As a first-year member, learn about the many 4-H project areas, complete a mini-project, learn about your new club, and involve your family and friends in 4-H.

Download the Spark Sheet

English Spanish
Exploring 4-H

4-H Exploratory Spark Activity: Cereal Marshmallow Bars

 Let’s make a yummy treat! Cereal marshmallow bars are an easy family favorite. Before you begin, find an adult to help you out. Ask them to work with you as a helper and show you how to safely use a microwave.

First, wash your hands with soap and water. Gather the following ingredients: 3-4 Tbsp of butter, 4 cups or 10-ounce package of mini marshmallows, 5-6 cups of a cereal of your choice. First, lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave an additional 1-2 minutes or until melted. While the marshmallows and butter are melting, measure the cereal into a large mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter and marshmallow mixture into the cereal bowl. Continue to stir gently until the cereal is evenly coated. Carefully press the warm marshmallow cereal into the prepared pan. Cool and then cut into small squares and enjoy.

To change things up, try a different type of cereal or add your favorite candy to the mix. Use your imagination and see what you and your family can come up with. Enjoy your time together and remember to always ask for help when baking in the kitchen.

Ask fellow club members about some of their favorite 4-H project activities. Learning to cook is just one of nearly 100 different projects you can learn about in 4-H.

4-H Project Levels and Goals
  • Sample some projects offered in 4-H
  • Learn the 4-H pledge and motto
  • Lead your family or friends in a fun activity
Put Your Project Into Action

Show Your Skills

  • Complete the “Getting to Know You” activity in the Welcome to 4-H Member Guide, and create a display of your favorite items
  • Track your “healthy habits” for a week and share your favorite ways to exercise
  • Create a windowsill garden and display the results Service and Leadership
  • Create a card for a nursing home resident
  • Help at a community garden
  • Share a healthy snack you made with a friend or neighbor
  • Create a display for school or a library about how to join your 4-H club
  • Participate in a 4-H radio promotion • Assist in setting up and/or cleaning up for a 4-H event Entrepreneurship
  • Care for pets while friends or neighbors are on vacation
  • Assist with watering plants and caring for lawns or gardens

Technology Connection

  • Illinois 4-H YouTube channel

Connecting with a Mentor

  • 4-H club leader
  • 4-H Teen Teachers and 4-H junior leaders
  • 4-H Extension program coordinator


  • Attend project workshops offered by your county Extension office or local club
  • Attend events offered by after school programs and libraries about interesting topics

Project Manuals & Exhibit Requirements

  • Welcome to 4-H: An Introduction to 4-H          
  • Collectibles: My Favorite Things   
  • Bienvenidos a 4-H

Purchase manuals on the Shop Illinois 4-H Store

View exhibit requirements and scoresheets on the Illinois State Fair page.

  • You have many career options to explore! Start with project areas that are of interest to you and seek out someone with knowledge and skills in those areas. Review other SPARK sheets for specific ideas.
Start a Conversation
  • What is the name of your 4-H club?
  • When and where does your club meet?
  • What do the four Hs represent?
  • What projects would you like to explore?

University of Illinois Extension staff that contributed to this resource include Martha Ebbesmeyer, Allie Johnston and Molly Sedig

4-H Spark Sheets are a collaborative effort of 4-H staff, volunteers, alumni and teens from across Illinois. A big thanks to the many contributors and reviewers!