Confession time! Of all ages and stages, Cloverbuds have always intimidated me the most. Why? Because they are just…different.
They are different. And because of their different developmental abilities as compared to 4-H members we have certain National guidelines we are expected to abide to when delivering Cloverbud programs. Per National 4-H Headquarters:
- Cloverbuds are NOT mini-4-H, and thus programs designed for them are best when designed specifically for their age group, as opposed to “lumping them in” with older youth.
- Cloverbud programs should be activity-based and not project-centered. This means a sampler approach of different types of activities delivered through 4-H club meetings is our aim, not enrolling a Cloverbud in the 4-H Poultry (or similar) project. 5-7 year olds benefit from experimenting with lots of different types of projects before zeroing in on one.
- Cloverbud programs should be cooperative vs. competitive in nature. 5-7 years olds are still learning valuable social skills and a Cloverbud project group is an excellent way to do so.
- Cloverbuds cannot receive any premiums or blue (or other colored awards). They may receive green participatory awards only. Save the blue ribbons as further incentive for them to remain involved once they are 4-H age.
- Read more about Cloverbuds at National 4-H Headquarters: National 4-H Headquarters: Kindergarten-Third Grade Programs
What can Cloverbuds do? Lots of things really, as long as leaders keep in mind that the primary objective for Cloverbud programs is to allow youth to sample a variety of topics in a social setting (i.e. club meeting). For more information, check out: