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Th Perfect Project For Youth

This past Saturday was our annual family “vision board night.” If you’re not familiar with the making of vision boards (also known as dream boards),  basically you search through magazines for images that speak to you,  whether it’s something you want to achieve or you just like the color  scheme, or maybe you don’t even know why you like it, you just do. Then  you cut them out and glue them to a poster board.

The board then represents things you want to achieve and/or goals you  have for your year. I’ve made several through the years and it’s always fun to look back on them to see what things manifested in real life, and in what capacity.

I’ve done them three ways and all are a blast: with a group of  friends or co-workers, with my spouse on a “date night”, and with my  entire family, like this past weekend. This was the second year we had a  family dream board night and I learned a lot of lessons both this year  and last so here are tips for a successful family dream board night:

1. Get a variety of magazines, including plenty of kid friendly options. This  time I didn’t have as many kid-friendly mags so they got a little bored  looking through the travel, cooking and pop culture mags. Plus, last  month’s Vanity Fair had fully frontal booby shots of Kate Moss which was  fun to explain. Next time I’ll be getting some Disney related reads for  sure.

2. Talk to your kids ahead of time about the things they might be looking for  so they aren’t going in blindly. For example, over the week leading up  to the actual making of the vision boards, I talked to the girls about  things they wanted to accomplish and places they wanted to go,  individually and as a family, so that when they saw images that  represented those things they could cut them out. They definitely found  new stuff while flipping through the mags that they hadn’t thought of  before, but at least it helped them have a little guidance ahead of  time.

3. Explain how the night will work, set expectations and set time limits.  Just like with everything we do, I always prep my kids ahead of time  with the overall plan of what’s going to happen and any time constraints  so that they are not surprised or thrown for a loop. I give them a  pre-determined amount of time to look through the magazines and to cut  everything out. Then some more time to make the board, and then we  always have a show and tell at the end so they can present their board,  talking about why they chose each image.

4. Put the technology away! Vision boards take  concentration, plus, this is an awesome time to just be together without  worldly distractions. Try to put all gadgets away like iPhones, iPads,  and game players. The only electronic thing we had going was the iPad to  play our favorite music play lists.

5. Know how and where you will be posting them once they are finished.  Last year’s dream boards were on  2’ x 3’ foam core boards that took up  so much space that we didn’t have any place to put them. This year we  used smaller, thinner poster board that the girls will be able to tape  up on the wall next to their beds.