Ohio 4-H now offers an innovative approach to grow community clubs and reach more youth. 4-H SPIN (SPecial INterest) Clubs allow volunteers to host a short-term club experience by focusing on a particular subject matter. 4-H Cloverbuds are just one focus area for SPIN Clubs. Other topics for older youth might include gardening, bicycling, geology or rocketry. However, for Cloverbud clubs, volunteers will use the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Curriculum as the main source for meeting activities. SPIN Clubs meet for six or more weeks/sessions, for a minimum of at least one hour a week.
A 4-H Cloverbud SPIN Club can now operate as a standalone club without the requirement of being attached to club for youth ages 8 and in the third grade and older.
A typical 4-H Cloverbud meeting might include:
- Welcome & Get Acquainted Activity
- Recite Pledges
- Cloverbud Activity from The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities
- Recreation Activity
- Closing & Announcements
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.
Resources to Help Volunteers Get Started with a New Cloverbud Group
- 4-H Cloverbud Volunteer Guidebook provides a reference and overview for helpers.
- My 4-H Cloverbud Year helps Cloverbuds track their activities and events.
- 4-H Cloverbud Blog houses lessons, activities and ideas for Cloverbud programming. https://u.osu.edu/cloverbudconnections/
- The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities includes hundreds of activities and lessons for volunteers to lead at Cloverbud meetings and events. Here is a sampling Cloverbud meeting topics from The Big Book:
- Weather Fun
- The Five Senses
- Science of Sound
- Making Air Work
- Sports Fun
- Fitness is Fun
- Safe at Home
- Food Fun
- Healthy Food Choices
- Nature Fun
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Valuing Family
- Experiencing Disabilities
- Our Flag
- Our Country
- Money Smart
- Stitch it Up
- Feathered Friends
- Super Seed Fun
- Ant Antics
- Bugs & Butterflies
Interested in learning more about starting your own Cloverbud SPIN Club? Contact your local OSU Extension Office for complete details.