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5 Helpful Ideas for DofE Skills Selection

5 Inspiring DofE Skills Ideas for Your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Choosing which skill to learn for your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award can be a difficult task, as there is a vast amount of potential skills to choose from. From circus skills to marine biology and even egg decorating, the DofE skills section is bustling with new and exciting ways to enhance your learning. But which one should you choose? Here are some DofE skill ideas to help you achieve your Duke of Edinburgh Award.

1. Science DofE Skills

Whether you have a strong interest in science, or perhaps your interests lie more in sport, DofE skills have the ability to teach you something new, so it could be a good opportunity to expand your knowledge in an unfamiliar area. Choosing a science-based skill could lead you to discovering aerodynamics, rocket making, or zoology to name a few. Here are some of our favourite science skills you can choose to pursue:

  • Experiments: Achieving your award could be as easy as completing a series of hands-on science experiments, perhaps at an after-school club and recording the footage.
  • Rocket Making: Building a water-powered rocket from any household items would also be an acceptable, not to mention fun, way of gaining your skill.
  • Astronomy: Studying constellations, stars and planets will successfully enhance your skill in astronomy. Why not try building your own telescope and documenting your findings online?
Astronomy could be a great DofE Skill to choose.

Astronomy could be a great DofE Skill to choose.

2. Performing Arts DofE Skills

Many DofE participants also pick a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award skill that they already feel comfortable with or have a passion for. If Performing Arts is your passion, your DofE skill could be the perfect opportunity to develop this further. Whether you find yourself interested in singing and drama, or possibly fancy something a little more out of your comfort zone like ventriloquism, DofE skills can help you achieve all of this. Here are some options to get you started:

  • Circus Skills: Why not follow your imagination and try something completely new? If you’ve always dreamed of joining the circus, an acceptable way to gain your award would be learning to ride a unicycle or perhaps attending a professional circus skills course enabling you to learn how to walk on stilts!
  • Singing: Weekly singing lessons can be a great way to achieve your required DofE skill, learning breathing techniques and how to protect your voice.
  • Speech & Drama: Creating and filming a comedy sketch show to publish online would also be a simple yet interesting way of enhancing your new skill.

3. Animal DofE Skills

For something a little further away from the tightrope, the animal section of the DofE skills is bound to appease any animal lover’s passion. Whether you have a pet yourself, or you are generally curious about animals and caring for them, here are some of our favourite animal-related ways to complete your DofE skill:

  • Guide Dogs: Research how guide dogs for the blind and deaf are taught and trained, shadowing a trainer to gain experience.
  • Train as a Farrier: Research the best ways to care for horses, learning about shoeing and how to attach it to the horse’s foot.
  • Bee Keeping: If you fancy something a little more unusual for your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Bee Keeping could be the DofE skill for you. By attending a weekly bee keeping course, you can gain practical experience to achieve your British Bee Keepers Association Junior Certificate.
Bee Keeping could be the DofE skill for you

Bee Keeping could be the DofE skill for you.

4. Life DofE Skills

When it comes to life skill ideas for DofE, the only limit is your imagination! From cookery and healthy eating to the relaxing art of Feng Shui – even skills for future employment can count towards your award. Here are some of our favourites to help you get started:

  • Employability skills: If you are interested in the world of work or want to know more about enhancing your employability opportunities, you could learn how to write a letter of application for a job and create an eye-catching CV.
  • Crafty skills: Soft toy making, jewellery making and even knitting are also perfectly feasible DofE skills you could learn, allowing you to gain an interesting new hobby and complete your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
  • Cooking skills: While there are plenty of ways to develop your cooking skills as part of your DofE, why not help out at your local soup kitchen and learn how to make hearty, healthy meals in the process. This could also count towards the volunteering element of your award.

Remember, your skill doesn’t have to be something you’re passionate about; it could be something you simply want to learn more about.

5. Games/Sports DofE Skills

Games and sports are popular DofE skills ideas for many participants. However, alongside a skill, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has two other aspects to complete: Volunteering and Physical. This means that sports such as rugby or football would not be counted as a skill in this section. Don’t worry though – there are plenty of fun alternatives that do count towards completing this area of your award. Just take a look at some of these games and sports ideas:

  • Chess: Enhance your concentration and strategic thinking abilities by getting to grips with the game of chess.
  • Darts, Snooker or Pool: All these classic games can count towards your DofE and can be attained by joining a local club.
  • Go-Karting: Learning how to go-kart on a local track would be a starting point for obtaining your DofE skill, and by increasing your speed or taking part in competitions you can enhance your learning in the sport.
  • Clay Target Shooting: Get outdoors and improve your target shooting abilities on a clay target shooting range. A skill that’s guaranteed to impress your friends and get you closer to completing your award.

There are many other Duke of Edinburgh’s Award skills you could take part in, such as studying the natural world or the media, but to get the most from it, try to choose one in an area where you’d like to enhance your learning.

Don’t worry about excelling in your choice – learning something new is not only challenging, but character building and that’s the most important thing of all. As long as you have a recognised signatory to track your progress and confirm participation, almost anything can be used as a DofE skill.

Selecting your skill is the first step in achieving your DofE Bronze, Silver or Gold Award – but your adventures are only just starting. Getting ready for your DofE expedition? Remember you can pick up your DofE recommended kit from Hawkshead – stock up on your outdoor clothing and other essentials for your overnight stay.


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