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Free Certificate for Kids – Better Than a Celebratory Cookie!

Praise the smallest ones for their small steps into the big world with our cutie-patootie certificate templates.

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How to Make And Use Certificates For Kids

Whether you are a parent, coach, or educator you know that keeping kids motivated and working towards goals can be challenging. Praise is always a good thing, especially when it’s meaningful and specific. Extrinsic rewards like money, gifts, or special privileges also have their place, as long as they don’t create a sense of entitlement.

But, what do you offer for accomplishments when you want to offer more than simple praise while also avoiding material gifts? An attractive certificate may be the perfect thing.

Why Do Certificates Work for Motivating Kids?

Certificates are tangible, and that can be important for kids. They instill a sense of pride in accomplishment, plus can serve as “bragging rights” among peers.

Rewards can also help increase the child’s self-esteem. As part of their learning experiences, children often face criticism and hear “no” time and again. This can make some of the doubt their abilities and become tentative about trying new things. Regular recognition and tangible rewards can show that all of their efforts weren’t vain and that they should keep trying to get better despite early setbacks.

A certificate also uses the concept of gamification. Earning a certificate can feel like leveling up, just like a video game — a mechanism, most kids these days recognize as a familiar boost of dopamine.

How to Make Certificates for Kids?

The best place to start is by downloading a customizable certificate template for kids (Psss, there’s plenty on this page!). Pick a design that really fits the activity or organization. For example, choose font colors that match school colors or a favorite sports team.

Next, you want to compose the certificate. Give the award a fitting name. It can be silly or serious depending on what you are commemorating. Add other information including the recipient’s name, your name, and the name of the organization. Finally, print everything out on quality stationery. A frame adds a nice touch.

How to Best Use Kids Certificates?

Use certificates to celebrate milestones, events, and accomplishments. Give them to kids as a standalone award, or accompanied by some other token of appreciation — a gift, a treat, or a special privilege.

Here’s a breakdown of ways to use certificates for kids.

At Home

In Sports

  • Most improved/hardest working
  • Moving up a belt or level
  • Beating a personal best
  • Completing a camp or training session
  • Learning to coach or referee
  • Mastering a tough move or skill

At School

  • Showing exemplary behavior
  • Winning spelling or academic competitions
  • Mastering a tough concept
  • Passing times or division tests
  • Most artistic/kindest student awards
  • Membership in clubs or activities

These are just a few ideas for certificates for kids. There are so many occasions that can be made more memorable by giving kids certificates to help acknowledge their hard work towards achievement or a meaningful goal.

Other Advice For Giving Kids Certificates

First, make things meaningful. Create an experience around giving them the certificate. Don’t simply hand them a piece of paper and say “well done, buddy”. Instead, host a little celebration to recognize their effort and celebrate their progress. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, though. A small, family gathering with both parents present (and perhaps a small treat) should do the job.

In group settings, don’t put a shy child on the spot. It’s perfectly acceptable to be a bit low-key with an introverted child. Remember you want to make them feel good, not uncomfortable. Finally, encourage classmates, siblings, or friends to offer their praise and support during the certificate reception.