2019 Ohio 4-H Cloverbot Challenge

Remember when you were six years old? Grown-ups were giants, the world was big, and in your imagination, you could be whatever you wanted to be! This year’s 4-H Cloverbot Challenge will focus on those childhood career goals with the theme “When I Grow Up…”

The 4-H Cloverbot Challenge is a statewide event designed just for our youngest 4-H’ers. Teams work together to research a topic, build a model out of interlocking bricks and create a poster highlighting their experience. On June 29, the teams will come together at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center to share their work, visit with one another, participate in kid-friendly activities, and celebrate their efforts with a closing celebration and award ceremony.

What’s the best way to learn about careers? Invite a firefighter, veterinarian, mechanic, or author (or whatever job might interest your Cloverbuds) to a team meeting, so they can learn firsthand what a day in the life looks like. Take a field trip for an on-the-job view of the career. Or of course, help them search the internet to get all the details about what it takes to excel in the selected profession.

Teams may have a minimum of two members, but no more than eight, and are coached by an adult team leader. Details and registration information can be found at https://ohio4h.org/families/cloverbuds/cloverbot-challenge

Questions? Contact Beth Boomershine at boomershine.10@osu.edu or Sally McClaskey at mcclaskey.12@osu.edu. And a special thanks to the Ohio 4-H Foundation for their ongoing support of the Cloverbot Challenge.

 

Get Up and Dance!

Dancing has always had a positive impact on youth development. Whether it’s doing the Macarena, partnering in a complicated square dance, or moving across the room with a waltz, dancing has been a huge part of our history.  It is a valuable tool to use when teaching skills such as fine motor development, pattern recognition, discipline, teamwork, and more. We can use dancing to teach our Cloverbuds developmental skills while also having a good time.

Great dances for Cloverbuds will:

  • Have a simple structure that is easy to follow and consists of 3-5 steps
  • Have a repetitive pattern of steps
  • Utilize a short song of no more than 3 minutes
  • Have a medium tempo (too fast and they can’t keep up with the steps, too slow and they will lose interest)

Circle dances are a great tool to use with Cloverbuds.  Circle dances can be done in any group size and everyone does the moves together. This allows the youth to watch each other as they are dancing, so they can easily follow along.  In order to be sure your dance works, test it with a small group before trying it with a large group of Cloverbuds.

After you’ve taught the dance steps to the youth, call-out the instructions as they are dancing to help them.

Here are some songs and dances you can use but always feel free to create or find your own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jCn7Xgru1A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZxoE2Rj49I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0hzZUbIXio

 

Hearts of Knots

Background: If you can’t sleep, count sheep….Why do we count sheep to go to sleep? Is this just an old wive’s tale to help us fall fast asleep? Perhaps, we remember stories from centuries ago that tell us how shepherds counted their herds of sheep every night before bedtime. Legend has it, knowing that all their sheep were in a safe place relaxed and calmed the shepherds, allowing them to fall asleep quickly.

Sheep are multi-purpose animals; they can give us meat, milk, and wool. With today’s lesson, we are going to explore more about wool. The wool from one individual sheep is called fleece, while wool from many sheep combined together is called a clip. Wool can come in different forms depending on the sheep. Long wool sheep have the heaviest fleece; it is normally long and coarse. Medium wool sheep grow a lighter weight fleece, while fine wool sheep produce the more valuable, smaller fiber wool that is less likely to itch when made into clothing.  Wool can be used for clothing, rugs, hats, carpets, blankets, yarn, felt, socks and so much more. However, there is a greater demand for wool than the sheep can produce. To solve this problem, we have to turn to technology. In the 1980’s, textile researchers at Malden Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts experimented with a fur like fabric made from polyester.  The product was called “polyester fleece” or “polar fleece.” Polyester fleece is extremely warm due to its structure, which allows a space for air pockets between the threads. This polyester fleece can be found in many everyday clothing products.

We are thankful to sheep for giving us wool and science for developing polar fleece which meets so many of our daily needs. As part of our lesson we are going to learn about giving to our community, our loved ones, and people in need. Just like service is a big part of being in 4-H, many careers involve giving back to the community. Today we will explore service career options and use polar fleece by making a no-sew blanket, which we will give to someone in need. We will also make heart pillows to take home that remind participants of the careers we will explore and the feeling youth experience by giving to someone in need.

Local Career Connections:

Careers to discuss that provide community service needs:

  • Caregivers: Social Worker, Counselors, Senior Care, Child Care, Health Care.
  • Emergency Responders: EMS Personnel, Nurse, Firefighter, Emergency Room Doctors.
  • Environmental: Scientists, Engineers, Conservationists, Park Rangers, Government Agencies, Foresters.
  • Community Organizations: Homeless Shelters, Animal Shelters, Food Pantries, Drug Rehabilitation Centers, Veterans Organizations, Crisis Counselors, Educators.

Science Behind :

Polar Fleece, or polyester fleece is a synthetic or man-made material that has been used to make underwear for astronauts, deep sea diving suits and even ear-warmers for winter-born calves. Due to its light-weight make up and ability to hold heat, it is perfect for cold weather clothing.  You would never guess that it is made from recycled plastic bottles!  First, the plastic bottles are shredded into small chips, then sorted by color and cleaned. Next, the plastic chips are dried in a large oven, until all moisture is removed. Then the plastic is melted into a dense liquid that is pushed through a showerhead-like nozzle which forms a thread like structure.   At this point, the thread is still weak so it is heated, combined, and stretched to increase the strength. The final process is to tear apart or crimp the thread so that it looks like fabric. At this point, the short, fluffy, hairy fibers look very much like wool. The fibers are then inspected and sent to a carding machine where it is made into rope-like strands called fleet. The thick ropes are then fed into a spinning machine and twisted into a much finer diameter, and the yarn is collected on a large spool.  Next, the circular knitting machine weaves the yarn into a continuous tube of cloth.  To make the material fuzzy, it needs to run through bristles which are called the napper which makes little loops. It is then sent to the shearing machine to be trimmed, and smoothed out, giving it the fluffy feeling we enjoy. Once the plastic is completely transformed into cloth, the manufacturer will cut and sew the cloth into a garment.

What to Do: (Depending on time or skill level of participants,  the instructor could pre-cut the heart patterns.)

Step 1: Cut squares large enough for your heart pattern.  Place two of the fabric pieces together and trace your heart pattern with chalk.

Step 2: Cut both pieces of fabric along the chalk pattern.

Step 3: Trace a smaller heart pattern within the large heart. Be sure to leave at least 2-3 cm between the two borders. See pattern enclosed with lesson. Heart Pillow Pattern-zq8odw

Step 4: Cut small strips around the heart, making sure they are long enough to tie. The strips can be about half an inch wide.

Step 5: Tie the two pieces together in a knot. Once you have most of the knots tied, stuff the heart with stuffing or cotton. Finish tying the rest of the knots.

Step 6: Optional- Trim the knot strips around the heart.

Go Over Findings:

Investigate, Create, & Take:  Investigators can take with them:

  • Small Heart Pillow
  • Service Career Options

Additional add on activities:

  • Bring in samples of real fleece, wool clothing or other wool products.
  • Show pictures of sheep, goats, llamas or other animals that are also used for fiber products.
  • Visit a sheep farm, or have a lamb visit the classroom.

Sources:

Real men wear wool, Sheep101.info, http://www.sheep101.info/wool.html

How Products are Made, Polyester Fleece, http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Polyester-Fleece.html

How It’s Made-Wool, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEYsmzophTA

How It’s Made Recycled Polyester Yarn, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEYsmzophTA

Developed and Reviewed By:

Tiffany Sanders Riehm, Gallia County 4-H Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension 4-H Youth Development, riehm.11@osu.edu. Tracy Winters, Gallia County 4-H Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension 4-H Youth Development and Michelle Stumbo, Meigs County 4-H Extension Educator, Ohio State University 4-H Youth Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molded Candy Hearts

Revive the tradition of candy making by sharing this fun activity from the 2004 Winter Issue………

Cloverbuds will enjoy helping to make molded candy hearts. The candy can be used as a meeting snack or wrapped in plastic wrap and given as a gift. Adult supervision is necessary.

Here’s how:

Purchase a heart-shaped candy mold and a 24 oz. package of white or dark melting chocolate. They are usually available at candy, craft, and/or grocery stores.

To make the candy, use a double boiler or place a small pan (like a bread pan) on top of a pot holder or folded kitchen towel that has been placed inside an electric skillet. Pour about a half-inch of water into the skillet. Heat the double boiler or skillet to boiling then reduce the temperature to simmer. Overheating the chocolate will cause it to scorch.

Place about half of the chocolate in the small pan. Stir the chocolate constantly as it melts. After the chocolate is melted, spoon it into the mold. Gently tap the mold on the counter top so that any trapped air bubbles will be removed. Put the mold into the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens (about five minutes).

Remove the chocolate from the mold by gently twisting it or tapping it against the counter top. Enjoy!

Reprinted from Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections – Winter 2004

Cooking with Cloverbuds

All Cloverbuds like to eat so why not let them make a snack to share at a Cloverbud meeting? There are several recipes that they can make that do not require a stove or oven. The best part about cooking is children can learn and still have fun in the process. Skills that you can talk about as the Cloverbuds are preparing the snack can be anything from reading the recipe, math skills (like fractions), or learning about kitchen safety. As long as you make it fun, the Cloverbuds will have fun too.

Some tips that you should use when cooking with children are:

  1. First, be sure there are no food allergies
  2. Make sure space is clean and safe
  3. Assemble items needed to make the snack (if using a hot plate, electric skillet or toaster oven, supervise the children at all times)
  4. When thinking about a snack, use the MyPlate guideline for healthy treats
  5. Make sure all hands are clean when preparing food
  6. Have children use plastic knives (avoid graters since it is easy for little hands to cut themselves)

Cloverbuds can learn with hands-on experiences identifying things that are sharp, hot, and learning to be careful.   A great idea when thinking about what to make, is to link the food item to a book or even a topic you are exploring. By linking your activity to a book, Cloverbuds can learn about where a food item comes from and how it gets to the table.

Here are some ideas of foods to make with your Cloverbuds:

Pancakes:

  • Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • Pancakes, Pancakes! By Eric Carle

You can add different fruits or toppings to the pancakes. You can also color the pancake batter and let the Cloverbuds make pancake art to eat.

Popcorn:

  • Popcorn by Elaine Landau
  • The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola
  • Popcorn by Sara E. Hoffmann

If you have an old Stir Crazy Popcorn maker the kids can watch it pop. Kids can make and add different toppings to their popcorn.

Peanut Butter:

  • From Peanut to Peanut Butter by Robin Nelson
  • How Do They Make That? Peanut Butter by Jan Bernard & John Willis

Making peanut butter from scratch is a good way to show Cloverbuds what it takes to make peanut butter, especially if they can shell the peanuts themselves.

 Instant Pudding:

  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin

Recipe: 1 Tablespoon instant pudding with ¼ cup milk

If you have baby food jars they make a great way to shake up the instant pudding, along with Oreos for dirt and gummy worms.

You may have to enlist the aid of the parents to help provide some of the food items needed to make the recipes. These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. You may have to do some prep work in advance, but seeing the enthusiasm and fun the Cloverbuds have is well worth that extra time.

 

 

Thumb Print Family Tree

The holidays are a great time for families to pull out a family album or scrapbook. Spend some time with your child looking through the pictures and telling stories. The time spent together focusing on family will help children learn about their heritage. Every family is unique and special and it is important for children to learn about family members and how they are connected, regardless where they live.

To help children remember their own family tree, you can Create a Thumb Print Family Tree with your children or at an upcoming 4-H Cloverbud meeting.

Materials: white cardstock paper (cut into 8” x 10” rectangles), washable brown and green paint, Styrofoam plates, paper towels, paint brushes, black or brown permanent markers, one 8” x 10” frame per child (optional) and wet wipes.

Tip – To save time during the activity, cut the cardstock into rectangles ahead of time. Ask parents to provide a list of family members on both sides of the family of each child if they won’t be attending the meeting.

Family trees are a fun way to learn about our family members. This is a great multigenerational activity for families to do together.

What to do: Paint a blank tree (including the stump and multiple branches) big enough to cover your page from top to bottom. Allow to dry.

Squeeze green paint onto the Styrofoam plates. Show children how to dip their thumbs into the paint, and then gently onto a paper towel to remove excess. Then, have them press their wet thumbs onto the branches of the tree to create leaves for each family member on both sides of the family. They can use different colors of green to create depth. Place the thumb prints accordingly, so that families are represented in clusters.

Once the paint is dry, write family names onto the leaves.

Optional: frame the artwork and hang it in common area for the family to enjoy.

 

Source: The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities. Valuing Family, Page 143

Giving, Spending and Saving

Teaching children that money is not just to spend is an important life lesson, one that starts early. Learning to give to others is also an important early learning concept. Parents can serve as role models in helping teach the concepts of giving, spending, and saving.

 There are rewards for incorporating these skills into a child’s life. Giving helps them recognize the needs of others and the value of giving to those less fortunate. That giving might take the form of money but can also be of time, material items such as clothing or food, or a skill or talent. Saving will allow you to buy something in the future because you do not have the money to buy it now. Saving has value as money earns interest in a bank or credit union account. For a young child, that savings might be used to purchase a wanted toy or educational resource. Spending is using some of their financial resources to make a purchase or using resources (money) now to trade for things.

Young children are capable of learning simple spending concepts. Work with children to identify categories for spending plans and ways to save money.

Resources and tools:

The Ant and The Grasshopper: http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/grasshopper/index.htm

EconEd Link, a premier source of classroom tested, Internet-based economic lesson materials for K-12: http://www.econedlink.org/

Thank You Notes Teach a Lifelong Skill!

Have you considered helping your Cloverbuds write and send handwritten thank you notes? Teaching children to write thank you notes is a simple act that goes a long way in the development of good social skills. Here are a couple of suggestions to help you get your Buds going:

  • Be positive. Briefly explain that the gift-giver will feel good knowing the present is appreciated. The way you talk about thank you notes will influence whether your children think of writing them as a chore or as something thoughtful they can do for someone who has done something thoughtful for them.
  • Give choices and help make writing thank you’s fun. Provide a variety of interesting and colorful paper, pens/pencils, crayons/markers, glitter and glue. Let them choose the ones they will use. Consider taking pictures of your child playing with the toy or wearing the clothing to include with the note.
  • Make the handwritten note a special message from the heart. Help your children understand the effort they put into creating a thank you is just as valuable as the gift itself.
  • Be a good example and write letters! Children learn to be courteous and responsible by watching other adults.

Reprinted from Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections – Fall 2010

Pumpkin Ideas for Autumn 4-H Cloverbud Activities

You might find these two great activities fun and educational for your Autumn lineup. Pumpkin painting or pumpkin making are sure to bring smiles and creativity to your Cloverbuds.

Pumpkin Painting Activity: PumpkinPainting-2g64noe

Toilet Paper Roll Pumpkin: ToiletPaperRollPumpkinCraft-2lncbax