Monday, January 17, 2011

Dream Journals

It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day and your children are home from school. All week and all next month they will cover all of the most known facts about the civil rights leader but not much more will happen. Here's an activity that will surely become an annual tradition for your family. It is also a wonderful way to remember Martin Luther King Jr. year round and not just during Black History Month.

Dream Journals are not a new concept nor are they difficult for children of any age. All you need is construction paper, markers, crayons, magazines, glue, yarn and scissors. Be creative and help your child make a small journal. If your child is kindergarten age or younger they can keep track of their dreams by making mini collages on the pages or by practicing to write by actually writing about them. In the Dream Journal you want your child to document what they dream about becoming when they grow up. Have him do this once a week. At the end of the year you can sit together and look through the journal and discuss how his dreams have changed or remained the same.

For older children you can actually buy a blank journal from Borders and let her decorate it. If your child is a tween or older you don't want to take it upon yourself to read what's in it. Feel free to give your tween topics to write about. Encourage her to write about her dreams and her future. Also, if you notice she is having difficulty expressing herself lately, encourage her to write about it. By having her write about it she will find comfort in her feelings and her trust for you. Chances are if she decides to share those feelings with someone she will share those feelings with you.

For you, go to to find a nice handmade journal or google "journal" and find one that fits your needs. If you can't find one that fits your personality make one yourself. Make sure it's big enough to last you all year. Take this time to write about your dreams in every sense of the word. Write about what you dreamed about becoming or seeing happening. Write about how that has changed. Write about your sleeping dreams. Speculate on their meaning. I keep my journal beside my bed to write about my dreams as soon as I wake up to prevent forgetting them. I made one for my husband to take with him to work so that he can get out his anger from his job before he comes home. I made one for my sister-in-law to help her get back into poetry.

Now you have two traditions to try out on Martin Luther King Jr. day. One is to start a new journal and the other is to give them as gifts to other people. Regardless of which tradition you choose to follow, it will spread. Don't be surprised if someone gives you a dream journal one year.

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