Patch Port Handbook

Children are born: creative and critical thinkers; risk-takers capable of making positive choices; problem-solvers; collaborators. Our role is to both nurture the innate and to support the development of emotional literacy and emotional intelligence; resilience; independence; and executive functioning skills. 


Dandelion’s approach uses the environment, with the support of skilled teachers, to engage children in purposeful, meaningful activities in a rich enabling environment; children develop confidence and  self-esteem, and are empowered to become independent and self-aware.


Dandelion’s Patchport is a unique child-led program that engages minds, inspires play, builds confidence and nurtures a love of learning for its own sake.

Children learn vital social and life skills as they collaborate and communicate with peers while managing their own environment, and completing their own Patchport. They develop: tool skills; cook around the fire, undertake and lead risk assessments, learn through their environment, develop emotional literacy, and self-awareness, through collaboration and philosophy sessions, and learn to self-regulate through co-regulation alongside adults.


Dandelion’s Patchport enables each individual to plan alongside knowledgeable others as they co-create their own curriculum via Dandelion’s Patch Passport. 

Dandelion’s Patchport) consists of up to 20 key areas. Children are free to focus on as many or as few areas as they wish. At Dandelion we believe that children should be entrusted with roles of responsibility and, to this end, in dialogue with a knowledgeable other, children choose: an area to focus on; they begin at level 1 , and work at their own pace through levels 1, 2 and 3. The child may decide the order in which to complete the sub categories within each level. 

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Welcome to 


Using tools in a real world setting can contribute to the development of cognitive and physical skills, and health and well being. 


Tool use activities should be meaningful, and chosen to be age/stage appropriate, to support progression in the development of these skills.


Scroll down to see the full list of tutorials for your Patchport, there is a category for Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. 

Click to download your tool rules, kit list and risk assessment 

Introduction to Toolwork

Toolwork safety video