The kids are off to school soon and a new year is upon us. What to do now that the presents are all opened? How about making a vision board with your kids? A vision board is a collage of pictures, words, affirmations, goals and anything you would like to achieve or receive.
Better than the Breakable Resolution
We hear a lot about New Year resolutions…and much about people not keeping them. What we have found fun to do is to create vision boards, or sometimes we call them dream boards. These creative projects are more useful than resolutions, simply because they tap into deeper parts of yourself as you ponder and create. It’s a whole brain activity which is also multisensory, versus a left brained check list of to-do’s and not to-do’s.
A “Whole Family” Activity
You can make vision boards with the whole family. The board becomes a positive reminder of things like:
- What do I want to learn this year?
- What makes me smile?
- What is a “crazy” fun thing I would like to do?
- What can I do to make someone else happy?
- How would I like to spend time with family and friends?
- What are good values?
- What do I love about nature?
- How can I stay peaceful?
- What are healthy things I can do?
- What goals do I have for 2014?
We suggest taking a few deep breaths and opening your heart and mind to the journey about to unfold. You can get some poster board, or any stiff paper or paper plates, etc, glue sticks, scissors, markers, crayons, glitter, stickers, and pictures – lots of them. Use magazines or surf the internet. Just start looking at pictures. What catches the kids’ eyes? What catches your eye? Some people like to cut out pictures, others suggest just ripping the pictures out and setting them aside, trimming later as you use them. You can play some music in the background too.
Designing Your Board
Write your name and/or place a picture of yourself on the board. You can write goals on the board or draw pictures. You can write affirmations like:
- “I live joyfully each day.”
- “I am grateful for all the blessings of my life.”
- “I am healthy.”
- “I am calm.”
- “I am letting go of upset and choosing peace.”
Sort through your pictures and begin to arrange them. You can cover up words, add words or do whatever feels creative and positive to YOU. You can make more than one board for different goals or dreams, like school, vacation, music, financial or relationships. The vision boards become powerful messengers working on different levels of your mind and being. It can be fun to recognize what you and the kids are experiencing and accomplishing through the months.
Perfect for Kids with Isms
Our children with isms will enjoy the project as well. With some kids you may have to help them understand the process given their level of literalness. Sometimes we need to explain the idea of “letting go” and allowing, since some kids will perseverate on truly getting what they put on their boards. However, that is similar to typical kids who might see this as a wish list and set high expectations of getting everything they want. Yet, this becomes a good way to discuss “process” – how all things require steps to create and produce. The board can be a useful tool given their visual nature, and it can reinforce goals you are working on. Just remember to make it joyful and uplifting. Also, there are some great therapeutic moments involved: processing, organizing, fine motor, sensory, to name a few. Then there is the social component and communication aspect as everyone shows and shares their boards, promoting self-esteem.
Bookmark this Article for IEP Time
We have even used vision boards with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) kids for IEPs as a way to express what they would like to gain in the coming year. It is a great way to involve the child creatively in their education and social goals, and it informs the teachers and staff in broader ways on how to support the young person. Some ASD kids have made boards of new Lego projects to create, or healthy ways to care for themselves. Really, with imagination, anything is possible!
Happy New Year! Tap into your creative vibes with your kids and see what wonderful things manifest as you dream, envision and play together.