Project Ideas for 4H Demonstrations

4-H brings together young women and men from all over the United States.

As a youth organization in which members pledge to serve the head, heart, hands and health, 4-H provides myriad opportunities and forums for youth to showcase their knowledge on a particular subject. Regular 4-H demonstrations, for example, allow members to make a 3-D presentation on any idea of their choosing, from sewing to entomology.

1 Automotive

Car knowledge is immensely valuable.

Create a demonstration on the care of chrome. Find several different pieces of chrome; some new, some used, some in bad condition. Explain what causes chrome's deterioration and demonstrate how to clean and preserve it properly. Or, do a tire demonstration. Visit a junkyard and get several samples of tire rubber. Create a presentation on the proper wearing of tires, demonstrating the consequences of not rotating tires regularly or checking the pressure. You could also ask a junkyard to donate the front half of a car for your demonstration. Lift the car and remove the hood and all extraneous parts. Demonstrate how to change the oil and oil filter.

2 Livestock

Farm-bound 4-H members will need to know all about livestock.

Focus your demonstration on calves. Use paint and papier-mache to create a model of the internal organs of a calf, a young cow and a full-grown cow, demonstrating how the organs grow and develop. Or, do a presentation on birthing and caring for calves. Show a video (that you made) of a cow giving birth. Bring a live calf to the demonstration and point out important features. Demonstrate the proper way to dehorn a calf. You could also bring your own cow to the show and demonstrate proper grooming and tattooing techniques.

3 Childcare and Pregnancy

Child cognitive development can make a fascinating presentation.

Find a willing pregnant volunteer and photograph her belly at various stages to show the development of the fetus. For each photo, create an accompanying drawing of the baby at the appropriate stage. Or, use an assortment of baby dolls to illustrate proper bathing or dressing technique for an infant. (Check that the doll's limbs are flexible like a human child's.) You could also create a presentation on babysitting and entertaining children and create a variety of homemade, child-friendly toys for display.

4 Home and Garden

Cut and pin flowers to a board for a flower identification demonstration.

Select a variety of woods, finished and unfinished, and demonstrate correct sanding technique. Place the woods side by side and give a presentation on the differences among them and merits of each. Bring real or silk flowers to your demonstration and show how to color them using dye or chalk. Plant a window garden well in advance of the demonstration so that most of the plants will be blooming. Bring it, along with bulbs, seeds, potting soil and an empty window box, to the demonstration. Demonstrate proper planting and watering methods.

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.