WELCOME to South Dakota State University Extension’s 4-H Cloverbuds Program. 4-H Cloverbuds is a non-formal education program designed specifically for children in kindergarten through third grade (ages 5-7). Children of this age are a distinct audience for 4-H, with learning characteristics and developmental needs that are different from older children/youth. They are not “mini 4-H members.” Their needs and interests require activities and events designed especially for them.

The 4-H Cloverbuds program appeals to a child’s natural curiosity, enthusiasm for learning, and high energy level. It provides opportunities for exploration and active learning in a non-competitive environment. By offering a wide variety of activities and experiences, the program encourages children to explore and think about the world around them. The children will find the program stimulating and fun.

The 4-H Cloverbuds program is a part of the South Dakota State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program. The primary goal of 4-H Cloverbuds program is to promote a child’s healthy development – mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. The program has clear parameters, which have been drawn from research about the needs of this age group. A literature review of empirical research was conducted in developing these parameters [Scheer, Scott D., Journal of Extension, 1997, 35(4)]

The purpose of the program’s ten parameters is to help 4-H Extension professionals and volunteer leaders make decisions regarding developmentally and age-appropriate programming. The parameters are consistent with the principles of K-3 Youth in 4-H: Guidelines for Programming and with the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s position statement on developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades (1998). The goal of programming for 5-to-8-year-olds is to promote healthy development in children by enhancing the life skills of:
• Social interaction
• Self-esteem
• Physical mastery
• Making choices
• Learning to learn

For more information read Guidelines for 4-H Cloverbuds Revised by Andrea Klein | 4-H Youth Healthy Living Field Specialist and based on Original Publication by Mary Ellen Aamot, Ed.D. | 1999 Revised by Marilyn Rasmussen, Ph.D. | 2006.

In Yankton County, our Cloverbuds meet once a month at the Extension Office (901 Whiting Drive) for one hour. Parents are not required to stay with their children. The Yankton County 4-H Program Assistant leads the session. Reports from past sessions and announcements for upcoming sessions can be viewed through the following links.

2017-2018 Cloverbuds Calendar

All Cloverbud Meetings run on the second Monday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Yankton County Extension Office.

  • December 11- Family Traditions and Customs- read The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, make a snowman popsicle stick ornaments, and play snowball drop. 
  • January 8- Safe at Home- learn your address and phone number, fire safety with Simon Says, and safety around poison.
  • February 12- Making Healthy Food Choices- learn about MyPlate, make veggie art prints, and more healthy food fun.
  • March 12- Be Smart With Money- learn needs vs. wants, where money comes from, and make your own piggy bank.
  • April 9- Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle- learn the importance of recycling, recycling red light green light, make fun recycled projects. 
  • May 14- Super Seed Fun- learn what grows from seeds, make a seed mosaic & more seed fun.
  • June 11- 4-H Cloverbud Camp (Topics TBA)
  • July 9- 4-H Cloverbud Camp ( Topics TBA)
  • August 13- Field Trip (within Yankton County) for those who have come to at least 4 Cloverbud meetings.
  • September 10- End of Year Party


Remember everything we make at our Cloverbuds Meetings can be brought to Achievement Days for Static Judging!

2 comments on “Cloverbuds”

  1. Robin Myer

    I have two girls, ages 5 and 8. How do we sign up or join to become members?

    Robin Myer
    ( former 4-H club member)

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