Creating inspiration boards with kids

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When it comes to goal setting I take a very practical approach. My goal for 2019 is to Nurture new routines to re-energise, re-invigorate and create personal growth. Underneath that I have four habits I will focus on to help me achieve this goal. You can read more about them here – Creating a single goal for 2019.

But I also like to have a visual representation of my goal and what I would like to achieve for the year; something appealing which I can place near my work area to give me some inspiration and a reminder about why my goal is important to me.

This takes form in an inspiration board and this year I invited the kids to make one for themselves with me. Only the 15 year old and the almost 10 year old took me up on my offer but we had a wonderful time spending a number of hours putting our boards together. All three of them turned out very different, but each of use loved what we created for ourselves and our boards all had special meaning to us.

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Creating inspiration boards with kids

It is the perfect time of year to create inspiration boards with the new year being so fresh and full of potential. I have noted the process we followed below in case you would like to give it a try!

1. Talk about goal setting

My kids are really familiar with goal setting as I have had my goals prominently presented around the house for many years. I also talk to them about their goals for the year. I don’t do the single goal statement process with them, but talk more broadly about:

  • What would they like to achieve at school this year?
  • What would they like to achieve with their sport?
  • What would they like to achieve personally?
  • What would they like to contribute to the family?
  • What would they like to contribute to the community?

2. Decide on your base for the board

Previously I have used a large piece of cardboard for the inspiration board, but this year I wanted something that would look a little more finished and that I could reuse each year. We picked up some basic picture frames and decided to use these for our base. My daughter who has made an inspiration board before with me had the same size as me, but for the 10 year old who hasn’t made one before we decided on a smaller size frame so he wouldn’t be too overwhelmed by it.

3. Gather magazines / pictures

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We then gathered magazines and pictures that we could source our pictures from. These will vary depending on the interests of those making the inspiration board. For my birthday last year my daughter had bought me a subscription to Breathe magazine and they were perfect for the sort of pictures I wanted to represent my goal.

My daughter had received some magazines for Christmas from her older brother, so she used these. The youngest used all of our magazines and some scrapbooking supplies we had on hand.

4. Cut out the pictures you want

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We spent about an hour going through the magazines, chatting about the pictures and cutting out the ones we wanted. We all ended up with many more pictures than we would be able to fit onto our board. We did this deliberately so we would have plenty of choice and freedom to be able to arrange them in a way that was visually appealing.

It can be tempting to try and control the pictures the kids use and to direct them to what they should have on the board, but my preference is to let them go. The kids’ inspiration boards will not be the same as mine, nor will they necessarily have the same goal setting focus that a true inspiration board will have. My focus is to get them thinking about things that inspire them, making connections to things they would like to achieve this year and let them go.

This is the second board my daughter has created and it has much more purpose and thought in it than what her first one did. The youngest when choosing the pictures of the animals told me he wanted to spend more time in nature and doing things like climbing trees! So with that in mind pictures of squirrels and gorillas make sense!

If we try to control what the kids place on their inspiration board, there will be loss of ownership to the board which defeats the purpose of creating it.

The 15 year old at one point tried to encourage the 10 year old to do more layering and not have everything set out so squarely, but I explained to her that was he was doing was completely age appropriate and we needed to let him do it his way.

5. Do an initial placement

Before any glueing or sticking on occurs, we placed all the photos on to the board to create the design we wanted. It is a good idea to take a photo at this stage if you really want to make sure you create that exact design. Due to the layering affect you often have to take multiple pictures off at once and the photo can help remind you of where they all go.

6. Stick the pictures on

Once you are happy with the design, it is time to make it permanent. We used double sided tape to stick the pictures on. You can use glue, but I find the double sided tape gives a better finish than glue.

7. Add any extras

Once all the pictures are stuck on, it is time to add any extras embellishments you want.

8. Proudly hang somewhere prominent

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It was then time to place the finished work into the frame and hang it up somewhere prominently, where you can see it every day. Mine is hung up above my work desk, along side a print out of goal and habits for 2019.

I love taking a few moments when working to look up at my inspiration board and study the detail of one of the pictures or reflect on some of the words. At the moment, the picture that is appealing to me the most is the one with the girl gazing into the stars and the words “No mud, no lotus”. I think about them even when I am away from my desk, which is one of the benefits of a well constructed inspiration board – it can keep you inspired and focused even when you are not near it.

Have you created an inspiration board for 2019?

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