Reagan Black picked up a white crayon and drew a puppy, then painted over it with black paint thinned with water, telling the older helpers a story to go with the picture.
Next to her, Kiersten Fisher wrote her name, then covered it with the paint.
The two were at the annual Clover Kids day for second- and third-graders Wednesday at the Webster County Extension office at the Crossroads Mall. They were in activity rotation at the resist painting table manned by Hannah Carlson, a 4-H County Council member, and Steph Martin, a 4-H'er still too young to be on the Council.
Chase Kamp puts a face on his origami bat during the Clover Kids day Wednesday to introduce second- and third-graders to 4-H. Youths can join 4-H when they’re in fourth grade.
Reagan, 8, is a second-grade student at Community Christian School. She said her grandmother told her about the Clover Kids day, but said flyers had been handed out to the school. She said she was surprised to know some of the other 25 youngsters at the daylong activity.
Although she's not certain about joining 4-H when she gets old enough, she is looking forward to coming back to Clover Kids next year.
Jodie Burke, of Barnum, is in charge of the day, something she's done for seven or eight years. In fact, she said, some of the kids she had at the Clover Kids day in the beginning are now helping her as part of the 4-H County Council.
"We always do it over Christmas break, so we get lots of help and lots of kids," Burke said. "We do it to get the kids interested in 4-H for when they're in fourth grade. The older kids earn points, but most of them do it because they enjoy it and they can also act like kids for a day."
She said 27 kids signed up and 26 showed up. The $10 fee covered the cost of lunch and activity materials.
"We always have a theme," Burke said. "Today it was 'Camping Out Under the Stars.' We had a Star Lab this morning with charts showing different times of year where the constellations are in the sky."
Webster County Naturalist Erin Ford discussed the stars and constellations, then talked about nocturnal animals, which led to the youngsters making origami bats.
"We include learning activities, hands-on activities, nutrition and exercise," Burke said. "Some of these are kids who haven't heard of 4-H before, but I think some of them have become interested."
Webster County Youth Coordinator Linda Cline said the day for pre-4-H-age kids is held as a single day rather than weekly or month programs. "They can have fun and learn things, and it gives the kids something to do."
That includes the older 4-H'ers who help out during the day, Cline said. "It's good leadership practice for them."
During the afternoon, youngsters rotated through activity tables to work on tin punch stars, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, constellations views, I Spy bottles, resist painting and making 'smores.
During lunch, they broke into smaller camping groups, then pitched tents with blankets and clothes pins next to a make-believe fire pit. They ate lunch in their tents, including ants on a log - celery filled with peanut butter and dotted with chocolate chips as the ants.
It didn't really matter what the youngsters did, they did it with grins and giggles.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org