Happy New Year!

2022 is winding down and we are on the threshold of 2023 – a brand new year!  Time to begin outlining your plans for your Cloverbud program in 2023.

As you begin to outline your goals for your Cloverbud program, think about your Cloverbud members.  What topics spark their imagination?  What gets them excited about learning?  When planning your meeting topics, consider giving your Cloverbuds a short list of possibilities and ask them to vote on which topic they choose.  This introduces them to the democracy process – learning to vote with the understanding that the topic with the most votes will be the lesson.  Be sure that the list of topics you give your Cloverbuds to select from are topics that you are comfortable leading.  Select your topics from the Big Book of Cloverbud Activities.  Check with your Extension Office to obtain a copy or you can order directly from OSU Extension Publications.  Ohio residents receive the best price when they order from their Extension Office.

Once you have identified your topic, begin planning your meeting.  If you are not sure how to plan your meeting, try using this Cloverbud Meeting Planning Template.  Remember to keep your activities short to allow for the attention span of your club members.  The activities in the Big Book are designed with the ages and stages of Cloverbud members in mind.  Activities are short, leader-directed, and move fluidly through the subject matter.  You will not be able to complete all activities included with each lesson.  Choose the activities which will inspire your Cloverbuds.

Are you using “My 4-H Cloverbud Year”?  This is a great tool to introduce your Cloverbuds to the concept of completing a book.  While “My 4-H Cloverbud Year” is not a project book (like our older 4-H members complete), it is an activity book which has information that your Cloverbuds can complete at each meeting – what they did at the meeting; what they learned.  It also has general sections to complete about your 4-H Club, the pledge, and more!  Check with your Extension Office or you can order directly from OSU Extension Publications.  Ohio residents receive the best price when they order from their Extension Office.

Now that you have your topic, gather your supplies.  What supplies do you have on hand?  What supplies do you need to purchase?  What supplies can you ask your Cloverbud members to bring to the meeting?  Check with your 4-H club’s organizational volunteer to see if there is money available in the club budget to purchase supplies for Cloverbud activities.  Each club handles this differently so be sure to check before you purchase needed supplies.

Have fun at your meeting!  Let the Cloverbuds explore the topic and be sure to take advantage of teachable moments.  Things may not always go as planned and that’s okay!  Cloverbuds love to learn and will ask all sorts of questions; some of which may not be related to the topic at hand.  Be sure to gently redirect questions you may not be ready to answer!

If you aren’t sure how or where to begin planning your Cloverbud meetings, check with your county 4-H Educator.  They are ready and willing to help you plan and conduct a successful year for your Cloverbuds.  Be sure to check out other resources you will find on this blog, such as Cloverbud Reading Adventures and Click It! Print It! Do It!.

Best wishes for a successful Cloverbud year in 2023!

Understanding Needs and Wants

The excitement of making a holiday wish list is something most children look forward to each year.  For younger children, the list can sometimes be endless.  For parents, the thought of disappointing their child when the whole list cannot be purchased can be stressful.  Teaching your Cloverbuds about needs and wants might help them to understand the importance of purchasing the “needs” first and appreciating the “wants” they receive.

Children are familiar with money and spending it, but at such a young age they are often not familiar with making good spending choices.  Using this activity may help them gain a better understanding.

Supplies Needed:

  • 3” x 5” index cards
  • Writing utensils

Using the supplies, write one “need” per card that is commonly purchased for the child’s daily needs. Now, use additional index cards to write one “want” per card of items commonly purchased for the child, include items from the holiday wish list.  This activity can be done as a group, or each child can have their own set of cards.

Have a conversation with your Cloverbuds to help them understand the definitions of “need” and “want.”  Be sure they understand a “need” is something necessary to live safe and healthy.  “Want” is something that would be nice to have, but you could live without.  Now, have the children divide their index cards into a “need” pile and a “want” pile.  They might need to ask themselves, “Can I live without this?”

Once the cards are all divided out, help the Cloverbuds discuss making good spending choices.  Which items should be purchased first?  Why?  What happens if we purchase all the “wants” first?  Discuss how learning to make good spending choices can affect our ability to get everything off our “need” and “want” piles.  Ask them if they think it is hard to be the adult making the decision of what “needs” to be purchased and what they “want” to purchase.  Remind Cloverbuds to appreciate all the “needs” purchased to help them have a safe and healthy life.  Remind them to appreciate the “wants” they receive as someone has worked hard to earn the money necessary to purchase it for them.  Remind them that their holiday wish list is a great way to share ideas with others but understand in advance they may not get everything in their “want” pile.

Source: The Big Book of Cloverbud Activities. Needs and Wants, page 180.