Home Education Resource: Pawprint Badge Challenges

We recently discovered a website that I think will be invaluable for the boys, particularly the younger two.

Pawprint Badges is an organisation that supports teachers, group leaders and parents with free-to-download resource packs covering a wide range of educational and inspiring activity ideas. With over 40 challenge packs covering topics including animals, nature, national holidays, and many more.

Each challenge pack contains several sheets of activity ideas, separated into sections, and participants can choose as many as they like from each section. Pawprint Badges’ guidelines are set for each age range, and recommendations for most packs are:

5-7 Years : Complete 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections.
7-11 Years : Complete 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections + 1 more of your choice.
11-14 Years : Complete 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections + 2 more of your choice.
14-18 Years : Complete 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections + 3 more of your choice.
18+ Years : Award yourself a badge for assisting young people in achieving this badge.

Due to the flexible nature of the challenges, Pawprint Badges are suitable for all. Even the smallest siblings can tag along if you’re doing it as a family, which is how we approach them as a home educating household.

The first challenge pack we chose was – somewhat predictably – Too Cool for School.

If following the suggested number of tasks laid out in the challenge pack, the boys would be completing at least five challenges each. We decided though to do as many as we could within two weeks. We’re over enthusiastic like that.

So from the list of 150 challenges we chose 20 to tick off.

Make Slime
Go on a city break
Have a movie night
Visit a science museum
Learn some survival skills
Complete a word search
Read a book
Make some big art
Have a board game day
Learn to play an instrument
Try a new sport
Grow your own crystals
Ride on a train
Ride a bike
Make an ornament
Take a road trip
Build a robot
Litter pick
Collect items for the local food bank

I think this challenge pack is a great one to start with – there are more challenges o choose from and they’re all a lot of fun.

When participants have achieved their targets, parents/leaders/teachers can send off for the corresponding embroidered badge, giving kids a tangible reward as well as allowing them to start a collection they can truly be proud of. We’re going to put all of our achievements into a dedicated Pawprint Badges folder so the children can look back and be proud of how much they achieved whilst they were just busy having fun.

For a resource to encourage kids to work towards awards, to feel a sense of achievement, and to create a unique record of personal development – all for free – this is truly amazing.

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