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!

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

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.