Since the goal of this project is to use the innate, creative visualization skills of children to dream about the future of their country, we have applied the Positive Constructive Daydreaming (PCD) concept by Dr. Jerome L. Singer (1924-2019) and coined the term ‘creative daydreaming’.
Considering the current constraints of conducting a workshop with kids in person, educators/facilitators may choose to conduct workshops online via Zoom, Google Meet, Instagram Live, Facebook Live and other online video conferencing tools. The workshop described below is flexible for both online and offline formats.
While the 2 activities shown below are designed for an educator to conduct the workshop, they can also be done by a child alone, with minimal supervision by an adult.
Space: Open, safe, creative environment that encourages children to express themselves freely and comfortably. You can have them seated around tables or on the floor.
Time: 2 hours is the activity duration.
Materials: A4/A3 size paper (2 per child). Set of pencils, crayons, sketch pens, paint/brush, or any other drawing materials. You could have children sit in groups (4-5 in a group) for optimal usage of materials. If you are providing building materials, such as LEGO®, STEAM toolkits or reusable materials, then provide more time for the building activity.
Any child up to 18 years of age can participate. Children of any ethnicity, gender, religion, disability and socio-economic backgrounds are welcome. Visually/hearing-impaired and other differently-abled children unable to draw or write can submit their dream over an audio or video message. Submission process is provided in the 'Submit Dreams' section below.
Note: Before you start the workshop, please review the information needed in the single-child form or multi-child submission spreadsheet , as this will be required to be submitted at the end of the workshop.
Children above the age of 8 are able to daydream with a purpose.
What: Mentally prepare children to daydream about the future of their country with neuroscience-based exercises.
a. Let children know that they are in a safe, creative environment. Reassure them that you will not judge their dreams. You will respect their creation and they should feel free to dream as they wish.
b. Guide them through these exercises (always state the purpose of doing any exercise/activity):
i. Rapid Deep Breathing (2 min): Take 30 quick, deep breaths (in and out). Experience tingling in the brain, indicating neurons have been activated 100%.
ii. Power-posing (2 min): Stretch and stand in superhero pose and collectively say “I am a superhero. I dream so I am!” Say loudly in a collective rhythm. Repeat 10 times. This superhero stance elevates confidence. It alters hormone production, lifting the power hormone and reducing the stress hormone.
What: The ‘creative daydreaming’ activity begins with this step.
How: To make sure children are constructively daydreaming, provide the following brief. Ask them to dream about the future of (their country). They should visualize the dream in the form of a new experience from the future - 2025 and beyond. Here are some questions to probe them with:
a. What’s wrong with the world today? Do they feel upset about something? How do they feel about them? Use this time to let them just vent! Do not correct or judge them for their knowledge. (Start with neighborhood, city and then country in mind)
b. What changes would you like to see? What does a better country look like? (Think with optimism for a brighter future. Optimism is the foundation of hope.)
c. If you are familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, review the goals with them at a high level for reference purposes. Do NOT use this workshop to educate them on the goals in depth. Display the SDGs chart and walk them through the goals at a high level with a video, if possible. (While reviewing the goals, ask kids to raise their hands & vote on the goals they feel very strongly about. This is just to get them thinking. Access celebrity intro video, kid intro video, other resources)
It is natural for children to draw inspiration from their current environment with social, cultural, political factors playing a role. They can feel and sense more than adults!
Next step: Once the children understand the brief, children need to do two activities on paper as mentioned below.
How: Visualize the dream in the form of a new experience from the future - 2025 and beyond. Children can draw, doodle, paint or even build their dream use the available materials (mentioned above in the pre-requisites section). It’s perfectly okay to use a few words in the drawing but it should be mostly visual. Encourage for BIG dreams that are futuristic and full of hope.
Children may want to shut their eyes and spend a few min dreaming or just stare at any object before they start drawing. Turning attention inward switches off their perceptions. Let them!
Describe the dream by writing a poem, essay, short story, memoir, letter or any other creative writing format. Letters may be addressed to the leader of the country. Word limit is 200 words. The idea is to let the child express in written format. This can be written in any language(s). Hand-written is recommended over typed format.
Educators sometimes tend to provide too much direction to children, due to their own excitement of showing a perspective. Please refrain from guiding the child to any particular issue that the neighborhood or country is facing. The child needs to think independently and only dream about what they care about, not from an adult’s point of view. Remember – children have the purest minds, untouched yet by conditioning and pragmatism. Let them express themselves freely!
What: Once the children have completed the daydreaming activities, give them an opportunity to share the dreams with everyone at the workshop.
1. Ask the children to hold up their drawing and describe what they have drawn.
2. Tell them to freely express themselves in any language of their choice. Do not correct their manner of speaking and communication style.
3. Take turns and give everyone a chance to speak about their dream for a minute or so, depending on the time you have left.
Children get conscious and fail to express freely when adults interrupt their flow and correct their communication skills.
What to submit: The files and data to be submitted for each child are mentioned below. Please keep this ready before you submit them to us.
Files to be submitted:
1. Dream – Drawing (Required)
Scanned copy of the drawing (hi-res JPEG, PNG, PDF). Make sure the filename starts with child's name. File size limit: 5 MB
2. Dream – Letter (Good to have & recommended)
Scanned copy of the letter (hi-res JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC). Make sure the filename starts with child's name. File size limit: 5 MB
3. Dream – Audio/Video (Good to have | Differently-abled may use this format)
MP3, WAV, MP4, WMV, MPEG and other audio/video formats. Make sure the filename starts with child's name. File size limit: 10 MB
How to submit:
Once the submission is received, you will receive a confirmation email by the #DreamOnX Support Team - firstname.lastname@example.org. In case we need any information, we will contact you at the email address provided. Please make sure you whitelist this email address to prevent emails from ending up in your junk/spam folder.
Aligning to UN SDG goals:
Before turning in your submission, you can align the dream(s) to one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the single-child form (data field - “Indicate the SDG goals”) or multi-child submission spreadsheet (by marking the corresponding SDG goals with ‘X’).
Next Steps: We will host the dreams on the online Global Map of Dreams (coming soon) and inform you, basis the location provided. View India’s Map of 10k+ Dreams as a reference. We might reach out to you if needed.
Note: Please make sure you enter both the city and country so that it can be mapped accurately on the Global Map of Dreams (coming soon).
Of course, you are encouraged to share photos and videos, with the world at large, on social media. That’s the whole point of the global movement! We want everyone to know about what the children of their country and world are dreaming about. Please tag #dreamonx @dreamonxorg so we can retweet/share them (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Just make sure you have parental consent if the pictures/videos have faces of children.