Welcome to Wisconsin 4-H and Your First Project
We can’t wait to see what youth will do, learn, and achieve in 4-H. To start, parents/caregivers and youth may be wondering what it means to join a project. If you have questions about projects, this page might help.
If the youth is a new member in grades 5K-2 in Wisconsin 4-H, it means they belong to the Cloverbud Project. Youth in these grade levels are also sometimes called Cloverbuds. It is the only project that youth in this age group are allowed to sign up for, because it is the only project that is designed just for them.
We encourage youth and families to use Cloverbuds—their first 4-H project—to dip their toe in the water, find out what is possible with 4-H, and get to know their club and community in a new way. Learn more about the Cloverbud Project below.
If you haven’t joined 4-H yet and want to get involved, head over to Start Here to learn how to sign up.
Youth in grades K-2 are unique and special and wonderful. Activities in the Cloverbud Project are designed to meet their needs at an age appropriate level while having fun with hands-on, engaging activities. Some of the activities a youth can try with the Wisconsin 4-H Cloverbud project include:
- Experimenting with science, technology, engineering, and math
- Exploring their creative side with theater and visual arts
- Diving into animal and plant science
- Learning about themselves and others
- Giving back to their communities through service projects
- Many more activities
By the time youth are finished with 2nd grade and are entering 3rd grade, they have a better idea of what interests them in 4-H. They feel ready to choose the project(s) they want to learn more about, because they have already tried a variety of activities.
- Cloverbud Leader Tip Sheet—Find tips, best practices, strategies for creating a safe and welcoming space, curriculum and activity suggestions, and more.
- Cloverbud Activity Plans and Family Letters—Grades 5K-2—Click the link to find three years of activities—nine hands-on activities per year. Usually, the activities are intended to be done with a group of youth, but many can be done individually if needed.
- Helpers—By clicking on the Cloverbud Activity Plans link above, parents/caregivers, youth volunteers, and adult volunteers will also find Leader Resources. The Cloverbud Leader Guide helps volunteers understand youth in this age group and how to effectively lead activities with them.
- Local Activities—Many counties and clubs host group activities for Cloverbud youth. Reach out to your club leader or the Extension 4-H or Youth Educator in your county to learn more about what is available.
Spotlight on… Brown County 4-H Cloverbuds
According to volunteer leader, Sarah Vercauteren, the goal of the Brown County 4-H Cloverbud group is to engage the youngest members of 4-H so they can learn what 4-H is about with hands-on projects. The group meets once a month on Monday nights for one hour. Each month has a different theme or topic related to a 4-H project the youth can take part in later on. The youth like it because they get to meet others their own age from different schools, and it’s different from the regular business meetings they attend with their clubs. The Cloverbud activities are designed just for them, using the Wisconsin 4-H Cloverbud Activity Plans.
During the activities, the youth get to explore things like how to deal with stress or other feelings they have, how to understand themselves better, how to be good teammates or friends with people who may be different from them, and much more. Parents/caregivers are asked to stay at each activity meeting. It gives them a chance to ask their youth questions and support them in what they create or do. At the end of the activity, every participant gets to share something about themselves or that they created.
Cloverbuds banner image courtesy National 4-H Council