During this time of virtual learning and meeting remotely, it may feel difficult to keep Cloverbud members engaged during club meetings or find activities they can do virtually. A great activity for Cloverbuds is to encourage them to help with a simple recipe. A club favorite is making chocolate chip cookies which teaches younger members kitchen basics, such as measuring, as well as how to follow directions.
Use the recipe below and write each step out on a note card. You can number them on the back in order to make sure the steps are correct. Once you have all the steps written, lay the cards out and ask the members to read the cards with you. Remember that some of the words may be new to younger members and they may need your help reading. After reading all the cards, ask the members to put the steps in order. Use the cards to match the ingredient to each step. If you have Cloverbuds in the kitchen with you, this is a step that will keep little hands busy while waiting to mix the cookies.
After all the steps are lined up and the ingredients matched, have Cloverbuds help you add the ingredients and make the cookies. If you are using this activity while meeting in person, you can have each member take turns adding an ingredient.
While cookies are baking, you can talk to Cloverbuds about MyPlate https://www.choosemyplate.gov/, the importance of proper nutrition, and why cookies should only be a treat in our daily diets.
If your members have the “My 4-H Cloverbud Year” activity book, here are some suggested phrases they can record for this activity:
- We made chocolate chip cookies.
- We learned to work together.
- We learned to share.
- We learned how to take turns.
- We learned to measure ingredients.
- We learned to read new words.
- We followed directions.
It is a very different time right now. The COVID-19 virus has changed, for many of us, how we are living and working. Our Cloverbud age children are adapting to learning at home through online methods. They are missing their teachers, classmates and the routine of the classroom. Many parents are trying to work at home and help their children with the learning process. As everyone adjusts to these rapid changes, it is important to remember that children look to adults for guidance.
The Centers for Disease Control reminds us to remain calm and reassuring when talking to children. Children pick up on both what you say and how you say it. The CDC also reminds parent and other caregivers that language blaming others should be avoided. Everyone should avoid making assumptions about who gets the virus. It can make anyone sick regardless of race or ethnicity.
The National Association of School Psychologists suggests ways to be a role model for children and provide this guidance.
- Consider how you talk about COVID-19 and social distancing – These are topics that may be hard for children to understand. You can remind your child that you are doing everything you can to keep your family and other loved ones safe and healthy. Your children know that they miss their friends but may not understand why they cannot see them right now. You can explain that your family is following the guidelines of health experts who know that we must stay away from others to keep healthy.
- Focus on the Positive – One of the advantages of this time is that many of us are together as a family more than usual. You can play games together, sing, organize belongings, go outside or anything else your family enjoys. Use this as a time to reconnect.
- Establish and maintain a daily routine – Research shows that keeping a regular schedule provides a sense of comfort and well-being. Having this routine can help your child feel in control when other things are out of his or her control.
- Offer lots of love and affection
Another suggestion is to monitor television viewing. Watching constant coverage of the COVID-19 virus situation can cause stress for both you and your children. Some of the information may not be developmentally appropriate for your child and cause anxiety and confusion. If your Cloverbud has access to the internet or social media, remind them that the stories he or she sees may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
Your child may have questions about the current situation. Let your child know that you are willing to listen to him or her. You can let your child’s questions guide your conversation. It is important to provide age appropriate truthful information. Your Cloverbud needs brief, simple facts. You can give them examples of how to stop germs from spreading. Let them know that you and other adults are working hard to keep them healthy.
In the interest of helping your child stay healthy, the CDC recommends telling he or she to stay away from anyone who is coughing, sneezing or sick. Remind your child to cough or sneeze into his or her elbow or a tissue (and make sure to throw tissue in the trash). Teach your child good hand washing habits.
Finally, remember to take care of yourself. Parents have a lot of responsibility right now and are also adjusting to rapidly changing situations. Do those things that help you destress – read a book, take a bubble bath, listen to your favorite music, pet your dog or cat. Taking care of yourself will help you take care of your child.