One of the four “H’s” that we celebrate in 4-H is healthy living. According to National 4-H, the 4-H program “empowers youth to be healthy — body and mind — with the skills to make healthy decisions and lead healthy lifestyles.”
In the midst of a global pandemic and the stresses of every day life, healthy living programs within the 4-H program encourages youth that they can face daily challenges and have the confidence to be a leader in their community, career and life.
What do we cover in the 4-H program that makes up healthy living? Program areas focus on social and emotional well-being, fitness, health, nutrition, safety, mentorship and leadership.
In a 2014 study by National 4-H Council and Molina Healthcare, teens reported they saw their health as holistic, encompassing mind, body and soul. This means that teens “care just as much about their emotional and mental health as physical health.” Concerns expressed by teens included not getting enough sleep and learning methods to help with stress.
With this information, I would like to provide you and the youth that you know with a simple healthy living activity that you can do at home together but is also an example of an educational activity that may be done at a 4-H club meeting.
A “calm down jar” is a tool that can be used for when youth need to calm down from having really big emotions or feeling too anxious. When youth shake the jar, they can practice taking deep breaths and visualize watching their feelings (glitter in jar) move in the jar and slowly settle to the bottom.
Items needed: chunky glitter, fine glitter, glycerin (or corn syrup, or glitter glue), Gorilla glue, warm water, a few drops of soap and a small glass jar/container with a lid.
1. Add glitter to the bottle (1/2 inch thick).
2. Add a little bit of warm water and shake gently and avoid clumps.
3. Add glycerin until the bottle is 1/4 to 1/3 full.
4. Add more warm water until the jar is almost full.
5. Add 2-3 drops of dish soap.
6. Close the jar and turn it a few times to mix everything up.
7. Open the jar and use your finger to gently stir and mix it up. Close the cap and shake again.
8. Once you are happy with the combination of glitter and glycerin, you can add more warm water or glycerin and close the bottle for good. You can use gorilla glue to close the bottle for good.
4-H enrollment is open! To enroll in the Montgomery County 4-H program, visit https://v2.4honline.com or visit the Montgomery County Extension office at 400 Parke Ave., Crawfordsville, IN 47933.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Abby Morgan at the Extension office at 765-364-6363 or e-mail [email protected].
Abby Morgan is the Montgomery County Extension Education, 4-H Youth Development Educator.