Cloverbud Program

Cloverbud program


Welcome to one of the most exciting, educational, hands-on youth development programs in the United States!!


4-H began over a 100 years ago. It has become one of the nation’s largest youth development organizations. The 4-H ideal is to help young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy. 4-H in Indiana is administered by Purdue University College of Agriculture. Purdue University is a land-grant institution designated by the Indiana state legislature to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture provide the oversight of National 4-H.

It is the policy of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and facilities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action institution. This material may be available in alternative formats.


Cloverbuds is an educational program that develops competency and skills through the use of non-competitive projects, events, and activities for youth kindergarten to second grades living in Marion County. Urban youngsters as well as rural or suburban young people can find a place in 4-H Youth Development. Cloverbuds participate in a variety of venues including clubs, classrooms, community centers, county-based workshops and other activities. There is something for every Cloverbud to learn and have fun.


You can join Cloverbuds by visiting the Marion County website and click on enrollment information. There is lots of information on the site to help you learn about   4-H.


4-H Club Membership

Cloverbuds are youth grades Kindergarten to second (2nd). They attend and participate in club meetings. Cloverbuds may not be judged at any event and will receive a participation ribbon for all exhibits. Cloverbuds do not pay the $15 state membership fee.



Cloverbud members have lots of fun! There are many projects and activities for you to explore. You can try new things. You can share them with your friends and family. You can exhibit your projects at the Marion County fair for a wonderful Cloverbud ribbon.



A four-leaf clover with an “H” in each leaf is the emblem. A Clover is a plant that grows in fields, yards and along roadsides. Most clovers have three leaves. Sometimes, if you look very closely, you may get lucky and find a special clover with four leaves. A four-leaf clover is used as the symbol for 4-H to let everyone know 4-H is a special kind of youth development program. The four H’s stand for: HEAD, HEART, HANDSand HEALTH.



I pledge…

          My HEADto clearer thinking,

          My HEARTto greater loyalty,

          My HANDSto larger service, and

          My HEALTHto better living

                   For My Club, My Community, My Country, and My World.



Official colors are Green and White. The four-leaf clover is green and the “H” in each leaf is white or gold.



A group motto is a saying that tells people what is important to the group. The 4-H motto, is ”To Make the Best, Better.” When something is better than all of the others, it is the best. Think about a time when you did your best.  4-H encourages you to always try to do better, even if you are doing the best you have ever done.



Is to “Learn by doing.” You learn in 4-H by doing many activities. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn a skill like communications, you can learn about wildlife, foods, aerospace and other exciting projects.



  • I believe in boy’s and girl’s club work for the opportunity it will give me to become a useful citizen.
  • I believe in the training of my HEADfor the power it will give me to think, to plan and to reason.
  • I believe in the training of my HEARTfor the nobleness it will give me to become kind, sympathetic and true.
  • I believe in the training of my HANDSfor the dignity it will give me to be helpful, useful and skillful.
  • I believe in the training of my HEALTHfor the strength it will give to enjoy life, resist disease and make for efficiency.
  • I believe in my country, my state, my community and in my responsibility for their development.
  • In all these things I believe, I am willing to dedicate my service to their fulfillment.



Your role is very important in helping your youngster enjoy the fun and educational activities of Cloverbud 4-H. Here’s what is expected of you to help your child have a great Cloverbud experience:

  • Focus on the learning skills you want your child to develop.
  • Help your child stay organized.
  • Assist your child with the projects, but DON’T do the project for them.
  • Put the important 4-H dates on your family calendar.
  • Reinforce the importance of following directions.
  • Support your local and county 4-H volunteering.
  • Above all, model the behavior you want your child to exhibit in public settings.



Cloverbud 4-H is a program designed to encourage positive development of children in kindergarten to second grades (this may vary by county). The goal of Cloverbuds is to help young children explore friendships outside the family; explore the way in which things work; practice their newly acquired skills; and learn how to work on teams.

The NON-COMPETITIVE learning environment for Cloverbuds includes:

  • Planned learning activities in which children are invited to be active and explore materials and ideas without pressure of completing a specific product or exhibit.
  • Low adult/leader to child ratio that fosters the learning environment and allows time for adults/leaders to provide individual positive encouragement and assistance.
  • Simple, yet challenging and interesting experiential learning activities that are also fun.
  • Encouragement of children to participate in a group activity by sharing and/or display their activity projects.
  • Rewards for every child and exhibit are identical and/or ribbons are the same for every child. Cloverbud projects are not judged at the fair, but the Cloverbud may be given constructive comments to help them improve in the future. Cloverbuds may also participate in some Conference Sharing opportunities for their projects. Again, the Cloverbud will receive the current Cloverbud ribbon for all projects.

Cloverbud exhibits are NOT eligible for the exhibit at the State Fair.



  • All 4-H members are encouraged to attend their local club meetings.
  • The number of projects in which a 4-H member enrolls every year should be determined by the 4-H member with guidance from parents and the 4-H leader. Each child’s ability will vary.
  • All 4-H members are encouraged to complete the projects in which they enroll. Participation in the experiential learning activities is an important, ongoing part of youth development. Enrolling in a project is considered a commitment to complete project requirements and associated record keeping. Exhibiting the completed project(s) at county fair is an important option.

Guidelines vary for 4-H youth grades 3-12.


If a child is participating in his/her third year of Cloverbud 4-H, please contact the Purdue Extension Marion County office for project guidelines that may differ.



To show at the Marion County fair, Cloverbuds need to enroll by June 1. This allows are the administrative information to be recorded prior to the fair. Cloverbuds do NOT pay the statement membership fee to participate in 4-H.

  • All exhibits you show at the fair must be completed by you in the current school year. A project can only be exhibited at the Marion County Fair one time.
  • All Cloverbuds receive a Cloverbud ribbon for all exhibiting Cloverbud projects and conference judging.
  • All Cloverbuds must read (or have someone read for you) all the exhibit rules and requirements for your projects.
  • Pre-printed exhibit tags must be attached prior to the projects being brought to the fair. Exhibit tags can be found on the 4-H website. You may print off and copy as many tags as you will need for all your projects. Put an exhibit tag on all your projects that you bring to the fair. Do not alter or change the exhibit tag in any way. When possible, attach the exhibit tag to the lower right-hand corner of your project. You may tape it, punch a hole in it and tie it on with string, or use a safety pin to attach it. Make sure the exhibit tag is visible. Do not put it on the bottom or back of a project. If your project is a SET OF ARTICLES attach ONE exhibit tag to each item and indicate how many items there are in the set. For example, if you are exhibiting ceramic salt and pepper shakers, put an exhibit tag on each and mark the first one “1 of 2” and the second one “2 of 2.” It helps us know what items are in the set and go together. If also helps to have items all secured together. Knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and other easily-soiled projects are best exhibited in clear plastic bags which can be opened for viewing by the judge or volunteers.


See the e-mail and website for project check-in dates and times. You can also ask your 4-H Club leader. Cloverbud Projects are checked in at the 4-H Building at the Marion County Fairgrounds (located at 7300 East Troy Avenue (off Southeastern)) on check-in day. Cloverbuds will have a special door to bring their items for check-in.

Please note: the Marion County 4-H Fair Association will not be responsible for articles stolen or damaged while on display. We make every effort and take precautions to ensure the safety of your exhibits.

The Marion County Fair Board and Purdue Extension Marion County reserves the right to refuse the entry of 4-H projects that are considered inappropriate for public display or are objectionable.



See the e-mail and website for project check-out information dates and times. You can also ask your 4-H Club leader.

*Parents– role model following the rules and guidelines for social behavior. Don’t request early release of your projects because it might be inconvenient. It teaches your child that the guidelines don’t pertain to them, but only for others. Please do not bypass the Extension Educators to the Fair Board. Extension Educators are responsible for the care and safety of the projects.




  • Before starting your poster, wash your hands and make sure your work area is clean and dry. Poster neatness and cleanliness is important. Everyone will notice a soiled poster.
  • As you design your poster, make sure you leave space in the lower right-hand corner for your pre-printed exhibit tag.

All Cloverbud posters projects must meet the following requirements:

Poster dimensions are to be 14-inches by 22-inches (half of a standard 22-inch by 28-inch poster board).

Poster must be made to be displayed horizontally; meaning the 22-inch side is horizontal.

Glue the poster to a firm backing so it can stand up on its own. Your poster should not be wobbly and fall over when against a wall. Suitable backing materials are firm cardboard, foam core, thin plywood or Masonite. Rubber cement is best to use for gluing poster to the firm backing. You can purchase foam core and plastic covering from the Purdue Extension Marion County office located at 1202 East 38th Street, Discovery Hall Suite 201 (on the Indiana State Fairgrounds - across from the Indiana Deaf School) or any general craft/hobby store.

  • Poster Board Color: You may use any color poster board you think would look good for your poster. You may use foam core for your poster, which eliminates the need for adding a firm backing. Foam core can be bought in most general craft/hobby stores.
  • Mounting Adhesives: The best adhesive is rubber cement because it can be rubbed off when dry and won’t wrinkle the paper. Glue sticks that dry clear also work well. Double-stick tape works in some cases like attaching leaves. Do not use white liquid glue because it wrinkles the paper and is too messy.
  • Exhibit Tags: Pre-printed exhibit tags are provided on the website. Glue or tape the exhibit tag to the lower right-hand corner of the poster before you cover it with the clear plastic.
  • Poster Title: Title your poster according to the project requirements as specified for the project. For example, a first-year Bicycle poster is to be entitled, “Bicycle Safety.” If no specific title is required, be creative and make up your own. Center the title at the top of your poster.

Enjoy your Cloverbud experience!!!


Aerospace PROJECT

Cloverbuds are to exhibit a poster, notebook or model illustrating information they have learned this year about exploring space, air travel or flight, planets and the stars.  

Websites to check out:


Animal Posters/Notebooks PROJECT

The goal of this project is to allow the Cloverbud an opportunity to learn about domesticated animals. The learning process can be through books, field trips, online websites, interviewing people knowledgeable about the animal, or their personal experiences. If a Cloverbud does the same animal for more than one year, the child should increase his knowledge and include new information for the project in the second and third years.

Categories include: Cows, Dogs, Goats, Horses/Ponies, Poultry, Sheep, or Swine.

Cloverbuds are to exhibit a poster or notebook illustrating information they have learned this year about a particular animal. A Cloverbud may exhibit one poster/notebook per animal category. Examples of topics can include, but not limited to, breeds, how to care for, similarities/differences between breeds or species, costs to raise, body parts, uses of the animal (i.e., sheep’s wool, goat milk, cheese, or meat), identification, or interesting facts.


Arts and Crafts PROJECT

This project allows a Cloverbud to be creative and learn new ways of expressing his/her creativity. Any resources can be used to complete these projects.


Ceramics: Exhibit a simple piece of greenware that the Cloverbud has applied one or more colors of basic stain or glaze. *All ceramic exhibits must be kiln fired before stain has been applied.

Fine Arts: Cloverbuds may exhibit one item in each of the following categories:

  • Drawing: a drawing using pencil, charcoal, inkpen, crayon, chalk, pastels, or marker.
  • Painting: a painting using oil, watercolor, tempera, finger paint, or acrylic.
  • Miscellaneous: a picture that does not fall into the painting or drawing category. Examples are: spatter work, airbrush, batik, cut paper, hand drawn or painted collage, silkscreen, calligraphy, structural art, etc.

*All Fine Arts projects must be framed and ready to hang.

Gift Wrapping: Exhibit a simple box wrapped for a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.). *Do not include a present! The box should be empty.

Latch Hook: Cloverbuds may exhibit one latch hook article made from a simple kit. The article needs to be finished or bound (pillow, wall hanging, etc.) and ready for use.

Leather Craft: Exhibit one simple leather craft article you stamped with a design and applied a finish. Examples are a bookmark, key fob, wristband, etc. *Suede or unfinished, rough leather items should be entered in Miscellaneous Crafts, not Leather Craft.

Macramé: Exhibit one simple macramé article the Cloverbud made. Article needs to be finished, clean, and ready for use.

Miscellaneous Crafts: Includes crafts like: enameling, candle making, felt craft, rock craft, weaving, stenciling, reed craft, string art, metal etching, engraving, unfired plaster crafts, shaping, handmade jewelry, paint by number, woven lawn chairs, etc. Legos, and K’nex can be exhibited in the Miscellaneous Crafts category. Miscellaneous Crafts should not be items that can be exhibited under another project. For example, a spatter art picture is a Fine Arts project, not a miscellaneous craft. *May exhibit 3 different types of articles under this category.

Models: Cloverbuds may exhibit a snap-together model kit. Select a simple kit to make. Place the model on a firm base and cover with plastic or put it in a purchased model display case. *Metal die cast models are not allowed. See models below for more information.

Needlecraft: Cloverbuds may exhibit one item from each of the following categories:   crochet, embroidery, knitting, cross-stitch, needlepoint, crewel, plastic canvas, hand-stitched quilting, candle wicking and miscellaneous needlecraft (any needlecraft that does not fit in another category). *Handwork only—no machine work is allowed.

Pottery: Exhibit an item made from clay, glazed, and kiln-fired. A Cloverbud may enter one exhibit for each category: Hand Molded (slab, coil, pinch pot) and Wheel Thrown (made on a potter’s wheel). *All pieces must be kiln-fired.

Recycled Crafts: Cloverbuds may exhibit an item made with at least one recycled object (that is any item that is being used differently than its original purpose.) Examples include but not limited to: pop bottle bird feeders, pop can hats, soup can luminaries, license plate bird feeders, silverware jewelry, etc.

Seasonal Decoration:Exhibit one item that celebrates a seasonal occasion. This can include patriotic days, religious celebrations, or public occasions.

Wearable Arts: These exhibits include but not limited to painted T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, tennis shoes, applique work, puff-painted articles, sequined/rhinestone articles, and tie dye. A Cloverbud who creates a wearable arts project can also participate in the Fashion Revue. *Exhibit item on a hanger.

Woodcraft: The Cloverbud is to exhibit a pre-made wood article to which he/she has applied a finish, such as acrylic paint or stain with a polyurethane finish.


Bicycle Project

One of the National 4-H initiatives is Healthy Living. Bicycling is an excellent activity for a child to stay healthy while having fun. For this project the Cloverbud can learn all about bicycles, safety, and the benefits of bicycling. Information can be obtained from any sources.

Cloverbuds may exhibit a poster or notebook on one of the following:

Please label your poster with the topic. A different topic should be completed each year.


Bowling Project

First year exhibit requirements:

Second year Exhibits choose one of the following


Cake Decorating PROJECT

Birthdays and special occasions are made special by having a creatively decorated cake for the occasion. Cake decorating takes patience, creativity, and lots of practice. In this project the Cloverbud will learn the skills needed to do cake decorating. Cloverbuds should practice decorating cupcakes using several different methods. A Cloverbud can choose one of the following to exhibit:

Complete a different activity each year or use more advanced techniques each year. Please note that Royal Icing will last longer, but is not required to be used.

*Cupcakes on display at the county fair may be disposed of due to cupcakes rotting or icing melting. The exhibit tag will be attached to the ribbon and kept for display until the end of fair. If desired, the Cloverbud can take a picture of the project and display with the cupcake. The picture will be kept with the exhibit tag and ribbon.


Collections (Miscellaneous) project

Almost every child loves to collect things. This project allows the Cloverbud to showcase his/her collection. A collection is a group of similar items and could be anything—buttons, stuffed animals, plates, toy cars, figurines, etc. This project does not include collections that are found in other projects such as rock, bug, or leaf collections.

The exhibit should consist of six (6) items from the collection displayed in a poster, box, notebook, or any other manner. The items need to be labeled as to what they are. A collector’s log showing item description and where and when purchased may be attached, but not required at the Cloverbud level. A picture of the entire collection should be included however.

All attempts will be made to safe guard projects at the fair; however, it is recommended that you do not exhibit high value or irreplaceable projects at the fair.


Communications project

Communication is verbal or non-verbal skill that foster great social interaction and learning. For this project the Cloverbud should practice good communication skills along with listening skills. The Cloverbud should be encouraged to speak in various situations (introducing people, small talk, show-n-tell, presentations, etc.) as well as how to listen (directions, listening to stories, etc.). The child should learn eye contact and proper body stance while talking and listening. For this project the Cloverbud will exhibit a poster or notebook on a topic regarding communicating. Examples include but are not limited to the following: ways people communicate, facial expressions and what they mean, how to introduce someone, or how to answer the phone. If a Cloverbud would like to give a presentation (how to speech or show-n-tell), contact your local club to arrange a time.


Community Service project

Anyone at any age can help serve their community. For this project the Cloverbud can exhibit a poster or notebook showing what he/she did to help his/her community. It can be anything from picking up trash to organizing an event to help someone who has been sick.


Computer project

Can you imagine a day that you do not use a computer? Computers are great technology to use for school, home and fun. Almost everyone uses some type of computer on a daily basis. We have computers in our homes, schools and even in some of our cars. Learning about how computers function and knowing how to use one can help us improve daily lives, be successful in school, play and we can even choose to have a career (job) working with computers when we grow up.

Kindergarten: Exhibit a poster or notebook on the parts of the computer, include a brief (short) description of what each parts does.

First Grade: Exhibit a notebook or poster on the how to use a computer, why we use computers, or where you find computers.

Second Grade - You can select any one of the following:

Websites to check out: (guidance for parents)


Consumer Clothing project

The purpose of this project is to increase the child’s awareness of the clothing industry from basic materials to the consumer. Where do you shop for clothes? How much do clothes cost? What are clothes made from? Who designs the clothes? Where are the clothes made? These are just a few of the areas that may be investigated in this project.

The following are suggested exhibits (do something different each year):

First, Second and Third Year options:

1. Design an ensemble that you have purchased (bought) or have at home in your closet.  Include the accessories you wear with this outfilt.

2.  Design a layout (picture) poster of a current trend (something everyone is wearing now) for your age group.  It can focus on color, texture, or style.

3.  Find an outfit (ensemble) at your favorites store, from a newspaper ad or online that you really like.  Put together an expense sheet (how much each item cost), then try to identify (find) similar items as a lower or higher cost.  Show the difference in cost between the two outfits.


Creative Writing project

Most children are great storytellers. Creative writing provides an opportunity to entertain readers, clarify an idea, express what you are feeling, or expand your imagination, as well as many other reasons.

Exhibit Options:


  1. Tell a brief story to an adult and have them write it down for you. Suggestion: It would be great to have an adult videotape you telling your story. We can show it at the fair with advance request.
  2. Write a poem about something you see around you or in your neighborhood such as your pet, your family, or a tree in the front yard. The poem should have at least five (5) lines and not more than ten (10) lines.

First grade:

  1. Write a letter to your best friend, your mom or grandparents telling them about an experience (real or imaginary) you had while you were at school, or traveling, or visiting the doctor (you choose).
  2. Write a story that should not exceed (be longer than) one page. It is okay to include pictures that help you tell your story. Be sure your story has a beginning/introduction, middle and an ending/conclusion.

Second grade:

  1. Write a story that should not exceed (be longer than) three pages. It is okay to include pictures that help you tell your story. Be sure your story has a beginning/introduction, middle and an ending.

Websites to check out:

This website is helpful, but geared towards other elementary-aged youth:


Electric project

Electricity is what powers our world. It keeps us in light, warmth, and is used to prepare our food. In this project you should learn about the basic facts of electricity. It is fun and interesting to learn how electricity works and how we harness it.

First grade:

  1. Exhibit a poster or notebook of things in your home and/or school that uses electricity to run.

Second grade:

  1. Exhibit a poster or notebook about being safe with electricity.
  2. Exhibit a poster or notebook explaining how magnets work.

Websites to check out:


Entomology (Bugs) Project

There are more kinds of insects in the world than all other living thing all together. They live in the air, in soil (dirt) and in water. Insects live in the deserts, rain forests, caves, and in the snow. This project will help you learn about insects and how people are affected by insects.

A Cloverbud can exhibit one of the following:


  1. Draw a bug and label all its parts
  2. Build-A-Bug model (3-dimensional)

First grade:

  1. Display a bug and it habitat (where it lives, eats, etc.)

Second grade:

  1. Describe an insect group, focus on one with lifespan, diet, habitat, methods of communication. What are the differences in groups, commonalities, etc.
  2. Describe a rare or unique insect. What makes it rare or unique? Describe what you find out about it.
  3. Fossilize one (1) insect-encase insect in clear fingernail polish in small glass “tomb” or use soft clay to make an impression of an insect. Small glass jars are obtainable from Extension Office for 50 cents each. Information about insect must accompany all exhibits.

Websites to check out: (this website is very much for adults to assist children).


Floriculture Project

The purpose of this project is to learn more about flowers and herbs. A Cloverbud can exhibit one of the following:

  1. A flower/herb that he/she grew this year from seed. Please exhibit in a simple unbreakable container. Display a different type of flower/herb each year.
  2. Poster or notebook detailing the parts of a flower.
  3. Poster or notebook on different types of flowers/herbs.
  4. Poster or notebook explaining the proper way to plant flowers/herbs.


Foods project


If you have any questions regarding county fair judging, please contact Phyllis Harris at least two weeks prior to the judging date at e-mail:

In the Cloverbud Foods project youth grades K-2 can explore why we need food, what are healthy foods, along with getting in the kitchen to whip up some tasty treats. This project has 2 areas: non-perishable foods and perishable foods. The non-perishable food exhibits will be on display during the fair. The perishable food exhibits are eligible for conference judging which is done prior to the fair. During conference judging a picture of the project is taken and then displayed at the fair.

Conference judging is a wonderful opportunity for a child to discuss his/her work with an adult who is an expert in the project. The judge will give tips and encourage the child. Cloverbuds, though not judged, are allowed to participate.

Conference Judging: Watch for the announcement for date, times, and location.

Non-perishable Food Exhibits include but not limited to:

Perishable Food Exhibits (bring to conference judging):


Filling, frosting, glazing, pie filling, and merinque, (whether uncooked or cooked) are NOT permitted to contain cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, whipping cream as the nature of these products increases the moisture content and water activity of the food. Foods with higher moisture content and water activity can be ideal growing conditions for food borne pathogens, even if the ingredient is part of a batter and baked. Additionally, raw milk, raw milk products or uncooked eggs/egg whites are NOT permitted. Eggs/egg whites that have been cooked to 160o F (i.e. pasteurized or included as part of a batter and baked) are acceptable. No home-canned fruits, vegetables, or meats are permitted in products. Recipes must be provided that show which ingredients were used in part of the product.

Exhibit Safety:

Exhibitors should carefully wash their hands and make sure that their hands do not have any open cuts before preparing foods. Exhibitors should not be preparing food exhibits for competition within 48 hours of recovering from any illness. Whenever possible, baked products should be transported and stored in chilled coolers (41oF).

Judges and individuals who will consume products from county and state competitions should be informed that they are at risk for foodborne illness since the established policy cannot guarantee that an entry which may be a “potentially hazardous food” has been properly prepared or handled before, during or following the competition. Tasting of a food product is solely at the discretion of the judge. Judges are NOT to taste any low-acid or acidified preserved food. Like green beans or tomato products, and are discouraged from tasting any other home preserved foods.

Consumers of competitive food exhibits being sold at auction or used for hospitality purposes should be notified they could be at risk for foodborne illness since the established policy cannot guarantee that an entry which may be a “potentially hazardous food” has been properly prepared or handled before, during or following the competition.

Purdue Extension Food Safety Policy

(revised 11/2013)


  1. Cover label with clear plastic wrap so that it will not become grease stained.
  2. Tape a label to the paper plate or container before the product is wrapped.

 Recipe or Index cards:

  1. A recipe card or index card (no longer than 5 ½” by 8 ½”) is required for all food exhibits. Be sure to include all the information requested in the exhibit description, as well as your name, county, and the department-section-class numbers (This information is for State Fair exhibits only. Cloverbud exhibits are NOT eligible for State Fair entry). It is recommended that you wrap the card in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag. Recipe cards will not be returned.
  2. Since it is illegal in the State of Indiana for youth under the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. 4-H members are to use recipes that do not include an alcoholic beverage as an ingredient. A suitable non-alcoholic or imitation product may be substituted.


  1. Most food products should be displayed on a paper or foam plate.
  2. For cakes – cut a piece of cardboard about ½ inch larger than the bottom of the cake. Cover this cardboard with wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil before putting the cake on it.
  3. Any other product that may be sticky on the bottom, such as some fancy breads, should be put on round, square, or rectangle cardboard. Cover this cardboard with wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil before putting the food product on it.
  4. Frozen food exhibits (containers and food) will be not returned to the exhibitor. Please display in freezer bags or disposable freezer containers.
  5. Pies should be exhibited in disposable pie tin.
  6. All canned products must have a ring on the jar to protect the seal.


Forestry (Trees) Project

In this project the Cloverbud will learn about trees. There are many resources you can use for this project.

Exhibit options include, but not limited to, the following:

A few book references you can find at the library include the following:

Autumn Leaves (Scholastic 1998) by Ken Robbins

Fall is Not Easy (Zino Pr Childrens’ Books) by Marty Kelley

Woods (One Small Square) (McGraw-Hill, 1997) by Donald M. Silver

A Giving Tree (Harpercollins Juvenile Books 1996) by Shel Silverstein

Where Once There Was A Wood (Henry Holt & company 1996) by Denise Fleming


Garden Project

In this project the Cloverbud gets hands on experience on how to grow vegetables. Gardens can be plot gardens or container gardens.

 Choose one of the following vegetables to *exhibit on a heavy duty paper plate: one (1) head of cabbage, three (3) carrots, three (3) cucumbers, five (5) green beans, three (3) green peppers, three (3) onions, three (3) potatoes, five (5) radishes, three (3) ears of sweet corn, or three (3) tomatoes. Choose a different vegetable to exhibit each year. The vegetables are to be grown from seeds or plant starts (tomatoes, peppers, etc.), cared for and harvested by the Cloverbud 4-H member.

 *Produce exhibits may be donated to local food organizations during the fair. The exhibit tag and ribbon will remain at the fair.

If a child does not have the opportunity to grow a garden, the child can exhibit an educational poster on a garden topic (how to plant garden, garden pests, parts of a vegetable plant, etc.)



Cloverbuds are encouraged to research their family history. They can exhibit one of the following (choose something different each year):


Geology (Rock Collecting) Project

Geology is the about the earth. What materials the earth is made up of and how the materials change the earth over time.


Exhibit suggestions include, but not limited to:

  1. Rock collection:  6 rocks the 1st year, 9 the 2nd year, and 12 the 3rd year. The rock collections can be displayed in an egg carton or poster board. Please make sure rocks are secure so they won’t fall out. Label the rocks with Shape, Color, Size, and Location you found the rocks.
  2. Make models of people or animals out of rocks.  Display six (6) in a box with labels of type of rock.  Please secure all items so they won't fall out.
  3. Make crystals in a jar using salt, boric acid, washing soda, borax or baking soda.  Display three (3) different crystals.  Please make sure crystals are secure in chamber.

Suggested references include:

Rocks and Minerals by Irving R. New York: Alfred A Knopf 1956.

The Everyday Science Sourcebook by Lowery, L.F. Palo Alto: Dale Seymore Publications 1985

Indiana University – Bloomington: Indiana Geological Survey:


Health project

Healthy Living is a National 4-H initiative. In this project the Cloverbud will explore healthy living and emergency preparedness. The Cloverbud can exhibit one of the following or any topic on healthy living:


Home Environment Project

Cloverbuds learn principles of design: How to decorate and how to care for their home furnishings. Suggested exhibits include:


Indiana Heritage (My Community) project

This project allows the Cloverbud to explore and learn about the history of his/her community. The Cloverbud can exhibit one of the following:

*Choose a different topic each year.



NEW CHANGE FOR 2014: OPTIONAL CONFERENCE JUDGING WILL BE AVAILABLE during project check in on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. ONLY.

The Model/Building project will encourage the member to use his or her imagination and ingenuity in creating an exhibit for the 4-H Marion County fair.  Model/Buildings exhibits for grades K-2 are entered in the Model/Building Exhibit and displayed in the Cloverbuds exhibit.

 Project requirements

  • Cloverbuds may enter the Models/Building exhibit using any Model/Building brand, and/or any other constructor or erector exhibits. Strongly encourage Lego Brand entries (as they are only brand allowed for 4-H exhibit).
  • Entries may be kit or original design. Exhibit tag MUST identify if entry is a kit or original design.
  • Please attach your exhibit card to the Model/Building exhibit. It is recommended that you encase your model exhibit in a plastic bag or use the following instructions for exhibit.
  • There is to be no gluing of pieces, painting, taping, or adding decals to the pieces in the project.
  • Exhibit must be displayed on solid base no more than 3 inches larger than the exhibit for maximum (not to exceed) base dimension of 11 X 14 inches (poster size). Exhibits larger than 11 X 14 will not be accepted or exhibited. If entering a Lego exhibit please note that Lego plates are not a suitable base alone for display, BUTcan be used as part of the project exhibit. The Lego base must be set upon the solid base. Exhibit must be displayed on a firm base such as Styrofoam, Foam core board (ok to stack two pieces), wood, etc. See below.


4-H Craft Information Card                                                        4-H618a-W

Recommended for Cloverbuds Grades: K-2

4-H Member Name: _____________________________________    Grade in School: _______


County: ___________________________


What is the title of your exhibit, or its purpose?


Was this exhibit completed from a purchased kit or an original design?


Describe how this exhibit was constructed/crafted: (What did you do)?


Model/Building Project Record Sheet


Please circle the grade you are in as of January 1.


Cloverbud:          Kindergarten                 Level 2: Grade 1             Level 3: Grade 2


Name: ________________________________________________________________________


Township: ____________________________    Club: _________________________


______________ Kit                             ________________ Original Design


Name of Kit or Original design: ____________________________________________________


I have reviewed this record and believe it to be correct.


Leader or Judge signature: ___________________________________________

Date: _____________


Type of Model/Building project (ex., person, building, etc.)_____________________________


Estimated number of hours worked completing Model/Building project: _________________


Why did you decide to participate in the Model/Building pilot project: _____________________________________________________________________________



If this is an original design, how did you come up with the design: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

List three (2) things you have learned this year in the Cloverbud Model/Building Pilot project:



____Exhibited at County Fair                                        



Cloverbud:      Kindergarten          Level 2: Grade 1      Level 3: Grade 2


Name: ______________________________________________


Club: _______________________________________________


______________ Kit                             ________________ Original Design


Name of Kit or Original design: ____________________________________________________


Well Done

Need to Improve




Overall   Display



Meets   Exhibit requirements



Creativity   (if original)




Personality project

This project allows the Cloverbud to learn about himself and the uniqueness of each person.  The Cloverbud can exhibit one of the following:

1. Write or draw a story/picture about yourself.  Use it to share what you like or don't like, what makes you a special human being.  You can display it on a poster, notebook or folder.

2. Read (or have someone read to you) a book or article about children in another country or culture.  Make a poster or notebook showing how you are similar (alike) and how you are different.

3. What makes a good friend?  Describe what you like about your best friend.  How are the two of you similar (alike) and how are the  two of you different.  Make a poster or notebook explainining what makes the two of you friends.


Photography project

Grab the camera and take lots of pictures. Look at your pictures and consider the lighting, composition, and colors. Choose 6 of your best pictures and display them on a poster titled, “Cloverbud Photography” or display them in a scrapbook.   Number the pictures 1 through 6. Each year take more pictures and choose 6 of your best pictures taken that year.

Reference: Focus on Photography, classic 4-H project book


Promotion 4-H Poster project

More people need to know about the awesome opportunities available through 4-H. If someone asked you about 4-H, what would you tell them? Well, now’s your chance to tell lots of people just by creating a poster. Use your creativity and make a poster that tells people what all is available in 4-H. You can learn lots about 4-H at National (, State (, and county ( websites.


Reading For Fun project

Reading for Fun encourages youth to share their love of reading with others. Book selection is your choice! What do you like to read? History? Biographies? Fiction? Mysteries? Cloverbuds are to read at least two (2) books each year, complete the record sheet (list of books read with title and author), and exhibit one of the following (something different each year):

* Include the title of the book and the author’s name with your exhibit. Also, if your exhibit is about characters in a book, be sure to include the character’s entire name.


Scarecrow PROJECT

The imagery of the scarecrow goes back before we even thought of spraying our gardens for pests. The scarecrow’s role in the garden has always been to scare off birds and other animals. The scarecrow is a model of a person standing in the garden; protecting the vegetables. The scarecrow is NOT a fictional character but the likeness of a person.

Cloverbuds may exhibit one (1) scarecrow no taller than four (4) feet. It must look like a real person (cowboy, doctor, farmer, baby, etc.), be fully clothed, stuffed with straw, hay or other dried plant material and be able to stand on its own or be seated (you provide the seat). Remember the scarecrow must depict a real person, not a fictional character such as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, etc.


Sewing Project

Sewing is an important life skill. In this project the Cloverbud will learn the basic skills needed in sewing. The following can be done for the exhibit:

First year Division A:  Learn to do hand stitching, straight stitching, overcast stitching and sewing on buttons.  Complete the record sheet.  Exhibit your completed Kool Cat or Honey Bear.  Do not stuff this exhibit.

Second year Division B:  Learn about basic sewing tools and the parts of the sewing machine.  Practice straight stitching.  Make a beanbag for practice.  Complete your record sheet.  Exhibit a square or rectangular shaped pillow.

To help protect your project, it is strongly recommended that you put it in a plastic bag, especially for the first-year sewing exhibit.


Small Animal Poster/Notebook and Showcase

Small animals include: cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, turtles, gerbils, mice, non-poisonous snakes, non-poisonous lizards, ferrets, birds, fish, rabbits, rats, crabs, praying mantis, millipedes, sugar gliders, prairie dogs, tarantulas, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, newts, frogs, mud puppies, salamanders, and scorpions. Be sure to register online at to let us know what animals you plan to bring to the Cloverbud Showcase.

Exhibit a poster or notebook on a topic about small animals that you have for a pet or would like to own as a pet. Do a different topic for each year.

Small Animal Showcase is an opportunity to show off your small animal during the Marion County Fair. Your parent(s) must stay with you at all times. The date will be announced in the Fair newsletter.


Sportfishing PROJECT

Fishing is a popular pastime and enjoyed by many. In this project the Cloverbud will learn more about fishing.

Exhibit one of the following (do something different each year):



Do you enjoy playing or watching a sport? What do you like about it? What equipment is needed? What are the rules of the game? These are just a few of the areas the Cloverbud can explore in this project.

A Cloverbud can exhibit a poster/notebook on one of the following (do something different each year):


Veterinary Science PROJECT

In this project the Cloverbud can learn about veterinary science. What is a veterinarian? Why do we need them? What does a veterinarian study? Why is it important? The Cloverbud can exhibit one of the following:



Weather is all around and affects everything we do. Weather is different during the spring and winter (seasons). Weather is also different for where you live. Weather determines what foods we have available and what activities we participate in and how we play.


  1. Exhibit a poster or dictionary defining five words that are “weather” words.
  2. Exhibit a poster or notebook describing five (5) conditions of “bad” weather.

First grade:

  1. Exhibit a poster or notebook describing five (5) conditions of “bad” weather and “good” weather.
  2. Exhibit a weather notebook (or diary) of the weather for 30 days. Describe what is different on each of the days. Describe what effect the weather has on the environment.

Second grade:

  1. Conduct a “weather” experiment by creating a tornado in a bottle, or making fog. Describe why you did the experiment, what you wanted to learn/know, what you did, what materials you used. You should use “scientific” methods. Feel free to use the Marion County Scientific journal for help.


Dorros, A. (1990). Feel the Wind (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science).

ISBN-10: 0064450953

ISBN-13: 978-0064450959

Rabe, T. (2004). Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? All About Weather (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library).

ISBN-10: 0375822763

ISBN-13: 978-0375822766

Websites to check out:

   (Go to Education/Outreach: Playtime)


Wildlife PROJECT

Wildlife consists of animals that are not domesticated (raccoons, opossums, wild rabbits, squirrels, wild birds, wolves, coyotes, deer, etc.)

Exhibit a poster or notebook on one of the following (do something different each year):






The Name of my Club is: _________________________________________________________________


We regularly meet on: _______________________________________          ______ : _______ a.m. or p.m.

                                                What day of the week


Leader(s) Name: __________________________________________________________________________


Leader(s) E-mail address: _______________________________________@_________________________


Leader(s) Phone number: __________________________________________________________________


Leader(s) Name: __________________________________________________________________________


Leader(s) E-mail address: _______________________________________@_________________________


Leader(s) Phone number: __________________________________________________________________



Leader(s) Name: __________________________________________________________________________


Leader(s) E-mail address: _______________________________________@_________________________


Leader(s) Phone number: __________________________________________________________________


I attend meetings in ____________________________________________ Township.


Important dates to remember


_________________________________________  _________________________________________


_________________________________________  _________________________________________


_________________________________________  _________________________________________



Check in for the Marion County Fair is:

June ____________ from _____ : ____ p.m. to _____ : _____ p.m.


I have conference judging for the following projects:


_______________________________   on ____________________________at ______ : _____ (p.m.)

By Phyllis G Harris, Extension Educator - 4-H Youth Development
The Educational Store