Friday, August 1, 2014

Freebie Friday - Character Trait Badges Printable

One of the things I want to do this year is encourage my daughter in a fun way to learn certain desirable character traits.  I want to do new ones each year with her.  My daughter loves Pokemon so I thought to make it fun for her, we'd take a 'Pokemon' approach to this.  In Pokemon the kids go around collecting badges from different Pokemon gyms, and these badges afford them the privilege of competing in the Pokemon League when they get enough of them.  So I made eight character trait badges for my daughter to earn for first grade.  I expect her to earn some fairly quickly and some will probably take her all year.

The badges she can earn are:
  • Leadership - Leads by example with her friends or other children (or adults).
  • Integrity - Owns up to her mistakes on her own and takes the consequences for her actions without a fight.  Tells the truth even when she knows she might get in trouble.
  • Kindness - Shows kindness to others.  This can be kind words, or kind actions.
  • Creativity - Is creative with art, problem solving, her imagination, or other things.
  • Helpfulness - Helps by doing chores or volunteering to help others.
  • Faithfulness - Prays, reads her Bible, does her Bible lessons.
  • Confidence - Has confidence in herself to do her school work or other things.
  • Respect - Is respectful to others, even if she is angry or frustrated.

She is already helpful, kind, and creative a lot of the time, so I expect she'll earn these three badges very fast, which is good because I want her to stay interested in the badges.  If it takes her too long to earn her first or second badge, she'll lose interest in the program.

I explained to her the significance of each badge shape and what the letter stood for, and told her that I would be watching this year and would see when she did these things.  Each time she does one of these things I will mark off a space on her chart.  She has to do each thing 50 times before she can earn the badge.  Once she's earned the badge, it's hers for the year and can't be taken away.

Once she earns the badge she can then display the 'badge' on her badge chart next to her desk.  For each badge she earns she gets a special privilege that she doesn't normally get.  And she can choose what this new privilege is each time she earns a badge from the privilege list.  So for instance, she might earn the Creativity Badge, and the privilege she might choose is 1 extra 5 minute break time during school (when she chooses to have it, even if it's not during normal break time).  Some of the other things on the list are: staying up 10 minutes past her bed time, 5 extra minutes of playing her Nintendo DS each day (she's only allowed 30 minutes a day right now), and spending her piggy bank money on whatever she wants (even if it's candy).  The important thing is to choose privileges that will interest and excite your child.  Just like the badge, the privilege she chooses for each badge she earns are hers for the rest of the year until the next school year starts (at which point we start over with new badges and new privileges).

So, how do you make these badges?  You can print out the ones I've made HERE.  They come out to be about 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches.  I colored them with Crayola washable markers in bright colors I thought she would like, and then laminated them.  Once I laminated them, I cut them out.  Now they're sturdy, waterproof, tear proof, and ready to be stuck up on the wall above her desk, or on her privilege chart with tape or poster putty.  If you're wondering what the significance of each shape is so you can explain it to your student, here is the explanation:

Creativity: The creativity badge features a lot of colors, tilted blocks, and different patterns, because with creativity there really are no rules or limits.

Confidence: This badge is a feather, because if she believes in herself she can do anything.  (My thought here was a bird taking flight).

Integrity: The Integrity badge is a shield.  We're Christians and so I talked about how the devil wants us to lie, not take responsibility for ourselves, and not accept the consequences of our actions.  So the shield is a shield against that influence.

Helpfulness: Helpfulness is a hand to represent giving a helping hand to others.

Faithfulness: This badge is a red drop with a cross inside.  The cross is for Jesus and the red drop is for the blood He spilled.

Leadership: The L in the center of this blue badge is the leader and the lines going out towards the outer circle are the way a leader shows people in the persons circle of friends and family how to do things.

Respectfulness: This badge also has lines going out in different directions, because as people we need to respect everybody.  The badge is also in the shape of a star, because I told her if she grew up knowing how to show other people respect, she'd grow up a superstar.

Kindness:  The Kindness badge is a red heart, because kindness comes from the heart.

Of course you can draw out whatever badges you want for whatever character traits you want your student to learn during the school year.  Just remember to make 2 or 3 that your student can earn fairly quickly so they don't lose interest.  When you mark off a box on their chart (I'm just using graph paper with 50 blocks next to each trait), make a big deal about it and make sure they see you doing it so they get excited.  My rule with this program for my daughter is that she can't point out that she's done something, or ask for me to mark off a box, or she doesn't get the box marked off.

In case you're wondering what this type of system is called, it's a Token Economy System.  The student gets an immediate positive reinforcement for desired behavior (checking off a box on the chart).  Then they can trade in the check marks for something they desire later on down the line (in this case the badges and a privilege they don't normally get).  Be sure to explain all of the rules of this badge system before you start with your child, and re-explain the rules as you go if necessary.  Try to be excited about it as you explain.  This token stuff is just my psych degree talking.  I do love token economy systems though.

If you decide to do this, or have done something like this before, let us know in a comment below.


  1. These are so clever!! I keep thinking I should be more intentional in teaching character to my kids.

  2. I really like this idea! My soon to be 7 year old son loves Pokemon as well.