I can’t remember where I read about these but they have been a total game changer for us.
The brainchild of Charlotte and Jamie these activity badge challenges work in the same way as the Scout and Guide badge system and in part support the Pawprint Trust to give young people hardship funds for Guiding and Scouting Opportunities. Having spent over 25 years as a member of these organisations it’s a cause close to my heart.
Why do I love them?
There are so many ideas and I didn’t have to think of a single one. As a home ed mum what is not to love! In fact I don’t think even if I had time, I would come up with half the ideas contained in the challenge packs. Issy and I both love doing the activities and I can link them to things we’re studying.
Another bonus is that we usually have the resources and equipment we need to complete the activities so they aren’t expensive to do. The Challenge Packs are free and technically you don’t have to buy the badges. Although that’s never going to wash with Issy!
Why does Issy love them?
When I asked her, this is what she said and I quote “there are ridiculously fun activities, it keeps me off my tablet, and did I say fun. I like the silly activities I get to do like the pollen collecting game and then there’s the badge…I get a badge!”
I’ll be honest the badge is a big motivator for Issy. As we are on the road for large parts of the year joining Scouts or Guides isn’t possible but if she did she’d be one of those kids who work their way through the badge scheme alphabetically.
How do they work?
Each badge comes with a free challenge pack. This sets out the activities you need to do to complete the badge. The number of activities you need to complete are staggered according to age. Issy has to complete five activities in total; one from each category (food, craft, games and other) plus one additional activity.
I keep a tracker of the activities that she’s done. For those of you who home school full-time, I am considering appending this to any educational report I have to submit as examples of her learning.
How do we use them?
We use them to provide independent learning opportunities, sneak in activities that she doesn’t really like doing (mostly writing) and get her to try new activities. I’m encouraging her to collate her ideas in a Pawprint Learning Journal. It’s more akin to a scrapbook of activities which includes writing out recipes, drawings, research etc.
When I’m doing my planning sometimes I’ll link the badge to a particular date or other times it will be a topic that we’re studying e.g. we did our spy badge as part of our Early 20th Century topic which covered WW1 and WW2). There are challenge packs for everything from Saints Days (St George’s day), important holidays (Chinese New Year, Easter), Charity Days (Den Day), other events (World Book Day, VE 75 anniversary) and themed badges (Art, Monkey). I often get the ideas from Pawprint and any additional resources from Twinkl (I have a paid subscription).
Currently the world is on lockdown so our monthly project for April is Operation Pawprint. This involves trying to do a few pawprint activities a day. Helpfully, Pawprint Family themselves are running a#ABadgeADay challenge where you complete 3 pawprint activities a day. These three were ours yesterday
How to Start Your Pawprint Journey
Facebook Groups to Join
Home Educating with Pawprint Badges
Resources & Support for Pawprint Badges
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