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Pin a Holiday Memory with Homemade Magnets

Magnet craft holding a photo on a refrigerator.

Here’s an example of a decorated clothespin magnet holding a photo.

Slow Down to Savor the Season

The weeks leading up to the gift-giving holiday season can be hectic and stressful. Full social schedules and crowded stores can make Christmas seem like an expensive chore. One way to restore some of the joy of the season and regain some valuable family time is to make thoughtful giftsathome.

Craft a Gift That Everyone Can Use

Every year, the postal service brings glossy family photo cards to my home from friends near and far. Our family likes to make them part of the festive décor for the holiday season by displaying them with homemade  r refrigerator magnets. This magnet craft is one you can make with your entire family or at a 4-H Club meeting and give them as gifts.

 

foam cut out and scissors for a craft activity

Foam board cut outs can be glued to the clothespin to make fun magnets to give as gifts.

Basic Items to Get Started

Square wooden clothespins
Glue
Scissors
Adhesive magnet strips
Craft foam sheets
Markers
Glitter
Ribbon

 

We have decorative magnets and like to rotate them with the season.  Decorative details are limited only by your imagination and the weight that the magnets will support. Trial and error with magnet strength is recommended and is a great way to spark a STEM discussion while creating art together!

Follow these simple instructions: 

  1. Measure the magnet strip to cover the “back” of the clothespin.
  2. Cut to length.  (Adults may need to help younger kids with this.)
  3. Attach the magnet strip to the “back” of the clothespin.
  4. Add decorations or art work like foam cutouts to the “front” of the clothespin.

Gift Ideas 

  • Packaging the magnetic clothespins with a family photo or a child’s artwork.
  • Using a decorated clothespin magnet to hold a gift tag and include with a larger wrapped gift.
  • Giving cookies or other baked treats? Clothespin magnets make great recipe holders!

4-H is a great place for your child to express their creativity.  For information about 4-H in your county, please click here.

Additional Ideas & Resources for Clothespin Magnets

DIY Clothespin Magnets!

https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/crafts/how-to-make-refrigerator-magnets-from-clothespins

Teachers Gifts: DIY Magnetic Clothespins

Hitting the Mark – 4-H Shooting Sports Volunteers Ready to Lead!

4-H Volunteers learn and practice the pre-shot routine so they can teach it to their youth.

4-H Volunteers learn and practice the archery pre-shot routine so they can teach it to their youth. Photo: Julie P. Dillard

Ready to Lead

Sixteen 4-H volunteers joined ranks with one of Florida 4-H’s largest projects by earning their Level One Shooting Sports Instructor certification September 8.  Training participants included 4-H volunteers and UF/IFAS Extension staff from Escambia, Holmes, Jefferson, Marion, Wakulla, Walton, Union and Alachua counties.  What sets 4-H instructor training apart from other shooting sports trainings is the focus on youth life skills and positive youth development as opposed to focusing only on skill mastery.

About Florida 4-H Shooting Sports 

The 4-H Shooting Sports Program teaches young people safe and responsible use of firearms, principles of archery and hunting basics.  Lifelong skill development is one of the main benefits of involvement in the 4-H Shooting Sports Program and applies to both youth and adults involved in the program.  Specifically, the 4-H Shooting Sports Program is designed to:

  • Provide youth proper training in the use of firearms, archery equipment, and other areas of shooting sports.
  • Provide thorough instruction in shooting sports safety.
  • Develop life skills such as self-confidence, personal discipline, responsibility, and sportsmanship
  • Create an appreciation and understanding of natural resources and their wise use.
  • Provide volunteer instructors safe and proper instructional techniques.
  • Show volunteer leaders how to plan and manage 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs.  (Culen et al, 2018).

Resources for Success

Establishing eye dominance is one of the first tasks of new member.

Establishing eye dominance is one of the first tasks of new member. Photo: Julie P. Dillard

It’s important to equip agents, volunteers and youth with the tools they need to succeed in the Florida 4-H Shooting .  To assist you in organizing the county shooting sports program, here are some resources from the 4-H State Shooting Sports Committee and Environmental Sciences Action Team:

State Match Information, Rules and Risk Management

Youth Project Books

Getting Organized

To learn more about your county shooting sports program, contact your local 4-H agent.

Wakulla 4-H Shooting Sports Club Leader, David Pienta, takes aim during shotgun instruction.  Volunteers practice peer teaching to get ready to teach 4-H youth.

 

Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities

4-H members play the stacking game at a club meeting.

Summer is here, and I’m picturing long and lazy sunny days at the lake or beach. In Florida, the warm, sunny days of summer also bring afternoon thunderstorms and the possibility of tropical storms and occasional hurricanes.

What to do on rainy summer days?

During the summer months, the days of sunshine may be interrupted with periods of rainy weather. For children, rainy weather often means long hours spent inside the house. While some children welcome rainy days to spend time curled up with a book, reading for hours at a time will not occupy every child.

For parents looking for indoor activity options for children beyond movie marathons and video games, using household items already on hand can provide fun alternatives to endless screen time.

STEM CHALLENGE AT HOME

A fun activity that only requires string, rubber bands, and sturdy plastic cups will challenge your children to work together and think creatively to problem solve. The “Stack ‘Em Up: Introduction to Engineering Activity” challenges children to think like engineers. The activity is best done with 4 to 6 children. This is a great activity for children to enjoy when the neighborhood group converges on your house for a rainy afternoon! A complete instruction guide for this activity is included in the links below this article.

HOME KITCHEN CHALLENGE

A number of popular television cooking shows involve challenge competitions with special or limited ingredients. Parents can adapt this concept to help their children develop basic cooking skills while also giving them an opportunity to be creative and problem solve. This “do it yourself” at home cooking competition, adapted from PBS Kids, offers an easy fun way to engage children in creative kitchen fun:

• Divide the kids (or kids and adults) into 2 or 3 teams of 1 – 2 people.
• Gather a set of cooking items for each team – utensils, measuring instruments, bowls, etc.
• Choose an adult or older child to be the judge and/or the announcer/assistant. The judge can also decide on the “Secret Ingredient” that will be revealed to the contestants. Consider making it a fruit, a raw vegetable like carrot, cucumber, or celery, a grain item such as bread or cracker, or a spice like ginger or cinnamon.
• Set up individual or team “cooking stations”. Your cooking competition may be preparation only – without a stove, microwave, or oven.
Plan in time for taking turns cooking if your items will need to be heated or if appliances such as blenders or stand mixers will be used.
To add an additional layer of challenge, parents can decide to limit each time to one preparation method for individual teams or across all teams.
• Decide ahead of time how many additional ingredients competitors may “shop” for in the kitchen.
• Designate a separate spot for the judge or multiple judges to taste the food. This station should be equipped with a plate and eating utensils, and a palate cleanser like water or crackers. For more fun possibilities, create scoring cards with categories for taste, originality, good humor or sportsmanship, and presentation.
• Use a timing device like a kitchen or cell phone timer to add in the time element to the challenge. The suggested competition time is 20 minutes. The 20-minute time should include the child’s recipe planning time. Decisions will need to be made quickly!
• When time’s up, have each team present their creation to the judge, including a verbal description of flavors and the preparation technique. The judge(s) can taste each one and fill out the scorecards.
Need ideas for prizes? Consider awarding a new cooking utensil like a colorful spatula with a certificate or card declaring the winner(s) “Master(s) of the Grand Spatula!”
Want to involve additional older children or adults? Designate reporters to videotape and interview the contestants. Extend the fun by watching all the videos once the competition ends or before the winners are announced.

WHEN IT RAINS, GROW CREATIVE FUN FAMILY TIME AT HOME

The next time the summer forecast calls for rain, be prepared with these “rainy day” activity ideas. For more ideas, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.

How to Create a Cooking Challenge for Kids

How to Host a Cooking Competition for Your Kids

Stack ‘Em Up Activity
http://ngcproject.org/sites/default/files/9.6_stack_em_up_activity.pdf
https://www-tc.pbskids.org/fetch/games/activities/pdf/FETCH_StackEmUp.pdf