Dream It!

A playbook to spark your awesomeness!

By Scott Stoll, Sara E. Williams PhD and YOU! Published by Magination Press

Do you want to live the biggest, brightest, best life possible? Do you want to create things never seen before? Do you want to do things never done before? Do you want your life to mean something and make a difference? In other words, do you want to feel and be awesome? If so, this book is for you!

Dream It! is chock full of evidence-based activities, games, and brainstorming questions to help you discover your passions, identify your strengths and values, create brand-new, unique-to-you dreams… and ultimately open the door to a life full of possibilities! So get ready—with this playbook as your guide, not even the sky’s the limit.

About the publisher

Magination Press logo After 4 years in development, we’re excited to announce that “Dream It!” has been published by Magination Press. “Self-help books for kids and the adults in their lives, written by experts and published by the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, and the largest association of psychologists worldwide.” We feel this is the perfect publisher for the Playbook’s themes of passion, optimistic thinking and social emotional learning. We couldn’t be more excited. The “Dream It! Playbook” has grown bigger than us and we just couldn’t do it alone. Read an interview with the publisher and authors.
Because it was our dream, and we loved doing it. Does that sound too obvious? Well, the long story is… We like to think of ourselves as the psychologist and cycle-ologist dream team because we love to inspire people and see the sparkle in their eyes when they discover their wondrous dreams. However, we realized that though a lot of kids were inspired by Sara’s profession as a child psychologist and Scott’s bicycle trip around the world, the kids didn’t know how to effectively channel that inspiration into their own dream; so, our goal was to create a measurable way for people of all ages to develop hope, curiosity and inspiration in their lives, and then focus that into a new dream and potentially a new reality — thus the “Dream It! Playbook” was born. We truly believe the world will be an awesome place if everyone has the chance to live the life of their dreams.

It’s a workbook — or as we like to call it, a playbook — that uses visually stimulating and interactive exercises to tackle dreams from every angle: from conceptual to feeling to playing. And, it is designed for a variety of learning and teaching styles, and filled with unique emotional exercises to connect students to their passion and values. And maybe best of all, the Playbook will serve as a journal or scrapbook that records these formative years that parents and children will treasure forever. The Playbook was tested in a university study and proven to increase optimistic thinking by 22%.

The Playbook is designed for about 4-6th graders (about 8–12 years old), but actually, we think everyone could benefit from these new and important dream building tools. So, we invite adults to participate in the dreaming process, too! While the exercises—or games as we like to call them—are appropriate for children to work on independently, we also encourage adults to explore the book and play the games together with children. And—who knows—maybe along the way some adults will recapture an old dream or two. And, if groups want to use the book in a classroom, workshop or even a birthday party, students will get a chance to put these skills to practice and share and collaborate dreams with their classmates.

Teachers agree: Activities align with the Common Core Standards

There is no right or wrong way as long as you are having fun and learning. In fact, we guaranteed you’ll be inspired with a new dream. “Dream it!” is easy to use because it has been designed to be self-explanatory for children to complete independently. That being said, our recommended method is to follow the pages one-by-one, in order. We know it is tempting to skip ahead, but one concept leads to another. For example, you need to fill your Bucket List before you can sort them according to passion, logic and skills. Visit our resources page for facilitator guides for parents, teachers, facilitators and health care professionals.

How the book works

How to create a dream!

There is a lot more to the book, like our unique Dream Theory, Dream Ingredients and much more. On our welcome page, we already gave you our formula for turning dreams into reality, but how do you get a dream? Luckily, that is what this book is all about. So, to whet your appetite, here is a general overview of how to create a unique-to-you, never-seen-before dream.

How to create a dream. Step 1: Fill your bucket.

Step 1:
Fill your bucket!

We use a bucket as a metaphor for the mind and all the emotions, knowledge, memories, thoughts, ideas, and dreams it holds. In chapter 4 of our book, kids fill their bucket with a hodgepodge of ideas which will become the parts and pieces to build new dreams. To do this, they will play a lot of fun games to spark their emotions and imagination and inspire themselves with lightbulb moments. It will be anything but boring!

How to create a dream. Step 2: Sort your treasure.

Step 2:
Sort your treasure!

Now, with so many opportunities in their bucket, kids may be wondering: “What is the best dream for me?” In chapter 5, we’ll empty the bucket and sort all the dreams into different piles, like: yes, no, and maybe. We'll also have some fun throwing away things away. Our exploration will help kids learn what is important to them and what they believe is a worthwhile dream, because if kids think a dream is worthwhile, they will be more likely to succeed. And, of course, we’re going to do it while playing fun games.

How to create a dream. Step 3: Build a dream.

Step 3:
Build a dream!

By the time kids reach chapter 8, they will have discovered a lot of dreams and learned how to sort them into useful groups using tools like the Gut Check, Weighing the Pros and Cons, and the Skills Checklist. Now, we are going to learn how to put all the parts and pieces together to build a new, never-before-seen, inspirational dream! How awesome is that!? We'll also learn how to take an unrealistic dream and transform it into a realistic dream.

Fun, 4-color, pencil and paper games including a blueprint, word search, origami fortune teller and a permission slip to dream.

Create your dream

Learn the step-by-step process to dream using traditional pencil and paper games and activities. Almost every page in the book teaches an important concept and uses a memorable game or activity to put the idea into action. First, students will play games to fill their Bucket List. Then they will sort their dreams according to passion, logic and skills. And finally, they will break apart and recombine ideas to create brand new, unique dreams.

Study after study proves that when the reading assignment demands better comprehension, engagement and retention, students are better off using books.* And, pencils aren’t going extinct either. This traditional tool is also proven to help students learn and remember by engaging multiple areas of the brain. The Dream It Playbook is packed with reading, writing, math and drawing exercises. For that matter, it is full of activities for all kinds of learning styles. Kids are encouraged to express their dream in any style they prefer.

Dream big or little

A tiny mouse finds a big chunk of Swiss cheese and shouts, "Eureka." A dream come true.

By the end of the book students might have a whole bunch of little dreams or one big dream — a life goal. More importantly, they will learn a process that they can use for the rest of their life.

The best part is that the how-to-dream process can be applied to any of life’s challenges. For example, what if you are feeling sad? What do you think you’re dream might be? That’s right being happy! So, you might fill your Bucket with ideas, like go for a walk, find a friend to tell you a joke or get a hug. Then what? Yep, you go do it.

Share your dream!

Now that you have a dream, one of the first and most important steps to make your dream come true is sharing it. That’s what we call a step of action. By sharing your dream, not only will you get lots of help, some of you will discover that you have matching dreams. For example, some of you are like peanut butter and some of you are like jelly. If you find a partner, you can work on your dreams together and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In one Dream Workshop, we had so many soccer fans that we could make a whole team. Get started making dreams real right now — share your dream and help inspire the world.
“My dream is to collect fossils in my backyard and compare them with kids around the world.“
Carry G.
10 years old

Free Resources

Facilitator Guide for Groups

Dream It Playbook Facilitator-Guide for teachers and parents

First off, we need to say that this book was designed to be self-guiding. That means any child or any adult can pick up the book and do it and learn everything they need to know. That being said, working with a group can be a little different. We’ve taken all the experience we learned from our research studies in the classroom to guide teachers and facilitators step-by-step, with concepts summarized page-by-page, and example class schedules from a few days to a few months. You can even teach the most important concepts in a single afternoon.

  • Teachers, facilitators, parents and health care professionals visit our resources page for guides on how to implement “Dream it!”
  • And, coming soon, an introduction to steps 2 and 3 (mapping and playing) of our formula for turning dreams into a reality.

Awards Challenge

Earn your dream rank from Newbie to Awesome!

Awards Game for "Dream it!"

This is another companion game for the book. From the beginning until the end, life is a constant adventure, not a problem to be solved. It doesn’t matter if we achieve great things, it only matters if we feel a great sense of accomplishment! Practice feeling accomplished by marking off your physical achievements in the Dream It! Playbook!

Easter Egg Hunt​

Try to find all the hidden surprises in Dream It!

Easter Egg Hunt Game for "Dream it!"

Our first game is a companion game for our new book “Dream It!” The Easter Egg Hunt. In this case, “Easter egg” means a hidden surprise. If you saw the movie Ready Player One, you learned that the first hidden surprise was a message in the 1979 video game “Adventure” by Atari. The term was coined “Easter egg” to encourage players to hunt for all the surprises just like the real holiday game. It became so popular that Easter eggs are now part of almost every game, movie and television show, and — of course — our book. 

Keep the lessons alive

More fun content being posted all the time

Make your own dreamcatchers. Five examples using arts and crafts materials: paper plates, yarn, paint, feathers, beads, stickers, markers.
Activities

How to make a dreamcatcher

A fun arts & crafts project for schools, families and friends. Follow the steps to create your own dreamcatcher to capture your dream before it gets away.

Read More »

Dream It! is all about finding a dream — the hardest and most important step. But we won’t leave you hanging there. We’ll walk you through the whole process of turning dreams into reality: dreaming (goal setting and optimistic thinking), mapping (planning and perseverance) and playing (doing and overcoming obstacles).

Dream > Map > Play = Dreamaplay

We’ll keep posting more games and activities like our Backyard Adventures or Dream Workshop and, of course, a sequel — Map it!

How the book was made​

4 years in development

Not only did we test the book in 6 academic environments (some of them twice), we also had multiple editors and reviewers, and after every step we made changes. We wrote so much material that if you count the deleted pages, we have a whole, completed book set aside. We don’t mean a rough draft; we mean a finished, illustrated, edited book, including entire chapters on planning and doing your dream. (Some of this stuff was too advanced and some stuff we’re saving for a sequel.) And if you count all the pages that were rejected (some by the kids, some by the authors, some by the editors, some by the reviewers), we’ve written the equivalent of 5 books just to get this one awesome books. Hey! We’re not complaining; we’re just saying that we were dedicated to making a book that works!

"Dream It!" book cover composition animation show 3 steps from fancy thumbnail to final cover.
An animation showing 3 steps from fancy thumbnail to final cover. Can you spot the differences? The final book cover is completely hand drawn even the words.

Evidence-Based Results

Tested in a 1-year university study.*

22% improvement in children's optimistic thinking. (A big improvement!)
22%
90% of kids looked forward to Dream It! Playbook sessions.​
90%
97% of kids recommended the Dream It! Playbook.​
95%
100% of kids reported thinking about their goals more often
100%

The Dream It Playbook is proven statistically significantly to improve optimistic thinking, grit (perseverance), hope and a growth mindset. * More about this study.

Optimistic Thinking

Grit

Hope

Growth Mindset

About the University Study

The playbook had overwhelmingly positive feedback. Here are a few highlights from this year-long study in 2nd-8th grades:

 

Dream It! scored a 22% improvement in optimistic thinkingResearch has demonstrated the benefits of children learning about dreaming. The book is based on educational, social-emotional, and cognitive development theories, and built on the backbone of our novel dream principles, educational philosophy and original research. The games in “Dream It!” were tested in a university study* of the promotion of optimistic thinking in students in 2nd to 8th grade who worked on the book as a weekly class in an after-school program. Highlights from the results of the year-long study include:

  • 97% of kids recommend The Dream It! PlaybookStudents who completed the Playbook increased in a measure of optimistic thinking by 29% in the first semester and 17% in the second semester.
  • After completing the Playbook, 100% of students reported that they were thinking more about their goals and future dreams. This led the researchers to conclude that the Playbook may be an effective tool to increase student achievement through increasing dreaming and goal setting.
  • Nearly 90% of children reported looking forward to their weekly Playbook session. This led the researchers to conclude that the Playbook may contribute to improved school attendance by providing many students with an exciting reason to go to school.
  • There were no differences in the positive influence of the Playbook by gender or grade
  • Dream It! scored a 22% improvement in optimistic thinkingThe influence of the Dream Playbook on optimistic thinking did not depend on the school.
  • The students who participated in this study are ethnically and socioeconomically diverse; this demonstrates the relevance and usefulness of the playbook for a diverse group of children.
  • More about working with groups

The study concluded that Dream It! is an effective, evidenced-based tool for teaching social-emotional skills and increasing optimistic thinking that is enjoyed by all students.

You should change the title of the book to: "Live the life YOU want to live, if YOU put your mind to it!

Recommendation by a Child in the Research Study

Get Started Dreaming!​

Don’t forget your free companion games and facilitator guide.

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4.8 Stars on Amazon
4.8/5

Still not sure if "Dream It!" is right for you?

Children's Book and Media Review​​

Reviewer
Bailey Ondricek

Rating
Outstanding

Level
Primary, Intermediate

Pages
80

BYU Scholars Archive Citation

Ondricek, Bailey () “Dream It!: A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness,” Children’s Book and Media Review: Vol. 40 : Iss. 2 , Article 11.

Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/
cbmr/vol40/iss2/11

The bright-eyed and strainer-hatted child on the cover of this bright paperback is the perfect embodiment of this book’s ‘dream it, do it’ message. The book follows a logical structure, beginning with inspiration, brainstorming, and logging a personal bucket list, then proceeding through strategies to manage the emotional and practical demands of fulfilling dreams, and providing kids with the resources and support they’ll need in doing the imaginable. Whatever the child’s seemingly insurmountable task may be, from earning better grades to creating a new technology, they have the thinking space to document what their goals are and encouragement to keep going through all of the stages of completing a challenge.

Dream It! oozes empowerment with every page. Readers will leave this text feeling enabled and ready to communicate their goals with others. This text encourages children to build relationships with adults or other friends and to include them in whatever project they’re working on. Parents or other loving adults will enjoy supporting their kids through the thoughtful processes in this text; librarians, on the other hand, may find it an impractical text to keep spotless on their library shelves. Each of the eighty colorful matte pages of this text provide space for readers to brainstorm, answer questions, play games, and activate their imaginations as they think though their personal goals and find the resources to fulfill them. Using this playbook to its full measure will mean that readers need their own personal copy throughout which to doodle and note as they experiment with their thoughts and feelings.

Bailey OndricekChildren’s Book and Media Review
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“Dream It! oozes empowerment with every page. Readers will leave this text feeling enabled and ready to communicate their goals with others.” Rated "Outstanding."
Tracie Baker, PhDOhio Psychological Association Review
Read More
This playbook starts by posing the questions, “Do you want to live the biggest, best life possible?" ... However, do not mistake this book as encouraging big fantasies that leave our youths’ heads in the clouds. The authors respect the readers’ intellect, with examples and anecdotes related to historical dreamers and inventors, and an introduction to a theory of dreams.
Chris LewisDad of Divas
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My youngest daughter loves to have books that she can fill in and capture things about herself that will let her find out more about herself... The book also does a great job at motivating and inspiring and if your child is anything like mine, this book will bring hours of insightful fun! [Read the full review.]
Willow (Age 7)
Kids' Book Buzz
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The thing I like about the book is that it’s pretty funny... Somebody who really wants a dream should read this book. They’ll have more dreams, and their dreams will come true. [Read the full review.]
Stephanie Filigno, PhD.Pediatric Psychologist
Read More
An AMAZING, fun and practical resource that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Kendra
Amazon Customer Review
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Dream It! is a great book for the whole Family! We enjoyed doing all the activities and discussion as a family!!!
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Great classroom reading, indeed! 

“Dream It!” has been selected by Reading Is Fundamental as part of their Social-Emotional Learning Collection. Pictured here is “Dream It!” on the table at the American Psychological Association annual conference. 

Reading Is Fundamental | Children's Literacy Non-Profit
A donkey dressed in a rainbow-colored unicorn costume complete with horn, wig and glitter.

Express Yourself! 

Strike a pose and let the world know you’re excited to be yourself! “Dream It!” made the Children’s Book Council’s Express Yourself Showcase

PS. That’s a character from our book, the  Donkeycorn, a donkey dressed as a unicorn. It symbolizes how to overcome adversity to live your dream. 

Coming Soon — Chinese Translation​

We are super excited to announce that “Dream It!: A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness” will be translated into Simplified Chinese by Hunan Education Publishing House Branch. Coming March 2021.

Coming soon! "Dream it!" will be translated into Simplified Chinese

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