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.

Healthy Relationships

This lesson aims to help kids recognize everyone, including themselves, as unique members of the human family.

BACKGROUND/INTRODUCTION
People are all members of the family of mankind, or the human family. As human beings they have many things in common; for example, needs for food, clothing, shelter, affection, security, feelings, emotions, and ideas. Simultaneously, they meet these needs in different ways; they have different ideas and beliefs;
they look different and have different personalities.

Click here for the complete activity: HealthyRelationships-1-1e2lzre

Reprinted from Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections – Summer 2008 Edition.

Source: The 4-H Kid Stuff Activity Book (4-H 958 – 1993). Ohio State University Extension. The Ohio State University.
Submitted by: Sheila Meyer, 4-H Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension, Hocking County, Ohio.

Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean – A Cloverbud Reading Adventures Activity

Cloverbuds are thirsty to learn new topics and discover new adventures.  One of those is the Reading Adventure Series the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Design is working on.  This team of Ohio 4-H Professionals is working to make these activities and book ideas available soon.  Summer is a great opportunity for outdoor learning.

Young children, Cloverbud age, love to be read to.  It helps them discover new topics, exercise their brain, and understanding how to read themselves while adding to their vocabulary. Look for your favorite childhood book at your local public library, or take a field trip with your Cloverbuds to the library.  Advisors can choose a book and read to the members.  Advisors can take it one step further and add a themed snack and craft activity to build on the Cloverbuds learning activity.

A Summer Book Idea:

Find Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros.  Reading the book to your Cloverbuds and making a crab handprint craft is the perfect way to tie in some summer learning fun.  You may also visit a small creek or brook and let the Cloverbuds explore for 20 minutes.

At the conclusion of your activity and exploration enjoy a themed snack of crushed graham crackers with blue yogurt and add some craisans for fun.  Wrap up your activity with a game of shark tag or duck, duck goose.  These activities will awaken the outdoor exploration creativity bug in your Cloverbuds and help make learning about the environment fun, safe and interesting.

Fun Fit Hike

According to the National Association for Sports and Fitness, children 6 – 12 years of age need a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise daily. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes a day to maintain a healthy heart. Outdoor exercise is just a trail, large yard or park away and a hike is one of the
simplest ways to get children outdoors and moving. Here are a few creative ideas to turn an ordinary hike into fun exercise:
Youth will need:
• Appropriate dress for weather
• Sneakers or trail shoes
• Bottle of water
• Healthy snack

Click here for the complete activity: FunFitHike-1yfyl2j

 

Reprinted from Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections – Spring 2008 Edition.

Source: Rebecca Miller, Hocking County Soil and Water Conservation District Education Specialist.

Cloverbud Activities and Events

Cloverbud participating in Watermelon Eating Contest at the Greene County Fair . Photo courtesy of Xenia Gazette

Cloverbud youth can participate in most of the club and county 4-H activities. With a little thought and pre-planning, most activities can be adapted for all members.

Keep in mind the Program Foundations when planning activities and events.  These specific requirements are listed at http://go.osu.edu/CloverbudFoundations. Remember their activities must be noncompetitive, safe and age appropriate.

Cloverbuds are able to experience 4-H camp! This can be during the county overnight camp or a separate day camp.

  • Cloverbud Camp- youth may participate only in overnight and/or day camps that meet their needs
  • Cloverbud veggie car – youth make cars out of vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, eggplants for the body and other vegetables for the wheels and decorations
  • Watermelon eating – how much watermelon can you eat
  • Cloverbot Challenge- age appropriate STEM activities
  • Cloverbud graduation- celebrating youth transiting from Cloverbuds to project age membership
  • Show and Tell- youth share their favorite collection, item, stuffed animal, activity, etc.
  • Demonstrations- recite 4-H pledge during county demonstrations to expose them to public speaking at a young age
  • Snack- prepare snacks for a club meeting
  • Thank you note contest- youth design a 4-H related picture to be printed on county thank you note cards

Cloverbuds are often excited to work closely with older members. Include Cloverbud youth in community service projects, gardening, and in club meetings. Have them lead the 4-H Pledge or Pledge of Allegiance at a meeting.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to where Cloverbuds are developmentally. Activities should be age appropriate. The Cloverbud Program is noncompetitive since young children have a hard time understanding the concepts of winning and losing.

When working through activities, be mindful to connect youth with real life experiences using the experiential learning model (http://go.osu.edu/CloverbudFoundations). It is important to work with youth so they fully understand the concept of the activity.

Talk with the county Extension Office if you have questions or suggestions of activities to offer for Cloverbuds. Remember, you are setting the stage for a long, successful, and impactful youth development experience!

Produce Handling Game

A perennial favorite with Cloverbuds in Cuyahoga County is the “Produce Handling Game.” It helps young members learn to identify fruits and vegetables, using only the sense of touch (and possibly smell). They can also imagine themselves as working in the produce department of a local grocery. If the right mix of produce is used, it can also teach members which vegetables come from roots, stems, leaves, or are fruits of plants.

Items Needed:

  • 1 recycled copy paper or printer paper box with detachable lid (the kind that holds about 10 reams).
  • pictures of fruits and vegetables from magazines, garden catalogues, etc.
  • small piece of felt or other cloth
  • variety of vegetables and fruits from garden or store (onions and ripe tomatoes not recommended!)

Instructions:

  1. Cut out pictures of vegetables and fruits, and glue to outside of box to decorate.
  2. Cut small window (about 6 x 8 in) in one side of box. Glue or staple cloth over window like a curtain, so players can’t see inside.
  3. Put produce in box where players can’t see what goes in. A good mix would be things like bell pepper, sweet potato, carrot, celery stalk, leaf lettuce bunch, lemon or lime, kiwi fruit.
  4. Players take turns reaching inside (no peeking!) and guessing one or more vegetables or fruits that are inside, using only sense of touch, feeling shapes and textures of items inside. Players can whisper their guess to game moderator so a not to “spoil” turn of next player.
  5. After everyone has had a chance to guess, take lid off and reveal what is inside.

Reprinted from Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections – Spring 2004. Authored by Greg Seik, Former 4-H Youth Development Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga County, Ohio