Including Cloverbuds in 4-H Club Activities

In early 2021, Jamie McConnell (Muskingum County) and Audrey Dimmerling (Columbiana County) published the Ohio 4-H Grab & Go Club Meeting Toolkit. The toolkit provides 4-H volunteers and teen leaders with seven (7) club meeting agendas to help plan for the 4-H year.

Each agenda highlights strategies for including Cloverbuds in developmentally appropriate, non-competitive club activities. Including Cloverbuds fosters their sense of belonging and helps them understand the benefits of being a 4-H member. Older members of your club will enjoy the opportunity to act as a mentor.

Family Meeting/Club Kick-Off

  • Cloverbud families should participate in the family meeting to learn about 4-H and understand expectations. All members benefit from building relationships and older members often enjoy mentoring opportunities.
  • Encourage Cloverbud participation in non-competitive club activities, including reciting pledges together, ordering club t-shirts, working toward club goals, etc.

Icebreakers/Team Building

  •  Cloverbuds can be a part of club icebreakers and team building when appropriate. They can also participate in separate activities to build self-esteem and foster social interaction. Ohio 4-H Clover Cubes is a fun resource to use.

Election of Officers

  • Cloverbuds won’t vote in your election, but they can observe the proceedings or you can teach a lesson from the Citizenship & Civic Education section of The Big Book of Cloverbud Activities.

Public Speaking Activities

  • Cloverbud members can observe 4-H member presentations.
  • Cloverbuds can give individual or group presentations on a topic of choice, about meeting activities, or by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or 4-H Pledge.
  • Utilize Ohio 4-H’s Cloverbud Choose & Tell Cards for topic ideas.

Educational Programs

  • Allow Cloverbud members to participate in tours and watch guest speakers. Be aware of how program content or safety measures might need to change as a result.
  • Cloverbuds can participate in Show & Tell interviews with volunteers and older club members. All youth will benefit from helping Cloverbuds develop interview skills.
  • Cloverbuds can help with club community service projects.


  • Cloverbuds can help with age- appropriate, well-supervised fundraisers if they do not compete for rewards. When they participate, proceeds should also benefit Cloverbud members and activities.
  • Utilize the Click It, Print It, Do It Activity Giving, Spending, Saving to teach money management skills.

End of Year Review

  • Recognize Cloverbud participation and member years complete.
  • Hold a graduation ceremony for last year Cloverbuds who will be project members next year.
  • Encourage Cloverbuds to share their favorite activities from the year.


4-H Cloverbud Connections – New Format & Features

The Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections has been a resource for Ohio 4-H volunteers and Extension staff since the 1990’s. The resource was developed in response to requests from 4-H volunteers for more information and support working with 4-H Cloverbud members. The newsletter started as a print version and later transitioned to a blended online and printable resource. The quarterly resource has grown to include a variety of Click it, Print it, Do it activities that are easily accessible and readily available for volunteers.

The new location for this resource is   The new format will allow readers to subscribe to the site and receive an email when new posts are added. The site is searchable by key words and topic to help readers find content. New posts will be added monthly rather than quarterly in the previous format. The new format will continue to provide a unique blend of education, activities, and fun to build and challenge 4-H Cloverbud Volunteers teaching kindergarten through second grade youth.

The Editors,

Bruce Zimmer, 4-H Educator, OSU Extension, Washington County, Ohio

Joyce Shriner, 4-H Educator, OSU Extension, Hocking County, Ohio