Although they are the youngest members, there is still a lot they can get involved with in Michigan 4-H.

cloverbudsThink you’re too young to be in 4-H?

Our youngest 4-H’ers aren’t quite ready to participate in many of the project areas and/or activities that older children can, but there’s still plenty for them to do in 4-H, starting with fun!

The emphasis is on participation, learning and teamwork, not competition. They might learn about nutrition while helping to prepare simple snacks, plant seeds and learn what to do to help them grow, or help with animal grooming and feeding (with supervision).

Cloverbuds also provide opportunities for older youth to mentor and help a younger 4-H’er be successful, and start laying the groundwork for their future “career” as a 4-H member.

With Cloverbuds, safety comes first, and all of the activities are developmentally appropriate for this age group.

MSU Extension utilizes 4-H Cloverbud Camps as a developmentally appropriate experience that targets youth ages 5-8 years old. The following fact sheets are designed to help MSU Extension staff and volunteers, as well as other youth development professionals, plan a safe and positive experience for 5-8 year olds.

*Individuals not associated MSU Extension/4-H, please be sure to consult the policies and procedures related to programming with 5-8 year olds within your organization.

4-H’s mission is to empower youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults. One goal to achieve that mission is to connect in-school learning with out-of-school-time opportunities that enhance learning.  That’s precisely the focus of Heads In, Hearts In: A Delivery Approach to Family Enrichment 4-H Programming.  These resources encourage youth and families to use their minds (putting their “heads in”) as a tool to expand their knowledge around variety of topic areas.  By creating a shared educational experience, youth and their families will work, grow and learn together, putting their “hearts in” to the process.

Staff Guide:

Literacy Activities:

Science Activities:

To learn about Cloverbud participation opportunities in your area, contact your closest MSU Extension office.


Michelle Neff

Michigan State University Extension Educator
PO Box 439
Harrison, MI

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