Parents looking for creative ways to keep their children engaged during this time of social distancing are encouraged to explore the new, in-home activities offered by Pennsylvania 4-H.
Administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension, 4-H is a community of more than 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Penn State Extension 4-H youth development educators in all 67 counties throughout the commonwealth administer local 4-H programs through non-formal education and outreach.
“Inspire Kids to Do Home Activities” was developed in response to the COVID-19 regulations as a way of providing 4-H youth and families, as well as non-4-Hers, with activities to keep them learning and growing from the comfort of their own homes.
“The program spans a wide range of topics and provides a glimpse into the variety of projects and programs offered to Pennsylvania 4-H members,” said Joshua Rice, assistant director of 4-H programs for Penn State Extension.
“While all face-to-face 4-H programs are currently suspended, youth can still take part in 4-H programs and activities online,” he said. “The ‘Inspire Kids to Do Home Activities’ program is designed to nurture the growth and development of children and teens.”
Parents are provided with easy-to-follow instruction on executing fun, yet educational activities with household items. These activities encourage self-guided learning, creativity and problem-solving.
Activities include the following:
-- Photography Challenge. Every week a category will be posted, along with a photography skill or tip from the 4-H photography curriculum. Youth are invited to submit a photo that reflects each week’s theme.
-- The Exciting Egg. The lesson provides youth with an opportunity to identify the parts of an egg, using their scientific names. Youth also will learn about the difference between fertile eggs and infertile eggs.
-- Food Challenge. These mini challenges offer a virtual opportunity for youth and their families to become inspired by food and to practice cooking techniques. These challenges serve to promote the main Pennsylvania 4-H Food Science Challenge, which will be a live event held this Fall.
-- Nature Scavenger Hunt. Participants will learn to look for signs of wildlife and will develop their observation skills in nature.
Visit https://extension.psu.edu/4-h-home-activities for a complete list of activities, or follow Pennsylvania 4-H on Facebook or Instagram to find out the featured activity of the week.
-- Dairy Webinar: Knowing When to Hold and When to Fold - Considerations for When it’s Time to Exit the Dairy Business - Tuesday, May 12: 9-10 a.m. This webinar will cover important topics to take into consideration when thinking about exiting the dairy business. Register at: https://extension.psu.edu/knowing-when-to-hold-and-when-to-fold-considerations-for-when-its-time-to-exit-the-dairy-business
-- Herbs for the Home Gardener - May 12, 6-7 p.m. Join us for the fourth webinar of the Spring Garden Series and learn all about garden herbs and their uses! Visit: https://extension.psu.edu/herbs-for-the-home-gardener-webinar
-- Living on a Few Acres – Fruit Production - May 12, 7-9 p.m. Join Extension Specialists for the Living on a Few Acres webinar series and learn all about producing small and tree fruit at home! Visit: https://extension.psu.edu/living-on-a-few-acres-vegetable-production-webinar
-- Gardening Webinar: “Garden Hotline Live! Spring Gardening Fever” – Friday, May 15 – Noon-1 p.m. – Expert Master Gardeners and Extension Educators from across the state answer a selection of your spring garden questions during this webinar! Registration is free. Visit: https://extension.psu.edu/garden-hotline-live-episode-3
-- Gardening Webinar: “Garden Hotline Live! June Bugs and More” – Friday, June 5 – Noon-1 p.m. – Expert Master Gardeners and Extension Educators from across the state answer a selection of your spring garden questions during this webinar! Registration is free. Visit: https://extension.psu.edu/garden-hotline-live-episode-4
-- Gardening Webinar: “Garden Hotline Live! Welcoming Summer” – Friday, June 19 – Noon-1 p.m. – Expert Master Gardeners and Extension Educators from across the state answer a selection of your spring garden questions during this webinar! Registration is free. Visit: https://extension.psu.edu/garden-hotline-live-episode-5
-- Local Master Gardener Hotline Still Operating - The Franklin County Penn State Extension office is temporarily closed to the public. However, if you have a home gardening question or concern, call the office at: (717) 263-9226. Phone calls are still being answered. You may also send a detailed description via email to: email@example.com. You may attach two or three clear photos. Master Gardeners will retrieve your email and respond.
-- Annual Penn State Extension Master Gardener Plant Sale is postponed – The annual Master Gardener plant sale, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16, has been postponed indefinitely. More details will follow in the weeks ahead.