Summer Badges for Kids

summer badges

It all started with Max & Ruby.

Ruby was a (cartoon) bunny scout and earned merit badges. So my 3-year old daughter wanted to earn merit badges. I gave her poker chips. Great job picking up your socks! Here’s a pok… er… merit badge!

Our badge system has since evolved into a slightly more sophisticated process. Probably because most of the poker chips got lost.

(I still occasionally find one).

 

The Summer Badge System

We began using this system when my son was almost 4 and couldn’t read yet. My daughter was 6 and was a beginning reader. I needed pictures and basic words. Badges were a good way to get them excited about learning new skills, practicing good manners, etc.

I also needed something very simple that wouldn’t get scattered all over the house like poker chips, so I made a booklet.

The badges were made using Microsoft clip art, printed on 4×6 index cards and kept in an inexpensive 4×6 photo album ($2 at Target and drug stores).

Cover:

summer badge booklet

Some of the badges:

summer badge booklet inside 3   summer badge booklet inside 2

summer badge booklet inside 4   summer badge booklet inside

I gave the kids stickers to put on the badges as they were earned. Stickers + children = win. Looks like they didn’t earn the “peace and quiet” badge. Hmmm.

 

The book was also used as a place to collect postcards, stickers, and drawings:

summer badge booklet stickers

 

As the children got older, the badges and contents changed. I added a U.S. license plate game for long car trips:

license plate game

 

Also see my 4×6 Simple Scrapbook for more summer booklet ideas.

 

Creating Summer Badges

There are two ways to approach this: think of the badges and then find an icon or clip art to match, or start with the clip art and figure out what it could mean. Either way, you’ll probably end up with a lot of badges.

It may be helpful to arrange them by category, such as things to do, places to go, and skills to learn. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Things to Do

swimming, camping, fishing, sports, bike riding, cooking, games, music, arts & crafts, leaf collecting, exploring, experiment, seashells & rocks, bug watching

Places to Go

aquarium, zoo, movie theater, beach, mountains, grandma’s house, library, museum

Skills to Learn

telephone, tying shoes, reading, writing, counting money, telling time, cartwheel, computer, bed making, cleaning, brushing & flossing, good nutrition, recycling, table manners

 

Free Icons & Clip Art

These are my current favorites:

Symbly Gamification Icons

symbly

 

Camp Badges by The Girl Tyler

brand-camp-badges-icon

 

Eldorado Mini Free Icons (1262 small icons)

eldorado mini icons

 

I created the “Summer Badges” image at the beginning of this post using icons from Symbly and The Girl Tyler. I used Photoshop and re-sized the icons to fit the page.

FYI: I got the best search results from searching gamification badges. 

 

Badge Inspiration

These caught my eye:

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List - 100 fun ideas

Printable Chore Badges on Etsy

Wilderness Explorer Badges inspired by Pixar

Badges by Commendable Kids

Camp Fox Badges

Scrapbooking flair at Two Peas in a Bucket

 

Update: See Life Scouts for great online badges!

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Please check back Thursday to see the summer journals we’re making for this summer!

  • http://pintester.com/ Pintester

    SUCH a cute idea! Also, I feel I must inform you of http://lifescouts.com/ . Perhaps as the kids get older and decide they need to be on Tumblr, this would be a fun thing for them. :)

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thank you, Sonja! I had not heard of Life Scouts before. Those are fantastic badges.

  • Lisa

    You are a genius, Lisa. Love this idea! Off to “scout” out some badges for my girlie to earn this summer. :) Thank you!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thanks, Lisa! Have fun “scouting!”

  • michellep28269

    I love this idea Lisa – my DS is 3 and we are working on several skills – potty training in particular – this is a great way to motivate him.

    Thanks!