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

Pumpkin STEM

Early exposure to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics has been proven to better equip children in understanding STEM concepts.  Fun, hands-on learning, through age-appropriate material can inspire enthusiasm and confidence while developing STEM skills and encouraging future interest.  The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities (available through OSU Extension Offices or https://extensionpubs.osu.edu) is bursting with activities to explore STEM education.  Add a twist for the fall by incorporating pumpkin-themed activities as described below.

Pumpkin Science

Prior to this activity, cut a medium size pumpkin in half.  Remove the seeds and gooey fibrous strands from one-half.  Separate the seeds from the strands.  Wash the seeds and allow them to dry on a paper towel.  Place the fibrous strands in a container.  Have the children look at the other half of the pumpkin.  Explain that a pumpkin is a squash.  Talk about the parts of the pumpkin.  Bring out the container of fibrous strands.  Place one-half cup of the substance in a blender.  Add one cup of water.  Blend the mixture until it becomes a liquid.  Following the Flubber recipe in The Wonder of Water lesson, substitute ¼ cup of the pumpkin mixture for ¼ cup of cool water.  Use 2-3 drops of red or orange food coloring instead of drink mix.  Extend this activity by using the seeds that were set aside to make a Seed Mosaic as described in the Super Seed Fun lesson.

Pumpkin Technology

Children can “go beyond” this lesson at home by working with their parents to color a pumpkin online at https://www.thecolor.com/Coloring/Pumpkin.aspx or carve a pumpkin at http://www.primarygames.com/holidays/halloween/games/carving/

Pumpkin Engineering

Discuss fruits and vegetables that are harvested in the fall in Ohio (Fall Festival: A Harvest of Fun lesson). Talk about or visit a local pumpkin patch.  Play a pumpkin patch game.  Build a pumpkin catapult using a plastic cup, sturdy tape, and a plastic spoon.  Turn the cup over.  Tape the spoon handle to the bottom of the cup.  Place an orange pom-pom into the bowl of the spoon.  Set a pan a few inches away to serve as the pumpkin patch.  Press on the spoon bowl.  Watch the “pumpkin” soar into the pumpkin patch.

Pumpkin Math

Choose three different size pumpkins.  Discuss ways the pumpkins are alike or different.  Have the children stand first in front of the largest, then smallest, and last the medium size pumpkin.  Ask them which pumpkin they think weighs the most.  Talk about tools that can be used to measure the height, width (circumference), and weight of the pumpkins.  Help the children use a ruler, measuring tape, and scale to determine the measurements.

Conclude this celebration of Pumpkin S.T.E.M. bounty with a pumpkin themed book from your local library and a tasty pumpkin seed snack.

Touchdown! Home Run! Hole in One!

The words we use in sports… they are familiar to us all. When we hear them, we can easily picture what they mean: excitement, winning and fun!

One of the most difficult aspects of working with Cloverbuds is that our activities are to be noncompetitive. We live in a competitive world, and even Cloverbuds participate in competitive events when not in 4-H, like tee ball, pee wee football and youth soccer. So how is it possible to keep the competitive edge out
of Cloverbuds?

One way is to realize that we can include sports in our teaching – we simply need to emphasize the aspects other than competition. Cloverbud age children can be learning the concepts of cooperation, sportsmanship, and loyalty through sports and they can participate in activities that encourage team-building and skillbuilding. We have a Sports Kit to help Cloverbud volunteers focus on those valuable sports concepts. The kit includes ideas for ice breakers, games and activities, crafts, books, guest speakers and snacks. Discussion questions are also included to get feedback from Cloverbuds on their ideas about sports.

The kit also allows for skill-building in various sports activities. In the games, “Dunk It” and “Swing Away” members get to practice shooting hoops and batting. “Sports Bingo” is a non-competitive game where members learn more about the equipment and playing fields of different sports.

“Respect-acles” is a craft where eye glasses are made from pipe cleaners. When worn, these lenses help Cloverbuds look at others with respect and see that even though they may have different skills, they can still be friends.

The “Sports” kit is available on-line if you would like to have a copy for yourself. The kit can be found at https://ohio4h.org/sites/ohio4h/files/d6/files/4-H%20Cloverbud%20Kit%20-%20Sports%20Fun.pdf

Making Recycled Paper

Materials: Old newspaper, rotary egg beater, cream of tartar, large bowl, large rectangular cake pan, screen cut to fit inside the pan, dish towels, wax paper, scissors.

Note to the Volunteer: Since this activity takes more time than others and some waiting is necessary, other activities can be done while waiting.

Make your own paper! Tear the newspaper into very tiny pieces and put in the bowl. Fill the bowl half full with water, let the paper soak for a minute or two, then add two tablespoons cream of tartar. Beat the mixture until it is thick and “soupy” and place the screen in the rectangular pan. Pour the soupy mixture on it. Carefully lift the screen, catching the fibers. Stir and repeat until no screen shows through the pulp. Let the extra water drip into the pan. Lay the screen on top of several dish towels and cover it with wax paper. Press down on it to squeeze the moisture out. Put several heavy books on top of the wax paper. After a few minutes, take the books off and peel back the wax paper. You have just made recycled paper! Place in the sun to dry or in front of another heat source (oven, register, hair dryer). When the recycled paper is almost dry, gently peel from the screen. Cut into pieces so everyone can have their own sample of recycled paper!

Note to the Volunteer: Have the children make extra paper to use in the Art Exhibit and Cloverbud Display lessons in the subject area of Community Expressive Arts.

Application: The next time you go to the store, look at greeting cards, paper and stationery.


  • Can you tell which are recycled?
  • Can you find any that look like the paper you made?

Reprinted from Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections – Summer 2010 Edition.

Source: Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Curriculum Series 1, Helping our Environment: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Author: Bobbie Grawemeyer.

 

Cloverbud Cooperation Though Non-Competitive Games

One of the 4-H Cloverbud program foundations states the children of Cloverbud age should engage in non-competitive games.  Most of the time when we think of games, one player wins and everyone else loses.  That can lead to players feeling left out or upset.  When children play non-competitive games there is more interaction with each other, more activity, and everybody wins.

Cooperative activities offer a chance for players to work together as a group to achieve their goal. In activities where nobody loses there are no disappointed children.  Everyone is having fun.  Children will actually participate in more active play as opposed to sitting on the sidelines watching others play.

Here are a few non-competitive activities to get you started:

Parachutes

Using a parachute is a great way for Cloverbuds to have fun in a non-competitive way.  Some ways to use the parachute are putting a ball in the middle and having the children try to keep it from falling off.  You could add more than one ball also.  (If you don’t have access to a parachute you could use a sheet or a blanket.)  I have done this with Cloverbuds and they had a lot of fun.  Another idea to use with a parachute is having the kids raise it over their heads and try to get under it as it comes down.

Beanbags

Beanbags can help Cloverbuds work on their eye-hand coordination or balance.  Some ideas to use with beanbags are:

  • toss it in the air and catch it or toss back and forth to a partner
  • balance it on their heads or try balancing it on different parts of your body
  • playing a game of Freeze while balancing the beanbag on a different body part

Rope Circles

You can make rope circles by using a stiff rope and some duct tape. They can be made any size.  The circles can then be used for several activities with the Cloverbuds.  They can use them to jump from one circle to another.  They can also use them for balancing by placing them on one foot and lifting that foot up or twirling it around their hand or arm. You can also lay them on the ground and see how many different body parts they can get in the circle. Example of this could be: one foot and one hand, your head and knee, etc.

You could use a hula hoop instead of the rope circles and have the Cloverbuds partner up with each other and do some of the same activities. This is especially fun when they have to figure out how many different body parts they can get in the hula hoop – maybe three elbows and two knees. You could also use the hula hoops instead of chairs for musical chairs by removing a hoop each time. No one is out and kids need to figure out how to get everyone in the remaining circles. Until there is only one circle left.

Hopefully this will get you thinking about some activities that you usually do but with a non-competitive twist.