Growing Cloverbuds

Cloverbuds are 4-H members ages 5-7. They are our youngest members and can be some of the most fun and challenging participants for club leaders. There are many families who are so excited to finally join 4-H once their child turns 5, so let’s meet their enthusiasm with great opportunities!

“Children ages 5-7 are full of energy and have a willingness to learn. They do best when involved in activities and learning experiences that are hands-on and developmentally appropriate. Educational materials in this program are designed for their specific abilities, needs, and interests.”

– Florida 4-H

We have 5 goals for Cloverbuds


  1. Develop positive attitudes about learning and investigating new ideas.
  2. ›Be able to experience new ideas through exploring various, age-appropriate project areas.
  3. ›Learn basic skills that help accept different people and ideas.
  4. ›Gain basic knowledge in STEM, Healthy Living, and Citizenship.
  5. ›Form positive and ongoing relationships with caring adults.


What can Cloverbuds do?

Cloverbuds are in their exploration stage of 4-H. If they have a subject that they are interested in we can start the education process in that, however, we encourage Cloverbuds to try a little bit of everything. Cloverbuds can join 4-H for FREE, although we still require enrollment in 4-H Online.

Cloverbuds can participate in County Events, speeches, entering arts/crafts into the fair, trying out judging competitions, attend meetings, complete project books, go to community service events, and so on! There are even special events and day camps for them to attend! Cloverbuds are recognized for their participation at our annual banquet and are a part of the 4-H family. Cloverbuds also have an end of the year report that is very short, simple and encourages them to focus on the fun things they did that year. They can earn another green ribbon for completing this report.

Here in Nassau County we even have a Cloverbuds pledge try-out where they can lead the pledges for our big events!


One of the biggest objectives is for Cloverbuds to participate in cooperative and not competitive learning for this stage of their life. For events where judging occurs, Cloverbuds always receive a green participation ribbon and are not formally “judged”. This is a great time to start building their self-confidence for public speaking or trying a contest.

Florida 4-H also does not allow Cloverbuds to participate in Shooting Sports, ATV or other motorized vehicle projects or programs.

We often have questions about what Animal projects Cloverbuds can participate in. 4-H animal projects have some restrictions and are limited to “lap” animals only. Cloverbuds cannot enroll in sheep, goat, swine, beef, dairy, llama, ostrich, or horse projects. They can, however, learn about these animals in a hands-off manner like watching clinics, completing project books, or giving a speech. These lap animal projects sill provide an amazing opportunity for youth the learn responsibility, empathy, goal-setting, and more.

What about the Fair?

Yes! Cloverbuds can be a part of the fair, to some degree. Cloverbuds can show up to 5 chickens and 5 rabbits for exhibition only (not judged), enter items in the home arts booth and try out the judging competitions (poultry and livestock) under supervision of their parent or club leader. They are encouraged to help decorate the herdsman areas.

How do we Grow a Cloverbud?

The most important thing we can do for our members is recognize where they are in their development.

At this age youth need:

  • For leaders, fellow members, and volunteers to be patient and very positive
  • Good role models who encourage “how to be a good friend”
  • Those around them to encourage kind and constructive behavior
    • At this age they are very sensitive to criticism and seek approval from adults
    • Notice good work and recognize them, in that moment by name. Allow everyone participating to be noticed in positive ways
  • To keep things active and short! Choose activities that allow them to use their large muscle groups when you can
    • Try not to have them sitting for longer than 20 minutes. That’s when you get wiggle worms, not Cloverbuds
  • Use of small groups and to let their imagination shine through skits and plays. Don’t multi-task and focus on the process of the activity/craft rather than the end product
  • Focus on cooperative success rather than competition
  • For mentors to answer their questions and not dismiss their curiosity


We have lots of activity and craft ideas for Club Leaders, day camps, and events. If you have any questions about Cloverbud opportunities call our office at 904-530-6353.


Posted: January 10, 2020

Category: 4-H & Youth, Clubs & Volunteers
Tags: 4-H, Clover Bud, Cloverbud, Nassau County

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