Time and Finger Painting

As we go throughout our lives, everyone has the same amount of time in the day. Each of us is given 24 hours  to juggle and figure out how to best utilize this precious resource.  Some of us like to sleep, others get up and exercise, and some rock kids to sleep from a bad dream or a teething issue in the middle of the night.  At the end of the day, 24 hours is the same amount of time for all of us and if we utilize our time to our best ability, each day is a success!

As a mother of four children, I sometimes let them play on devices and screen time so that I can have some quiet, uninterrupted ME time.  Maybe I’m selfish, maybe I’m a slacker of a mom, or maybe I’m just a normal mom that needs to decompress from the daily activities from work or life.  It’s not always the BEST use of their time but it allows adults to have some time to process daily events.

The COVID pandemic reinforced the idea that time spent with youth is precious and important.  Taking the extra time to engage with youth is vital for their development.  It is also satisfying to take the time to have fun and engage with children and be an active participant in what they are doing.

Here is a simple Cloverbud activity that is important, fun and exciting, and has no “time stamp” on it.  Youth can take minutes or hours to paint a picture with pudding!

STEM ACTIVITY: 

Pudding Finger Paint is a fun and safe way for children to make a colorful (and tasty) painting.  I love hands-on activities for kids that let children explore and use their creativity. Pudding Finger Paint is a safe way for children to make a one-of-a-kind art project.

SUPPLIES:

  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Food Coloring
  • Muffin Pan or Small Bowls
  • Spoon
  • Plastic Tablecloth (optional), cookie sheet, or waxed paper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare the Vanilla pudding according to the directions on the package.  After the pudding has cooled, divide it evenly into a 6-cup muffin pan or six small bowls. (You can use ready-to-eat vanilla pudding as well).
  2. Add 4-6 drops of food coloring to each cup or bowl.  Stir until the food coloring has blended with the pudding and it has changed color.
  3. Use the pudding to finger paint on a hard surface such as the kitchen table.  Use a plastic tablecloth on the kitchen table or floor to contain the mess and make clean up easy or use a cookie pan or a sheet of waxed paper as the base for the painting.
  4. You could also use a large piece of paper (or cardstock) for the base of the project so the child can take it home or give to another family member or friend.

Enjoy!

Writing Thank You Notes for Cloverbuds

As we go through the busy time of summer, it is important to think about who has helped or impacted our experiences in 4-H.  It is never too early too early for Cloverbuds to learn how to write thank you notes.

As a Cloverbud volunteer, it might be helpful to ask some of the following questions to our Cloverbuds:

  • How did they help you?
  • Did you receive a gift/award? Who was that from?
  • Were they a good friend/neighbor/mentor?

It is important for Cloverbuds to realize that you should not just write a thank you note when you receive an item.  There are many other situations and times when a thank you note is needed to acknowledge help or assistance.

Encourage the Cloverbud youth to think about volunteers in their club, camp counselor, Senior Fairboard member who helps put on fair, club officer, etc.

MyPlate Activities for Cloverbuds

Happy birthday, MyPlate! MyPlate is 10 years old this year. It’s a good reminder to think about how MyPlate concepts can be incorporated into Cloverbud activities.

What is MyPlate? MyPlate is a nutritional food guide that was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help people become more aware of what they eat and to assist them in making better food choices. The MyPlate icon shows the five food groups: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein Foods, and Dairy. It features a simple picture of a plate, which offers a visual cue that is easy to relate to, with sections of a plate representing how much of each food group people should consume relative to the other groups.

The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasizes the importance of an overall healthy eating pattern with all five groups as key building blocks. Each food group includes a variety of foods that are similar in nutritional makeup, and each group plays an important role in an overall healthy eating pattern.

Why emphasize healthy eating patterns? Because we know diets early in life can shape food habits into adulthood, our Cloverbud members are at the ideal age to foster good habits. However, recent studies show there is a cause for concern.

Current intakes show that from an early age, dietary patterns are not aligned with the Dietary Guidelines. Five- to 8-year-olds are generally within the range of recommended intakes for protein, fruits, and grains (although this is achieved with refined grains, not whole grains), but below in vegetables and dairy. Vegetable intake is especially low in children, and increasing vegetable consumption tends to be particularly difficult. In addition, most diets exceed the recommended limits for added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

A recent study found that diets of children in the U.S. have improved modestly but remain poor for most. This improvement in diet quality is promising. However, another report found that more than a third of U.S. children and adolescents consumed fast food. Other researchers have examined sugar-sweetened beverages and junk foods. The results of these studies are cause for concern because fast food,  sugar-sweetened beverages, and junk food have been associated with higher caloric intake and poorer diet quality. These dietary patterns contribute to overweight and obesity, as well as increasing the risk for chronic diseases later in life.

MyPlate Activities for Cloverbuds

4-H volunteers have the opportunity to help children meet guidelines for healthy eating by regularly incorporating healthy living activities into 4-H club meetings. If you’re looking for activities for Cloverbuds, the “Making Healthy Food Choices” in The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities (4-H 710GPM) is a great place to start. The Food and Nutrition Service has the Serving Up My Plate curriculum. The MyPlate website also contains activity sheets than can be downloaded. Here are some more to try.                              

Eat the Rainbow of Colors. Draw columns on a large sheet of paper labeled red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, and white. See how many fruits and vegetables the group members can name for each color.

Category Match. Divide the group into five smaller groups. Give each group one of the five food groups from MyPlate. Have the group members brainstorm as many foods as they can that fit into each category. Share lists with the whole group.

MyPlate Picnic. Have each person say their name, a food that begins with the first letter of their name, and the group it fits in. For example: “My name is Theresa, I’m going to bring tomatoes to the picnic, and they are in the vegetable group.

What’s on Your Plate” Food Collage. Gather grocery store ads and old magazines. You will also need paper plates, markers, scissors, and glue sticks. Divide the paper plate to match the divisions on MyPlate. Cut out foods and fit them into the appropriate section of the plate.

Taste Test. Children may be reluctant to taste new foods, so taste testing can improve children’s dietary intake.

Eating the Alphabet. Use the idea from the book Eating the Alphabet (by Lois Ehlert): Name and illustrate a food for each of the letters of the alphabet. This activity can tie in with the “Planning a Community Art Exhibit” in The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities.

Read All About It.  Build literacy skills while learning about the five food groupsPicture books can be effective when children are actively involved.  Having them answer questions about the story exercises their critical thinking skills.  There are several websites that feature selected children’s books.  Here are a few to get you started.

MyPlate Talking Points

MyPlate is not perfect–for one thing, the size of the plate matters. The specific amounts of food needed in each group vary by age, gender, and activity level; the Dietary Guidelines provides more detailed information on this topic. Some foods contain ingredients from multiple groups, making them difficult to classify.

The MyPlate icon focuses on incorporating healthful foods; however, all foods in a group are not the same. The key is choosing a variety of foods and beverages from each food group—and making sure that each choice is limited in saturated fat, salt, and added sugars, including cakes, cookies, ice cream, candies, sweetened drinks, and fatty meats like sausages, bacon, and hot dogs. Use these foods as occasional treats but not everyday foods (“sometimes foods”). 

  • Fruits – Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Focus on whole fruits.
  • Vegetables – Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Vary your veggies.
  • Grains – Make half your grains whole grains.
  • Protein – Vary your protein routine. Choose protein foods like beans, fish, lean meats, and nuts.
  • Dairy – Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Drink fat free or low-fat milk or water instead of sugary drinks.

4-H volunteer leaders working with Cloverbuds can encourage children to make healthy food choices. Developing healthy eating habits can go a long way to ensure a better lifestyle now and in the future.

References
de Droog, S. M., Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2013). Enhancing children’s vegetable consumption using vegetable-promoting picture books. The impact of interactive shared reading and character-product congruence. Appetite, 73, 73–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2013.10.018
Fryar, C. D., Carroll, M. D., Ahluwalia, N., & Ogden, C. L. (2020). Fast food intake among children and adolescents in the United States, 2015–2018 (NCHS Data Brief No. 375). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db375.htm
Gold, A., Larson, M., Tucker, J., & Strang, M. (2017). Classroom nutrition education combined with fruit and vegetable taste testing improves children’s dietary intake. Journal of School Health, 87(2), 106–113.  https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12478
Leung, C. W., DiMatteo, S. G., Gosliner, W. A., & Ritchie, L. D. (2018). Sugar-sweetened beverage and water intake in relation to diet quality in U.S. children. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 54(3), 394–402. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2017.11.005
Liu, J., Rehm, C. D., Onopa, J., & Mozaffarian, D. (2020). Trends in diet quality among youth in the United States, 1999-2016. Journal of the American Medical Association, 323(12), 1161–1174. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.0878
Liu, J., Lee, Y., Micha, R., Li, Y., & Mozaffarian, D. (2021). Trends in junk food consumption among US children and adults, 2001-2018. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqab129. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab129
Snelling, A. M., Newman, C., Ellsworth, D., Kalicki, M., Guthrie, J., Mancino. L., Malloy, E., Van Dyke, H., George, S., & Nash, K. (2017). Using a taste test intervention to promote vegetable consumption. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 4(1), 67–75. https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.4.1.8
U.S. Department of Agriculture. MyPlate. https://www.myplate.gov/
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. (2020). Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025 (9th ed.). https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/
Williams, K., Dill, A., & Lindberg, S. (2019). Changes in nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behavior after implementation of Serving Up MyPlate and vegetable taste tests. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 51(7S), S31–S32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2019.05.589

Growing Chia Pets

Growing plants is an activity that has success happening right before your eyes! Plants need five things to grow: light, water, air, nutrients, and the proper temperature. Light is absorbed by the plant causing it to produce food that is utilized by the plant for growth. We all need food and water so make sure you are providing adequate water to the plant. Air is vital to provide carbon dioxide for making that food and making sure our environment is an acceptable temperature for growth. Most plants are not excited about frosty mornings, so covering outside plants is a must for those with flowers, bushes, and vegetables until May 15. Nutrients are the last thing that is necessary for plant growth and is typically provided in the soil and absorbed into the plant through the roots.

What is a “chia pet”? As advertised on television, chia pets are round, clay objects that grow grass resembling hair. The best part is we can give them “a haircut”, and then watch it grow to be cut again. We still need to provide all the necessary ingredients to grow our “hair” but can find many of these items around the house or at the local store.

Supplies needed: small Styrofoam cup, knee high pantyhose, potting soil, grass seed, markers, googly eyes and glue.

  1. Place grass seed in the bottom of the pantyhose (make sure you are covering a good section to make its head full of hair).
  2. Now add 1 ½ cups of potting soil on top of the seed.
  3. Tie the pantyhose tight around the soil, making it round like a human head.
  4. Decorate your cup (which is your flowerpot) and then fill it ½ full of water.
  5. Turn your head upside down (so extra pantyhose is hanging down) and place the pantyhose full of soil and seed in the cup.
  6. You can add eyes, ears, nose, etc. to make your chia pet come alive!
  7. The pantyhose acts as the roots of the plant. In just a few short days, your chia pet will start growing hair.
  8. Make sure that you provide sunlight and add water as needed to help your “hair” grow!

Conducting Nature Fun Activities Virtually

Spring is in the air and children are excited to go outside and explore.  However, many clubs still need to conduct their meetings virtually because of current restrictions.  With a few modifications, you can still offer some great outdoor related activities in a virtual setting.  Read on to learn how you can modify some of the Nature Fun activities from The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities (2016, pgs. 85-89).

Preparing for a virtual lesson takes a little bit of communication and preparation by both the volunteers and the members.  Get your members excited and prepared for the meeting by sending a message a few days prior.  Let the members know the topic you plan to cover and the supplies you need them to have ready when they log onto the virtual meeting.

The Magic Can activity allows children to use their sense of hearing to listen for noises they may hear when an item from nature is being shaken in a can.  Since members will be unable to pass the can around and shake it individually, you can shake the can for them. The children will need reminded to use their ‘listening ears’ and quietly listen to the sound so everyone will have a chance to hear.  Ask the members to give you a thumbs up once they think they know what item from nature is in the can.  You can call on members to share their guess before showing the group what is in the can.

The Sounds of Nature Hike activity can be adapted using audio recordings of nature.  Check online for videos or audio recordings of nature.  You can share the audio from your electronic device during your meeting and allow the members to listen to sounds.  Ask your members to close their eyes, turn on their ‘listening ears’, and listen quietly to the sounds.  Once everyone has had a chance to listen for a little while, the members can share the sounds they heard.  You can replay the audio to point out specific sounds that were mentioned.  When searching for sounds of nature, be sure to find a variety of recordings to share such as birds, moving streams, waves of the ocean, etc.  This activity can enable you to share how sounds of nature may vary depending on where you live. 

The Leaf Rubbings activity can be done virtually as well.  Ask your members to gather 3-5 leaves prior to the meeting.  They should have the leaves and a piece of paper and some crayons when they join the meeting.  This activity may be easier to use a little later in spring when leaves are more readily available.  Members can each share the leaves they found and use them for the leaf rubbing drawing.  Members may be able to identify the tree species their leaf came from or find it exciting to see that other members have the same type of trees near their house.

The Nature Scavenger Hunt activity can be turned into a nature hike show and tell activity.  Ask your members to take a hike through nature prior to the meeting and bring 5 things to the meeting that they found in nature.  Remind them not to bring anything back that may be an animal’s habitat as they do not want to disturb it.  Allow each member to share the items they found on their hike and tell where they found it.  Some items may be very common while other items in nature are unique to certain environments (open, dry area vs. a dark, moist area).  Ask the members to each share two things they saw on their nature hike, but were unable to bring back with them (i.e. bird, bird’s nest, squirrel, insect, etc.).  If they are able, encourage youth to return the items they collected back to nature after your meeting is complete. The original Nature Scavenger Hunt activity can be shared with members to complete on their own prior to your meeting as an interest approach activity or after the meeting as a follow-up application activity.

The attention span of Cloverbud members during a virtual meeting may drop quicker than an in-person meeting.  Your virtual meeting may only last 30-40 minutes.  Depending on the number of members you have and how much you want to accomplish, you may feel like this is not enough time to complete your lesson.  It is okay to provide an activity for the member to do prior to the meeting as an interest approach to the lesson you are going to teach during the meeting.  Another option is to provide them with an activity to complete at home after their meeting, reinforcing what they learned.  Encourage members to share with you what they completed during their application activity.

 

Reference:  Glover, C., Longo, M., Mendenz, B., Millhouse, C., Williams, R., Woods, D.,  Zimmer, B. (2016).  The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities.  Columbus, OH, The Ohio State University.

Hopping Into Spring With Some Fun Activities!

As we begin to feel hints of warmer weather, we are all starting to see the signs of spring!  Here are some activities you can do at home, at club meetings, or even virtually.

Spring Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of things that your child can find outside or items that remind you of spring.  Send that list to your youth and challenge them to go on a nature walk around their neighborhood and find these items.  They can bring their favorite or most unique item to a club meeting in person or virtually to talk about what they found and what they like about it.

Potato Stamp Pictures.

Take a potato and cut it in half (an adult can help with this).  Then cut an in indented fun spring shape in each half i.e., a flower, a tree, leaf, star or any fun shape.  Then dip the potato into paint and make a fun picture onto  paper.  Youth can do this virtually as an activity or in person, everyone has their own potato and can throw it away when they are done.

Learning Egg Hunt

Get some plastic eggs and in each plastic egg put a question about 4-H, the project area your Cloverbud is interested in, or even a fun spring question. Examples: what is the 4-H motto, what season comes after winter etc.  Along with the question, put in a prewrapped piece of candy or a goody (be aware of any food allergies that your Cloverbuds may have). Now send your Cloverbud on a hunt for the eggs.  Have everyone meet back in the group and read their question. They cannot have their goody until they answer their question correctly.  In 4-H we like to help others, so they can get help from the group. The objective of this activity is to assist them to learn in a fun way.  If you are meeting virtually, have the guardian/parent prepare the plastic eggs with the question you provide.  Give the youth 5 minutes to collect the eggs. Then have youth take turns reading their questions to the group and answering them, again with help from the group if needed.

Spring Story Time

Ask each child to share their favorite spring books. For those that would like to read, have them read their story to the group.  A fun spring book is the Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. An extra activity is to challenge your youth to find a caterpillar and watch its evolution to a butterfly.  Youth can talk about what they observed at the next meeting.  For a snack, make a hungry caterpillar with apple slices for the body, a cherry tomato or strawberry for the face, raisins for the eyes and fruit roll ups or the legs and antennas.

Another book about spring is The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.  Encourage youth to get some seeds to plant in a cup or do this at a club meeting, (even just grass seeds) and watch them grow.  Other books about spring include: Goodbye Winter. Hello Spring by Kenard Pak, Spring is Here: A Bear and Mole Story by Will Hillenbrand, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, and The Hike by Alison Farrell.

Paper Plate Animals

Use paper plates and construction paper to make a rooster, sheep, or rabbit. You can use your imagination to make other animals, too. For the rooster, fold your plate in half.  Cut out a comb and wattle from red construction paper (or color white paper with a red crayon) and a beak from yellow paper (or color white paper yellow).  Glue on a googly eye or just use a black marker or crayon to make an eye.  Have youth google why roosters have wattles? 

To make a sheep: Fleece is made out of cotton balls you glue onto the plate. Cut out a face and ears with black construction paper or color white paper. Finally cut out eyes to glue on the face. Have youth google why do sheep have fleece?

You can even make a rabbit with cotton for the fur.  Make eyes, nose and whiskers with construction paper or color white paper.  Have the youth google why do rabbits have whiskers?

Crack Some Fun Spring Jokes                                                                                                                                                                                        

Q: Can February March?

A: No, but April May!

Q: What season is it when you are on trampoline?

A: Spring time!

Q:What flowers grow on faces?

A: Tulips

Q: How excited was the gardener about his plants?

A: So excited he wet his plants!

Q: Name bow that can’t be tied

A: Rainbow

Take some time and do something fun outside.  Enjoy the warmer weather!

Reading Adventures – Connecting Cloverbuds to Literacy

Recently I spent time with my grandson who is in kindergarten.  When I asked him what his favorite subject is, he responded with reading!  Oh how happy this grandma was to hear those words! Being an avid reader myself, I understand the importance of reading and the love of curling up with a good book.

Why is reading important to our youngest 4-H members?  Being able to read and comprehend is the cornerstone of any child’s education.  Reading introduces educational foundation skills, increases vocabulary, and instills a love of books and reading in children at a young age.  Children who read are better able to make the connection between written and spoken words, not to mention the fact that reading is fun!

Reading just one book per day to a child from birth to kindergarten will result in them hearing almost 300,000 words by the time they start school.  Children will also bond with that caring adult who takes the time to read out loud.

The cool thing about books is that they can be used to begin conversations with children about sometimes difficult or challenging subjects.  Reading provides an opportunity for children to safely explore strong emotions.

Cloverbud volunteers can reinforce the love of reading by incorporating a Reading Adventure (or two!) into their annual Cloverbud activities.  Reading Adventures take popular children’s books and pair them with ideas for healthy snacks, games, and activities.  Reading Adventures are designed to be stand-alone lessons that can enhance your already dynamic Cloverbud program; or, they can be used with different chapters found in the Big Book of Cloverbud Activities.  Each Reading Adventure identifies which chapter of the Big Book can be used with that particular adventure.

Most books featured in the adventures are popular books which you may already have on your bookshelf.  If not, these titles should be readily available from your public library or from an online library source.

Check out the Reading Adventures included in this blog.  Check back often as new titles are added as they become available.  Have an idea for a book that would make a great Reading Adventure?  Send your book recommendation to williams.418@osu.edu.

Reading a book can take us places when we need to stay where we are.  And, a child who reads will be an adult who thinks.

A Long Winter’s Nap

Yaawwnnn! These cold winter days make me feel lazy and sleepy. I just want to hibernate.

Hibernate? What is hibernate?

Hibernation is how animals save energy to survive harsh weather conditions or lack of food. When hibernating, an animal’s heartbeat and breathing slows down and its body temperature drops.

We usually think of bears when we think of hibernation. They eat up during the summer, putting on the extra pounds that they will need for their winter nap. They prepare a special place to hibernate — a bed lined with leaves and twigs. When winter sets in, the bears curl up in their dens and go without eating, drinking, or exercising for as long as 100 days!

While we probably are not going to hibernate for 100 days, we can have some hibernation fun. We can “bear-ly” wait for you to try!

First, we should prepare a snack to store some energy for our body. Let’s make some energy balls.

Next step, we need to make our den. Grab some blankets and cover a table that you can fit under. Bears like cozy little spots that are not too big. Make sure the inside is dark for excellent sleeping. Put your favorite pillow and blanket in your den. You might want to bring along a teddy bear to share the fun!

We probably should do a little exercise before we go into our den. Let’s do 10 toe touches, reach up to the sky as high as you can 5 times, and of course, we must do a quick bear walk!

Although most of the time you may be sleeping, you might want to bring along something fun if you are not ready to sleep. You can even put a flashlight in your den to help you see better. Here is a coloring page for you or how about a book to read?  Can you find a book about bears?

Are you feeling sleepy yet? If not, grab a piece of paper and write the word “HIBERNATION”. Can you find the letters inside that word to make these words – bear, ate, ran, ton, not, hear, near? Can you find any other words from those letters?

Yaawwnnn! Time for that winter nap. See you this spring!

*This activity is written as a stay-at home Cloverbud activity, but creative club volunteers may want to gather supplies to have their members design a large multi bear den and complete the activities, including making the snacks.

Photo credit for Favorite Books about Bears and Hibernation graphic: pre-kpages.com

 

4-H Can Take You Places!

One of the goals of the Cloverbud program is to allow our youngest members the opportunity to see what the future holds. What projects are available in the future, how can you get involved in your county’s camp, fair and other 4-H activities?

We were looking for a creative new idea to involve Cloverbuds in their club and community; a fun way to help Cloverbuds be active and relate to the four H’s. In addition, we wanted to offer a fair activity. We have tried a variety of activities from show and tell to scavenger hunts at the fair. We encourage Cloverbuds to look at club booths to see what projects are available in the future.

We developed a 4-H passport for the Cloverbuds with the theme “4-H Can Take You Places”. The passport allowed Cloverbuds to record their involvement in various home, club and community events. The idea was that the members would complete the activity with the assistance of their advisors and parents. The adults would verify that the C loverbud completed the activity.

The passports were printed on cardstock and distributed to clubs based on their enrollment. Cloverbuds could keep their passports as a reminder of the adventures they had in 2020. Advisors simply submitted the names of the members having completed the minimum passport activities. Those members whose names were submitted would receive a prize. The Cloverbuds could win an additional prize by completing activities at the county fair.

Then along came the pandemic. As with most things, we had to revise the passport with available activities. Gone were our day camp, the community festivals, trips to the library and even visits with grandparents. We had to accommodate activities to the restrictions that would allow members to complete them while quarantined at home.

Thankfully, we did have a junior fair program this year, so the Cloverbuds were able to visit the fair to attend some of the 4-H related events. We did not have still project displays, so sadly they did not get the opportunity to explore what projects might interest them.  About 20 Cloverbuds did submit their passports to receive their prize. The items were purchased through our county endowment funds from the 4-H supply catalog. The passport can be adapted into a club activity, being more specific to your club and community.

The original and revised passports are shown below. The format is so that they can be printed as a folded piece to look more like a passport!

If you would like to have a copy of the passport sent to you via email, please send your request to Rhonda Williams at williams.418@osu.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home for the Virtual Holidays

What an interesting year! As we conclude 2020, I would like to share some fun virtual activities that can be conducted at your next Cloverbud meeting.  Remember that not all families celebrate holidays.  Feel free to substitute winter or other words as needed.

Secret Code Virtual Holiday Scavenger Hunt

Choose a letter and give children 30 seconds to find an item that begins with that letter. When each child returns, have him/her hold up the item they found.  Ask them to write down the letter on a piece of paper.  After the last item has been shared, have the group read the word together.  Choose words like holiday, tree, etc.

Virtual Stand Up, Sit Down Rudolph

Play a song in the background, such as “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”.  Choose a word on which the group will stand up when they hear it.  Have them sit down immediately after hearing the word.  Continue until the song is finished.

Virtual Holiday Bingo

Prepare BINGO card template prior to the meeting and email to members, or make cards virtually together.  To make cards, have members take an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper and fold it in half – “hamburger style”.  Fold it in half again.  Open the paper.  Now fold the paper in half – “hotdog style”.  Fold it in half again.  Open the paper.  You should have 16 rectangles.  Have children cut off the first row.  Now you have 12.  Using a pencil and a ruler (if available), have them trace along the lines.  Choose twelve holiday related words ahead of time or as a group.  Have children randomly draw a picture of each word, in each box – no “Free Space”.  Take time to color the pictures.  Tear the scrap paper (first row) into twelve pieces to cover the boxes.  Explain how to play “BINGO”.  The first person to cover a complete row or column wins.  Call out each word until someone gets “BINGO”.  For fun, instead of yelling “BINGO”, yell “HOLIDAY”.

Virtual Holiday Story Time

Ask each child to share their favorite holiday books.  For those that would like to read, have them read their story to the group.

Holiday Traditions

Have children talk about some of things that their families do to celebrate different holidays.  Discuss different cultures and customs that are celebrated in other countries.  For ideas, check out “Celebrations Around the World” in the Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities, or visit “Safely Celebrate the Holiday Season” developed by the Stark County Health Department.

#Together As Cloverbuds Calendar

Have children write down five activities that they can do at home during the month of December (ex. movie night with my family; have a paper or real snowball fight with my siblings; make cards to mail to friends).  Ask children to share their lists.  Grab a calendar.  As a group, discuss what activities they would like to do on what date.  Have them write down as many as they would like to do – dates included.  Now they have designed their own December calendar.  Remind them that each day they do the activities, one of their Cloverbud friends is thinking about them and doing the activity, too.  Take pictures to share the next time the group gets together.

Have a safe and healthy holiday season!