Have you ever heard the phrase “ages and stages”? You probably have a good sense about what that means. Basically that kids at particular ages have general characteristics about how they think, relate (social), feel (emotion), and grow (physical abilities). Yes, kids develop at different rates and are certainly not the same, but they do possess general developmental characteristics.
Ages and stages are important for our 4-H Cloverbud program because it is designed with activities and structure to promote positive development. It is also why the 4-H Cloverbud program is different than the program for older youth. The characteristics of 5 to 8 years olds have program implications. Here are a few examples:
- Characteristic: Short Attention Span = Implication: Activities are short in length (5 – 10 minutes)
- Characteristic: Energetic = Implication: Engage kids with movement and hands-on activities
- Characteristic: Hard time separating winning/losing from own identity = Implication: Provide encouragement in noncompetitive settings
As you are doing your great work as a 4-H Cloverbud volunteer, think about the “ages and stages” of your Cloverbud kids. In doing so, we can help grow their life skills.
Thanks for your commitment to the 4-H Cloverbud program as we enhance the healthy development of children throughout the state!