One of the 4-H Cloverbud program foundations states the children of Cloverbud age should engage in non-competitive games. Most of the time when we think of games, one player wins and everyone else loses. That can lead to players feeling left out or upset. When children play non-competitive games there is more interaction with each other, more activity, and everybody wins.
Cooperative activities offer a chance for players to work together as a group to achieve their goal. In activities where nobody loses there are no disappointed children. Everyone is having fun. Children will actually participate in more active play as opposed to sitting on the sidelines watching others play.
Here are a few non-competitive activities to get you started:
Using a parachute is a great way for Cloverbuds to have fun in a non-competitive way. Some ways to use the parachute are putting a ball in the middle and having the children try to keep it from falling off. You could add more than one ball also. (If you don’t have access to a parachute you could use a sheet or a blanket.) I have done this with Cloverbuds and they had a lot of fun. Another idea to use with a parachute is having the kids raise it over their heads and try to get under it as it comes down.
Beanbags can help Cloverbuds work on their eye-hand coordination or balance. Some ideas to use with beanbags are:
- toss it in the air and catch it or toss back and forth to a partner
- balance it on their heads or try balancing it on different parts of your body
- playing a game of Freeze while balancing the beanbag on a different body part
You can make rope circles by using a stiff rope and some duct tape. They can be made any size. The circles can then be used for several activities with the Cloverbuds. They can use them to jump from one circle to another. They can also use them for balancing by placing them on one foot and lifting that foot up or twirling it around their hand or arm. You can also lay them on the ground and see how many different body parts they can get in the circle. Example of this could be: one foot and one hand, your head and knee, etc.
You could use a hula hoop instead of the rope circles and have the Cloverbuds partner up with each other and do some of the same activities. This is especially fun when they have to figure out how many different body parts they can get in the hula hoop – maybe three elbows and two knees. You could also use the hula hoops instead of chairs for musical chairs by removing a hoop each time. No one is out and kids need to figure out how to get everyone in the remaining circles. Until there is only one circle left.
Hopefully this will get you thinking about some activities that you usually do but with a non-competitive twist.