Watch children “dream up” new skills!
- Grades: PreK–K
- Vines from outside (or embroidery hoops)
- 4-inch by 8-inch paper strips
- Markers, crayons, watercolors
- A hole punch
- Colored yarns
- Creative thinking
- Symbolic representation with pictures
Set Up and Prepare
Introduce the project by reading a number of books about make-believe and dreams.
Step 1: Have a group discussion about hopes and dreams. What is a dream? What have they dreamed about? What about children's hopes? What do they hope to be when they grow up? How do they wish the world were different? What do they hope to get better at? What do they hope for their family?
Step 2: During the discussion, write children's hopes and dreams on chart paper. Explain to children that they will be making a mobile that will represent how they think and feel.
Step 3: Provide children with the paper strips and art materials. Invite children to draw or write down three of their hopes or dreams. Laminate strips when they're completed.
Step 4: Show children how to form a circle with a vine, tying the ends together with yarn. Give children their laminated strips, and help them each put a hole at one end. Thread a piece of yarn through the hole and tie it; then tie that onto their vine circles.
Step 5: Hang the hopes-and-dreams mobiles around the room. Did anyone share the same dreams? Do some friends want to be the same thing when they grow up?
Remember: Children of this age are very egocentric, so each hope or dream will likely be all about them. Younger children will require help tying the yarn. Some children will need you to write the words for them if they want an explanation on their work.
Send home a newsletter: Explain to parents that the children have been learning about dreams. Suggest to parents that they read Cynthia Rylant's book Night in The Country. After they have read the book, they can listen with their child to the night noises around their house. Have them turn the bedroom lights off and sit quietly. Tell them to listen carefully — are the noises loud or quiet? Are there animal noises? Suggest they make up a poem using the sounds of the night. They might want to take a walk outside to listen more closely to the night noises.
Curriculum Connection: Writing
Illustrated Hopes and Dreams
Ask children, If you could have any dream come true, what would it be? Allow them to be silly and creative. Help them expand on their ideas by encouraging them to use lots of descriptive language. Invite children to write about and draw their dream. Compile these drawings and create a class dream book. At story time, let them take turns reading it.