Resources for 5-to 8-year-old youth programming

Do you have lots of younger members in your 4-H club? Not sure what to do with them? Explore resources available for parents and volunteers working with youth ages 5 to 8.

Youth ages 5 to 8 are great fun to work with, but they do have different needs than older youth. If we look at 5-to 8-year-olds and their development, many changes are happening in their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.  

According to Michigan State University Extension, on the physical level, youth are beginning to refine their fine and large motor skills. Children ages 5 to 8 generally have large amounts of energy and are in good health.

On the cognitive level, this age group is starting to develop their memory skills. At this time, vocabulary increases and they are learning how to express ideas.

On the social level, they enjoy playing with friends of their same gender, are less self-centered and more sensitive to others needs. 

On the emotional level, 5-to 8-year-olds are still seeking adult approval and support. They are concerned with fairness and are starting to compare themselves with others. 

Michigan 4-H Youth Programs and other state 4-H programs have curriculum and resources for leaders and families to help youth at this age learn in a positive environment. Kaleidoscope: Just Outside the Door Leader’s Guide and Kaleidoscope: Just Outside the Door Member’s Packet are two curriculums that Michigan has developed to support 5-to 8-year-old programming.

Ohio State 4-H Youth Development has done a lot of work with the 5-to 8-year-old programing and also has numerous resources available to assist parents and leaders.

To learn more about what resources are available for this age group in your county contact your local MSU Extension office.

Did you find this article useful?