Vision Boards for Inspiration


For a fun family activity this winter, try creating vision boards. Traditionally, these creative tools are used by adults, but any child who is old enough to cut and paste can join in this fun project. Vision boards, also called dream boards, are simply images and words cut from magazines and pasted onto a background such as poster board to create a collage. The images used represent goals and dreams for the future.

  These collages aren’t just interesting to look at, but also function as visualization tools. Imagining an activity, such as swimmers picturing themselves beating their time or an actor imagining him or herself receiving an Academy Award stimulates the subconscious brain. By simply seeing your dream board daily, you engage in a visualization exercise without even having to think about it.

Creating individual vision boards together can be an inspiring family activity. Not only will this project spark discussion among family members, it is also a great tool for goal setting and dreaming. Prepare one for the start of the new year for an inspirational alternative to a resolution.

Ask your family members to put away phones and other electronics. Have the supplies ready and clear a space for creating, such as a kitchen table. You can even play soft music and light a candle to set a mood for inspiration.

Supplies you will need:

  • Manila file folders or poster board
  • Magazines to cut images and words from
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Markers
  • Paper and pencil

Consider your goals:

Hand out paper and pencils, then ask family members to think of goals for the upcoming year and write them down. For example: make better grades, improve in a sport or go for walks more often.

Goals can be broken down into different areas of life, such as health, relationships, school, spiritual and fun. For each category, write down a specific action. For example, instead of writing “improve health,” choose an action you can take to get healthy, such as “drink one extra glass of water each day” or “walk a mile three times a week.”

To get the creative juices flowing, ask yourself and your family members questions about each category. Here are a few ideas to use as a jumping off point:

  • Relationships: This can include friends, family and even pets. Do parents or kids want to spend more time with friends? Do you want to set a goal of spending more time together as a family, such as scheduling a family game night or recipe night? Couples can commit to scheduling a date night once a week. Younger kids may say they want to play with the family pet more often, or have some one-on-one time with a parent.
  • School: Goals for school can be simple, such as keeping a log of when homework is due to stay more organized and avoid late assignments. Or perhaps aspire to do homework for half an hour each day instead of saving it all for the weekend.
  • Spiritual: For families who pray, saying grace at family dinners could be an obtainable goal. If you are not religious, perhaps you could set a goal to meditate for 10 minutes each day or keep a daily gratitude journal.
  • Fun: Think about activities each person would like to do in the upcoming year. Would you like to go to a park once a week or see a new movie each month? Include travel in this category. Is there a place that kids or parents would like to visit?

Try not to tell kids what goals they should choose. Instead, offer gentle guidance by asking questions and offering suggestions. Don’t push, even if you are strongly hoping for them to select better homework habits as a goal. Remember kids need to choose their own goals and dreams for a vision board to work.

Contemplate your dreams:

What are the things you or your children would like to be or do in the far off future? Does your son want to be a veterinarian someday? Do you want to travel somewhere internationally as a family in the next few years? In this category, you can write down your wildest dreams.

Time to cut and paste:

Once everyone has their lists of goals and dreams, it’s time to start looking for images that represent those ideas. Flip through magazines and cut out pictures and printed words or phrases as well. For example, if your child’s goal is to play with the dog more, cut out photographs of playful dogs. A beach image is a great reminder that you would like to travel to Hawaii. Be sure to have kid’s magazines available. If you don’t find the exact image you want, you can always browse pictures on the internet and print them out.

Give each person a manila file folder to collect their words and images in. (This will also keep them organized if the project gets interrupted or takes more than one session.) Open the folder and lay it flat on your work surface. Arrange and rearrange your pictures and words in a way you find aesthetically pleasing. Use the left side for goals and the right side for dreams, or mix both together if that feels right. Using a glue stick, paste images onto the file folder. Once all of the cutouts are glued in place, use markers to add color or more words. You could also choose to use a poster board if you need a larger space.

Display them with pride:

Be sure to place the individual boards where they will be seen by their owners at least once a day. Next to the bed or near the bathroom mirror are possible locations. You could also photograph the finished board and use it as your computer desktop image or screensaver.

Once everyone has created their own boards, consider doing a larger family version using the same steps as you did for the personal boards. This can be a fun way to collaborate– – and discover what every family member wants to do or to achieve together in the coming year. Display the family board in a central location where everyone will see it.

Dream on:

Be sure to write the date on the back of each board and make a new one every year. Your family will enjoy looking back on past goals and dreams. It will also be fun to see which goals were met and which dreams came true! Vision boards are not only fun to create but they can have surprising results. 

Tiffany Doerr Guerzon
About Tiffany Doerr Guerzon

Writer Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is a stay-at-home mom of three children.


  1. Janny J Johnson says:

    I like this idea, transformed for families and children! What a great idea. Wish I’d thought of this when my kids were young. But now I’ve got grandchildren. This will be great for Nana camp.

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