The county fair. Mini donuts. Walking around with friends. Going on rides. A sense of independence. Most importantly, showing off their achievements in the 4-H building.
For our family, the annual project is represented at the local county fair. Both girls work very hard over the summer to create/produce a few projects to put into the fair via 4-H. If they excel at their craft, they will earn a blue ribbon, or even win the coveted Grand Champion or Reserve Champion ribbon, earning them a trip to the state fair!
In The Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille, the annual project is a once-a-year BIG project that parents work on with their children.
How do I help with my kids’ 4-H projects? I help them acquire the supplies they need, pretend to be a judge and ask them questions, chauffeur them around to activities pertaining to their project, and give constructive criticism when I feel there is room for improvement on a project.
It’s a fantastic way for the kids to do some really great exploration about topics that interest them. This year Millie and Elise both did some woodworking, Millie did wool felting and the pet show, and Elise learned all about mason bees. They both performed in a skit that earned their group a trip to the state fair.
It is a wonderful experience, and is fantastic for strengthening the bond between friends, and allowing the kids to SHINE.