction?

Because of yeast, bread making is another way to show a reaction.  Mix together 1 ½ c warm water, 1 T honey, 1 ½ t salt, 1 T yeast. Let sit 5-10 minutes until there is bubbling or a foam on the top. Next knead in 3 ½ – 4 cups flour until it is no longer sticky. Make small balls (for number of Cloverbuds) and cover for 20 minutes. Preheat oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees. Bake 15-20 minutes.

 

These are just some fun activities you can do to encourage learning by doing. Not only will your Cloverbuds have fun, but they will also be learning some science knowledge.

Sound Science: Craft Stick Kazoos

We often think of science and the arts as being on opposite ends of the subject matter spectrum. In reality, the two are much more connected than many of us realize. Music is a prime example of this concept. It is possible to enjoy the beautiful music that is produced by an instrument, while at the same time having an appreciation for the mechanics that make the music possible.

In this activity, Cloverbuds will construct a kazoo, learn to produce sound, and investigate how a musical instrument works.

Materials needed:

  • Jumbo Craft Sticks
  • Large Rubber Bands
  • Small Rubber Bands
  • Straws
  • Scissors

Steps:

  1. Start with a large craft stick and a large rubber band. Wrap the rubber band from end to end on the craft stick.
  2. Cut two pieces from the straw approximately 1 inch long. Place one piece of straw under the rubber band about 1 inch from the end of the craft stick. Place the other piece of straw on the opposite end of the craft stick on top of the rubber band. See Photo 1.
  3. Place another craft stick on top of the first, sandwiching the straws in between. Fasten each end of the craft sticks together with the small rubber bands. See Photo 2.
  4. Put the edge of the kazoo up to your lips and blow. Experiment with different positions and blowing at different strengths to see what happens.

Photo 1

Photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Cloverbuds have finished making their kazoos, ask questions. Why do they think the kazoo makes a sound? What would happen if the straws were closer together or farther apart? What if the straws were bigger? If time permits, let them experiment to see if their guesses are correct.

Kazoos work on the same principle as most woodwind instruments. The musician blows air into the instrument, which causes vibration of a membrane or reed (or in this case, a rubber band). The vibration inside the instrument then produces sound. Kazoos do not have buttons or valves like other instruments, so the player must use their voice to change the pitch of the sound produced.

Once your Cloverbuds have learned to play their kazoos, see if they can play a song. You can have them perform for their parents or other club members. Science and art- a beautiful combination!

Sources:

Laying a Foundation for Mental Health Conversations with Cloverbud Members

Talking about mental health with our youngest 4-H members is a daunting task.  It is not easy to explain topics like depression, anxiety, and suicide to children, but it is vital that we have these important discussions.  Why is it so important?  There are some hard facts:

  • 1 In every 5 American youth live with a mental health disorder.
  • The median age of diagnosis for anxiety disorder is 11 years old.
  • In Ohio, the leading cause of death for youth ages 8 to 10 is suicide.

When breaching the topic of mental health with young children, it is okay to start slow.  As adults, we can help our young members begin to understand what specific emotions look like and how important it is to verbalize what we are feeling to others.  Here are three simple ideas to get you started:

  1. Ask the right questions. Small talk can be a big tool when it comes to helping youth understand emotions. Instead of asking ‘how was school today?’ try asking questions about how youth felt during the day, such as ‘What is one thing that made you [worried, angry, excited, proud, etc.] today?’ or ‘When you finished your test today, how did you feel?’  These questions help youth connect specific emotions with circumstances, as well as developing self-awareness and reflection.
  2. Set the example. If we want our youth to tell us about how they are doing, we have to be willing to share parts of ourselves with them as well. When a 4-Her asks you ‘how are you today?,’ do not answer with ‘fine,’ ‘okay,’  or ‘well.’  Take this small amount of time to give an answer with detail that connects an emotion with an experience.  “Today I am happy because I got to have lunch with an old friend,” “Today I am anxious because I have to give a big presentation at work tomorrow.”  When you share with youth this way, they will be more likely to be able to verbalize their own emotions and experiences with you in return.
  3. Schedule it in. Make talking about emotions a regular part of your Cloverbud meetings. This could be as simple as asking youth to point how they’re feeling on an emotions face chart upon arrival, stating a specific emotion at the beginning of the meeting and giving each person a chance to share a time they felt that emotion, or asking each member to share a “rose and thorn” (favorite thing and least favorite thing) about the today at the closing of the meeting.  This will normalize talking about their emotions with others and may encourage each youth to continue those conversations with their parents at home.

These changes to our regular conversation and interaction may seem small, but they can have a big impact on the ability of our youth to recognize and share their emotions; an important foundation for discussing more serious mental health topics.

Summer Fun with Cloverbuds

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and be active with your children.  Helping youth get into the habit of enjoying fresh air and sunshine can’t start early enough.  Many young people prefer electronics and television in their spare time, but if we break that habit early, fun play time can become the norm.

According to Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D. in a Psychology Today article, numerous screen-related factors trigger stress or hyperarousal.  Some of these factors include reward/addiction pathways, intense sensory stimulation, bright and blue-toned light, media multitasking, interactivity and rapid pace, and electromagnetic radiation.  She goes on to say, “Because chronic stress effectively ‘short circuits’ the frontal lobe, a hyperaroused and mentally depleted child will have trouble paying attention, managing emotions, suppressing impulses, following directions, tolerating frustrations, accessing creativity and compassion, and executing tasks”.

This is reason enough to head outside and enjoy fun play time.  Some things to try with your child:

  • Go fishing
  • Read a book under a tree
  • Dig in the dirt
  • Plant a garden
  • Pick flowers
  • Chase a butterfly
  • Look for bugs and other creepy crawly things
  • Lay on your back and look at the clouds
  • Roll down a hill
  • Go on a picnic
  • Fly a kite
  • Blow bubbles
  • Draw with chalk
  • Play hopscotch
  • Hula hoop
  • Climb a tree
  • Jump rope

This is Your Child’s Brain on Video Games, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-wealth/201609/is-your-childs-brain-video-games

So, go outside and explore the great outdoors!

Introducing the Newly Update and Revised 4-H Cloverbud Volunteer Guidebook

This resource was fully revised and updated just for you, the 4-H Cloverbud Volunteer Leader, to help you be fully prepared and engaged to make a positive impact on our youngest 4-H members.  It provides accurate and readily accessible information that is everything Cloverbuds.  The guidebook explores the goals and strategies for successful implementation of the 4-H Cloverbud program. The guidebook has been evaluated for both content and quality.

The guidebook contains the following sections:

  1. 4-H Traditions
  2. What is the 4-H Cloverbud Program?
  3. 4-H Cloverbud Volunteer Position Description
  4. 4-H Cloverbud Participation
  5. Who Are These 4-H Cloverbud Children?
  6. Eight Essential Elements
  7. 4-H Cloverbud Program Foundations
  8. What Do You Know About the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Program?
  9. For New Volunteers: Conducting 4-H Cloverbud Sessions
  10. Expanding 4-H Cloverbud Opportunities
  11. Planning Your 4-H Cloverbud Club Activities

When using the guidebook, you will: 1) gain knowledge for best practices; 2) learn enhanced strategies and techniques for conducting 4-H Cloverbud activities; and 3) learn why and how the program is set up to have the most positive impact on Cloverbud kids.

Here is a link to more information from OSU Extension Publications: https://extensionpubs.osu.edu/cloverbud-volunteer-guidebook/ Remember you can always get a discount when your order through your local Ohio county Extension office.

Thank you for making an impact on the lives of Ohio’s children!

No-Sew Sock Bunny

Spring has arrived and so have the sights and sounds of baby chicks and baby bunnies.  Whether you are looking outside, walking through the holiday/seasonal section at the store, or viewing the live animals for sale at your local farm store, bunnies are easy to find.

A No-Sew Sock Bunny is an easy craft for Cloverbuds.  It also provides the opportunity to share additional information about the benefits and responsibility of owning and caring for your own animal.

Supplies Needed:

  • Cup
  • Funnel
  • Permanent Marker (fine point tip)
  • Ribbon
  • Rice
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Sock

Steps:

  1. Use the cup and funnel to pour rice into the sock up to the bottom of the heel. Use a rubber band to seal off the sock and keep the rice inside.
  2. Use a rubber band to section off the head from the body of the bunny.
  3. Depending on the length of the sock, part of the unused sock may need trimmed to shorten the ears of the rabbit. Use the scissors to cut the sock into two ears above the head and trim each ear to have a curved tip to the ear.
  4. Cut a piece of ribbon and tie it around the neck of the bunny to hide the rubber band.
  5. Use the permanent marker to mark one small dot for each eye and mark an X for the mouth of the bunny.
  6. Make a tail using a small rubber band to section off a small part of the back of the bunny’s body to form a round tail. You can also glue part of a white cotton ball to the bunny as an alternative tail option.

*Adjustments may be necessary based on the size of sock utilized for the craft.