One of the other responsibilities I have in this life is that of a 4-H Leader. If you are not familiar with 4-H, I'm sorry, cause it's awesome! It's a program for youth that helps empower them to become the successful adults of tomorrow through a variety of activities. It's taught by volunteer leaders/teachers. I'm one of those leaders and our club is a horse club. That means I teach all things horse related to a darling group of about 10 girls, ages 7-13. We meet 2-3 times a week, twice to ride and work on horsemanship skills and once for book work. They have a written test at all their horse shows to demonstrate their horse knowledge and then they have other activities such as horse bowl where they get to compete as teams answering horse related questions. Book work is good and so necessary, but sometimes it's hard to get kids to read and study without making it fun! So I am going to be adding blog posts about our experiences in making book work fun! Since I couldn't find much on the subject, I thought sharing might help other leaders out there! These posts will be called 4-H Leaders Helper as they will all be based on our 4-H experience and activities. Feel free to try our games and suggestions! Remember we have the power to shape the next generation for good! Hope you have a great day!
Today's suggestion is to play a game called "HORSE" it is based on the game BINGO, but a little different. (I just made this up so you could tweak it any way you like, the idea is to learn the material, but in a fun way!) Make a game card (I did mine by hand/ruler, but you could definitely get fancy on the computer!), get some beans, or in our case we used horse feed pellets (makes it a little more "horsey"), you will need a set of questions to ask. I had the girls study pages 4-5 of their Horses and Horsemanship Book, then I read through myself and created questions to ask. We sat at the table, go either clockwise or counter clockwise, each person gets a turn to answer a question, if they get it correct, they get a pellet for their board (I let them choose where), of course there is a free space like Bingo, and if that person gets their question wrong it's open for anyone else to answer (our rule was first to raise hand gets chance and so on, first person to answer correctly gets a pellet, then go back to the next person in line and continue until you get someone that gets a 5 pellet line, either across, down or diagonal. Or you can also play to Blackout! We had small dollar prizes for the winner of each round. Once someone got a winning 5 line, we cleared and started over.
I liked this game because each person gets their own turn, (some of our younger kids aren't usually the first to know the answer, but if given that extra minute to think because they have their own turn they have a better chance which builds confidence and keeps them coming! At the end we used the same questions and played like a regular horse bowl to see if the information was learned and retained. The kids had fun and learned a great deal. Below are some pics of what we did. For sure making this a game kept them studying the material longer!