Including Cloverbuds in 4-H Club Activities

In early 2021, Jamie McConnell (Muskingum County) and Audrey Dimmerling (Columbiana County) published the Ohio 4-H Grab & Go Club Meeting Toolkit. The toolkit provides 4-H volunteers and teen leaders with seven (7) club meeting agendas to help plan for the 4-H year.

Each agenda highlights strategies for including Cloverbuds in developmentally appropriate, non-competitive club activities. Including Cloverbuds fosters their sense of belonging and helps them understand the benefits of being a 4-H member. Older members of your club will enjoy the opportunity to act as a mentor.

Family Meeting/Club Kick-Off

  • Cloverbud families should participate in the family meeting to learn about 4-H and understand expectations. All members benefit from building relationships and older members often enjoy mentoring opportunities.
  • Encourage Cloverbud participation in non-competitive club activities, including reciting pledges together, ordering club t-shirts, working toward club goals, etc.

Icebreakers/Team Building

  •  Cloverbuds can be a part of club icebreakers and team building when appropriate. They can also participate in separate activities to build self-esteem and foster social interaction. Ohio 4-H Clover Cubes is a fun resource to use.

Election of Officers

  • Cloverbuds won’t vote in your election, but they can observe the proceedings or you can teach a lesson from the Citizenship & Civic Education section of The Big Book of Cloverbud Activities.

Public Speaking Activities

  • Cloverbud members can observe 4-H member presentations.
  • Cloverbuds can give individual or group presentations on a topic of choice, about meeting activities, or by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or 4-H Pledge.
  • Utilize Ohio 4-H’s Cloverbud Choose & Tell Cards for topic ideas.

Educational Programs

  • Allow Cloverbud members to participate in tours and watch guest speakers. Be aware of how program content or safety measures might need to change as a result.
  • Cloverbuds can participate in Show & Tell interviews with volunteers and older club members. All youth will benefit from helping Cloverbuds develop interview skills.
  • Cloverbuds can help with club community service projects.


  • Cloverbuds can help with age- appropriate, well-supervised fundraisers if they do not compete for rewards. When they participate, proceeds should also benefit Cloverbud members and activities.
  • Utilize the Click It, Print It, Do It Activity Giving, Spending, Saving to teach money management skills.

End of Year Review

  • Recognize Cloverbud participation and member years complete.
  • Hold a graduation ceremony for last year Cloverbuds who will be project members next year.
  • Encourage Cloverbuds to share their favorite activities from the year.


Giving Care and Kindness

Anytime is a good time to give care and kindness to others. February is especially a great time to do that with Valentine’s Day on the 14th. When we show care and kindness toward others, we are giving the gift of compassion. In The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities, there is a curriculum piece titled “Heart to Heart: Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Senior Living Center Residents” (p. 148). There are some easy and fun activities you can engage with your Cloverbud members such “Making Valentine Favors,” and singing the song “I’m a Little Valentine” (using “I’m a Little Teapot” tune). All of these activities can be done with residents at nursing homes, senior centers or at adult day centers.

Through these activities, Cloverbud members can practice care and kindness toward others and become self-aware how good this feels. The kids learn skills of generosity and compassion and are examples to their friends and others. This quote from the Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu sums this up well: “Compassion seems to be contagious. When we see others being compassionate, we are more likely to be compassionate. There is a ripple effect of helping others.”

To use The Book of 4-H 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.

Thanks for the important work you do as a 4-H Cloverbud volunteer and advisor. You serve as a caring adult role model that impacts the healthy development of children in so many ways.