Teaching Cloverbuds to Identify and Manage Anger

Anger is an emotion that all people experience from birth to death.  When an infant is upset or frustrated, the only tool they have to communicate those feelings is crying.  As we age, we develop the ability to communicate our emotions to others by using words and behaviors.  Oftentimes, adults expect young children who are dealing with anger to use coping tools that are not fully developed, such as “using their words” instead of crying.

Helping our children understand anger and develop skills to communicate that emotion can alleviate frustration for both child and adult.  Here is a simple plan to use with your club to begin the process:

Opening Discussion – Have a short discussion with members using these questions:

  • When is a time that you felt angry?
  • How can you tell if a person is angry?
  • What do you do when you are angry?

Read a story – There are many great children’s books about dealing with anger. Try one of these:

  • When Sophia Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
  • When I am Angry by Michael Gordon
  • When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman

Debrief the Story – Reviewing what happened will help members identify what to do and not do when they experience anger.

  • Ask what happened to make the character(s) mad.
  • Ask what the character did to calm down.

Make a Calm Down Bottle – This simple craft is easy to make and is a tool that members can take home to practice coping with anger.


  • Water bottle for each member
  • Corn syrup
  • Funnel
  • Tablespoon
  • Glitter
  • Hot glue gun (optional)


  1. Give each member a water bottle and have them drink or dump so that it is halfway full.
  2. Using the funnel, have each member add a 2-3 tablespoons of glitter to their bottle.
  3. Add corn syrup to the bottle until it is full.
  4. Hot glue the lid on (parents will appreciate this step!)
  5. SHAKE the bottle and watch the glitter swirl.

Teach each member to use their calm down bottle.  Discuss that this is a tool for them to use when they feel angry.  They just need to shake the bottle and then sit quietly and watch as the glitter settles to the bottom.  If they still feel angry when the glitter has settled, they can shake it again for a longer cool down period.  Challenge your members to use their bottle instead of yelling or crying when they feel mad.

1-20-20 – Make it a Day of Service for Cloverbuds

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 20, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Community service is a big deal in the 4-H program and what a great way to help our younger members focus on giving back to others. Service is a life-long skill that is taught by experience. Much like everything we do in 4-H we like to tag it as experiential learning or learn by doing. So let’s start our 4-H Cloverbud members with a small community service project that will have big impact on their lives and the lives of others in our communities.

Here are links to help you with community service ideas:

Waiting Room Busy Bags is an idea where you can add some 4-H flavor to double as community service and 4-H promotion.

  • Help a child waiting to visit the doctor or local clinic by making Waiting Room Busy Bags. This project was adapted from the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Just fill a zippered plastic bag with fun things a child would enjoy doing. The child is encouraged to keep the bag and take it with them.
  • Ideas to include – crayons, markers, colored pencils, paper, coloring books, stickers, sticker books, resealable plastic bags.
  • 4-H items – enrollment information, how to join 4-H, local volunteer opportunities for parents, how to start a 4-H SPIN (SPecial INterest) Club, 4-H stickers, 4-H pencils, make some 4-H coloring pages (4-H flag, 4-H Clover, etc.) Checkout https://shop4-h.org for other Clover branded items.

If you are looking for a children’s book to introduce community service, read on these:

  • “Kiki’s Hats: Our Gifts of Love Live On and On” by Warren Hanson
  • “The Lemonade Club” by Patricia Polacco