When we joined the Nature Seekers 4 H Club in 2008, it was the first and only Cloverbud 4 H club (Cloverbuds are 4hers ages 5-8.) All of the children in the club at that time were Cloverbuds. But, as children have a tendency to do, many of those kids grew up and of all the children that were the original club members, I think only mine are left. Our club did continue to grow and change over the years as we gained new members, but it is not just a Cloverbud club anymore. I have children ranging in age from 5 to almost 13. And actually we have a few younger than 5 if you count tag along siblings that love to be able to participate in club meetings. It can sometimes be a challenge to find activities that will suit a wide range of ages and that age gap caused me to change plans for this month's meeting literally at the last minute.
I thought it would be fun to do a meeting on LEGO. When we did the science workshop over the summer everyone's favorite activity was the LEGO table. So I started looking for some LEGO related activities we could do at the meeting. I had planned on having the children work in teams to create a balloon powered LEGO car that we could race. I had my boys gather up a bunch of wheels and axles so I knew we would have enough (I wasn't sure what all was in the 4 H bin) and we had the other supplies left over from when we did our fair booth. But an hour before we had to leave I decided we really should do a test run, and needless to say it did not go well. It was really frustrating my 3 younger children because they couldn't come up with a design that moved very well under balloon power. I wanted the meeting to be fun not frustrating so I threw that idea out the window.
What did we do?
I had filled a jar full of different size LEGO pieces and had everyone write their guess of how many were in the jar on their way in. I gave out a prize for the closest.
I read a list of fun and fascinating facts about LEGO (and for those of you who were at the meeting if you capitalize LEGO spell check does decide it is correct :)
Then Anthony did a demonstration of our LEGO WeDo Software. He had built and programmed a roaring lion and showed the club how it worked.
Next we played LEGO Bingo. We played 2 rounds of this using LEGO as bingo markers. I gave out those .97 packs from Walmart that has a small coloring book and crayons in it (unfortunately they didn't have any LEGO ones or any other LEGO themed prizes but oh well.) Everyone else got a sucker.
That gave us about 20 min left leaving 10 minutes to clean up before another meeting would start coming in. For that 20 minutes the children got to create whatever they wanted to from the available bricks and blocks in the LEGO bin.
We were missing several of our regular members partially because I changed the time so we could make it to soccer, and also because of general busyness, but we had 3 new members and still ended up with 16 children at the meeting.