These are strange times we are living in and we are all doing what we can to survive. In our home this means packing as much as I can into the day for the kids. Is that because you want them to excel at home school? (I hear you say!) Well, no……the fact is if they are distracted by things to do, they aren’t physically trying to maim each other.
Our mornings are already filled with schoolwork which has been set by their teachers, but interest in that soon wears out. I spent the first few weeks of lockdown cramming Pinterest inspired crafts and activities into our afternoons but to be honest, I soon ran out of steam. Which is when I discovered Paw Print Badges and their FREE resources.
Just to be clear, this is not an ad. This is just a well-timed discovery of some amazing themed activities for kids to complete.
WHAT ARE PAW PRINT BADGES?
If you’ve not come across this before, Paw Print badges allow children to complete activities to earn badges. Think Brownies and Cubs without the dodgy uniforms. They say:
It’s our mission to help leaders, teachers and parents save time and provide opportunities that deliver adventure, fun, community and reward.
Cute right? Guides and Scout leaders, I think have used them for a long time and many schools and parents have gotten on board too. For me, it has given me the inspiration I need and a steady supply of ideas for activities for two tiny humans who always seem to be on the go.
There are a massive amount of free resources available on their website including all the challenges, for my two though they love nothing more than a reward. So, for a couple of quid each, I’ve ordered a stack of badges for us to slowly work through while we are home schooling.
I started easy with my two and ordered the badges that I thought would fit easily into the seasons. We spend a lot of time in the garden so add in the fact that both kids love crafts as well as cats (her) and dinosaurs (him), and the first 7 badges we ordered were an easy choice.
- Purrfect Challenge
- TRex Challenge
- Art Challenge
- Star Baker
- Bee Challenge
- Gardening Challenge
The badges are beautiful and both kids were immediately excited to start earning them. At 3 and 5 they don’t particularly do anything with said badges once they’ve earned them if I’m honest, but they still seem to be an amazing motivator for them. I’ve offered to sew the Bears onto a blanket for her but she’s having none of it and instead prefers to just carry them around! Henry has already lost the 2 he’s earned somewhere in the house so nuff said really but I have high hopes that they will turn up again soon!
Luckily, they are brilliant quality though and will hold up to some serious handling. I think we may be addicted as we’ve just added the following badges to our collection which will hopefully arrive soon!
- Too Cool For School – At Home
- Wizarding Adventures
- Pirate Adventures
- Summer Challenge
You can explore the challenges yourself as you can access and download them all for free. Basically though each challenge pack gives you 4 pages of themed activites around the topics of crafts, food, games and other. The idea is that the number of challenges you need to complete will depend on how old your child is:
- 5-7 Years : 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections.
- 7-11 Years : 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections + 1 more
- 11-14 Years : 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections + 2 more
- 14-18 Years : 1 challenge from each of the 4 sections + 3 more
Personally, what I do is print out the challenge pack and attack it with a highlighter for all age appropriate activities for my two. Some are great suggestions, others are far too old for them but can easily be adapted. There are usually 2 or 3 great things to do from each section though which I then slip into our week as and when my two start to get a little bit fraught. It has been taking us a few weeks to exhaust the activities associated with a badge, behaviour dependant!
This for me is the beauty of Paw Print badges. To say that my two are a challenge when they are bored is an understatement. Chaos usually descends to the point where at least one of us ends up in tears, sometimes we all have a good cry on a bad day. So, to have a list of things to dip into as tempers start to fray or to use as a distraction as required is a godsend during times like these. Plus the fact that they come with built in blackmail in the form of a badge cannot be underestimated.
Needless to say, if you have young children I would recommend having a browse through their website for any challenges that could inspire your kids. To download the free challenge packs if nothing else!
So, how have Paw Print Badges been keeping me sane? By ensuring that I have a steady stream of things to keep the kids entertained. If they are working on earning their badges, then they are not causing each other a significant amount of damage.