If you live in the northern half of the United States right now, you’ll know that this last month of winter has lasted 39 years.
We’re on our … third? … fourth? … fifth? … snow day of February.
Between a vacation we took in early January, previously scheduled no-school days, sick days and the avalanche of snow-and-cold days we’ve had, my kids have attended school a total of 2.5 weeks since Dec. 23.
We’re kind of tapped out.
But as I prepare for (another) snow day this morning, I’m determined to make it a good one. And especially since it’s Girl Scout cookies season, I have entrepreneurship and kids on my brain. So, here’s a fun and straightforward activity that will keep your kids busy, gets you engaged but not overwhelmed and encourages a fundamental part of entrepreneurship: Dreaming.
HOW TO MAKE A DREAM CHART
WRITE IT: Any successful business starts with a dream. (In fact, a friend of mine just wrote a book about this. )
Do you know your kids’ dreams? Do they? Encourage your kids to write their dreams down. If they’re too young to write, you can write the list for them.
Here’s the key take-away: No dream is silly or impossible.
My oldest is a Harry Potter addict and dreams of creating a machine that transforms anyone into the Harry Potter character of his or her choice, including magical skills. Do I think that’s possible? No. But, 1., I can hardly teach her to dream big if, the minute she does, I squash it. And 2., at some point in history, virtually everything had never been done before, so why not this? Think about it: Someone INVENTED CAKE!
ILLUSTRATE IT: Once your child’s dreams are on paper, let them go crazy with markers, tissue paper, glitter and glue.
Confession — This is the part I have to really hold myself back. The very word “glitter” sends my blood pressure soaring 30 points. That stuff goes everywhere. Sigh.
TURN A DREAM INTO A GOAL: Ask your kids to pick one of their favorite dreams. How would they achieve it? Write down the steps.
Do they need more information? Let them research on the Internet (with your supervision.)
Do they need materials? Make a shopping list and have them find out and total how much the materials will cost. BONUS MATH SKILLS!
Do you have a family calendar? Have your kids identify a timeline for their goal steps and write them on the calendar. (My kids LOVE being able to write things on our calendar. It makes them feel like grown-ups!)
HANG IT UP: Dreams left unattended go absolutely nowhere.
Find a highly visible place for their dream chart: On their bedroom door. On the kitchen wall. Hung above their bed.
Will every dream on their chart become a reality? No. But the goals they’ve laid out will put them on the path toward achieving one. And the chart will remind them to keep dreaming.
Heck, if nothing else, your kids’ dream charts will remind them of that really awesome snow day they had that one time. If all they get out of this is a happy day with Mom or Dad … well, that’s quite a lot.