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.

2016-2017 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.

  • November 14 – Active Animals – participate in an animal relay, solve animal riddles, learn about habitats, and create a pet!
  • December 12 – Holiday Giving – play gift charades & make your own gifts to give!
  • January 9 – The Five Senses – participate in several games that involve your senses!
  • February 13 – Color Creations – test color mixing in an experiment, make your own marbled paper & spinning color wheels!
  • March 13 – Spectacular Seeds – learn what grows from seeds, experiment with what seeds need, make your own grass buddy, learn how seeds travel, and make a seed mosaic!
  • April 10 – Earth Day Celebration – learn how to reduce, reuse, or recycle; play recycling red light/green light/ make cereal box bookmarks & a recycled ball toss game! (please bring with you old cereal boxes and milk jugs)
  • May 8 – Our 4-H Cloverbuds Story – help create a story and display to show all of 4-H what Cloverbuds have done, prepare projects for Achievement Days, & share what we have done with our families and 4-H!
  • June 12 – 4-H Cloverbud Camp with Junior Leaders (topics TBA)
  • July 10 – 4-H Cloverbud Camp with Junior Leaders (topics TBA)
  • August 14 – Field Trip (within Yankton County) for those who have come to at least 4 Cloverbud meetings
  • September 11 – End of the 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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