Magination Press authors created a new social-emotional curriculum to help kids dream and set goals during these challenging times.

As the new school year gets started in these different and unusual times, parents, caregivers, and teachers are faced with the challenge of supporting children’s social-emotional health and development, a facet of education that is more important now than ever. With many schools conducting classes virtually, teachers are looking for creative educational tools and parents are preparing to facilitate learning at home. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation for children, including disruptions to their schooling, activities, and routines, and isolation from friends, teachers, and extended family members, resulting in the creation of many new stressors. Resources to support social-emotional learning (SEL)—activities to help children understand emotions, achieve goals, and work through challenges—are in high demand. 

About the book and research study

Magination Press’s book, Dream It! A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness, by Sara E. Williams, PhD and Scott Stoll, is an evidence-based workbook that can be used as a curriculum to teach kids how to dream, set goals, and turn their passion into action.  A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Child & Youth Care Forum, validates that Dream It! is scientifically proven to increase optimistic thinking, hope, grit, and a growth mindset.1 Most importantly, teachers and kids find the games, lessons, and activities in the workbook to be fun, easy, and effective. It’s useful for anyone who wants to learn how to dream and set goals, including adults and, especially kids ages 8-12. Dr. Sara E Williams is a co-author of this research study and a co-author of Dream It!, the focus of this research.

About the SEL curriculum

Dream It! is perfect for kids working in a classroom, virtually, or in home-learning environments as a supplemental SEL activity, and the message is particularly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a very challenging time for everyone and it may not seem like our lives will go back to normal any time soon. It may be difficult for children, in particular, to understand what is happening. Using the foundation of Dream It! we can teach children that the dream is to stay healthy and protect the ones we love. So, the goal that was set by our society—and the whole world—is to temporarily ask everyone to stay at home to achieve this dream. From this starting point, we can inspire children to dream about what the world can look like after COVID-19, too! The full-color, 80-page workbook has games, quizzes, and activities that teach students how to dream (set goals) and start making their dream a reality one step at a time. A free facilitator’s guide and SEL curriculum supports in-school or at-home implementation, and the Dream It! website provides additional supplemental resources.

Helping Kids See the Future

At a time when the future is wildly uncertain and present-day routines have been upended, helping kids learn to think optimistically and envision better days is a priority. Dream It! A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness can help you do that with the children in your lives.

Read another post by Dr. Williams about using a mental health checkup and toolkit to manage stress  here.

1Jacquez, F., Trott, C.D., Wren, A.R. et al. Dream It! Preliminary Evidence for an Educational Tool to Increase Children’s Optimistic Thinking. Child Youth Care Forum (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-020-09561-6.

by Sara E. Williams, PhD

This Article's Author

Sara E. Williams, PhD, is a licensed clinical child psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with chronic health conditions. Dr. Williams has co-authored multiple research studies, chapters, and a book on the cognitive-behavioral treatment of chronic pain syndromes. She is inspired every day by the hope and optimism displayed by the children she works with and sees the power of dreaming in providing children with the motivation to overcome the biggest obstacles. Her childhood dream to become a children’s author was realized with the publication of this book!

Related Books from Magination Press

  • Dream It! Book Cover

    Dream It! A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness

    by Scott Stoll and Sara E. Williams, PhD

    Do you want to live the biggest, brightest, best life possible? Do you want to do things never done before? Do you want your life to mean something and make a difference? Do you want to feel and be awesome? If so, this book is for you! Dream It! is full of activities, games, and brainstorming questions to help you discover your passions, create unique-to-you dreams, and ultimately open the door to a life full of possibilities! With this playbook as your guide, not even the sky’s the limit.