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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 38

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbook Activity 38
Islands of the Future

Purpose of Activity

  • To help children imagine a positive future
  • To create an island or future which shows how they want their life to be
  • To identify the choices and first steps they need to make to achieve this.

Life Skills: Creative Thinking, Self-awareness, Decision-making, Problem-solving

Important Points

People work towards the future they want for themselves. Our behaviour tends to direct us towards what we focus on most. That is why it is important to identify and focus on what we do want and not just on what we want to avoid. In this activity, the children use a technique called visualisation. This using the imagination which works best in a relaxed environment, so help the children to relax. You can do this by softening your voice and slowing the pace.


Some materials as for previous activity plus drawings or cut-out pictures of:

  • A football stadium
  • A footballer
  • A nice house.


  1. Remind everyone of the Fleet of Hope activity and ask:
    • What will help people who are in the water to climb back onto one of the boats?
    • What will help those who are already on the boats to stay on the boats?
      Have a discussion about this.
  1. Give an example of an island of the future using the cardboard characters showing the fashionably dressed young man.

This is Kofi. Kofi is handsome and witty. He gets on well with a group of friends with whom he plays football for his local team. He is unemployed, and jobs are very hard to find. He sees no real future for himself. He is on the Condom boat. It is hot and boring and the boats seem to be going nowhere. Kofi sees some friends of his playing together in the water. It looks far more fun and refreshing in the water – better than ‘eating a banana with the skin on’ (a phrase that means sex is better without a condom). Kofi knows that the water is dangerous, but he has heard the condom boat may leak occasionally so it is not 100% safe. Then he thinks he may as well risk it and he prepare to dive in.

As you tell the next part of Kofi’s story, use your voice to show Kofi’s emotions to show the excitement that Kofi might feel when he scores that winning goal.

Kofi is about to throw himself into the water when he looks up and notices an island far away. [Put the island in the top right-hand corner of the sheet.] He looks closer, and there on the island is a large football stadium. [Put the picture of the football stadium on the island.] He recognises it to be the Osu National Stadium. His favourite Premier Division football team is playing in the stadium. Then he sees that it is actually him on the football pitch, playing as part of the team. [Put the picture of the football player on the stadium.] He can feel the sweat pouring down his forehead. He runs forward and scores the winning goal. He hears the crowd going wild with joy. His friends are waving and cheering. He feels totally exhilarated. He leaves the stadium eating a juicy and refreshing slice of pineapple, and walks to his home. [Put the picture of the house on the island.] As he approaches, his young son runs out to greet him, and gives him a big hug.

Kofi sees that on his island of the future, he is married with healthy children. He goes inside his house and he embraces his wife, he can smell the perfume she is wearing. Life feels wonderful.
Then Kofi looks back down at the water. With this beautiful island of his future in mind, the idea of going swimming now seems crazy, and far too risky. He is determined to stay safely on the three boats and direct them purposefully towards his island.

Then Kofi turned to his friend [pick out a female character] and said to her excitedly, ‘Look over there. It’s a beautiful island. Osu football stadium is in the middle of it, and I am there playing for my Premier division team. I have just scored the winning goal’. ‘But I don’t like football’, said the woman. ‘That is my future island,’ said Kofi. ‘Your island of the future will be different. It is yours.’

  1. Create your own island of the future. (For the rest of this section, speak with a relaxed, softer voice, with pauses between sentences.)

I wonder what your future island is like. Sit back, relax and imagine what your future island might be like. Close your eyes so that you can see it in your mind. Your island of the future is how you would like things to be at some point in the future. Choose a time, maybe one, two or three years from now. What does the island look like? Imagine arriving safely, getting out of your boat and walking up on to the island. You are there on your island. Who is there with you? What do you find on the island? What sounds can you hear? What can you smell? Maybe there are some things you can taste to drink or eat. How do you feel? What are you doing on your future island? What skills and capabilities do you have? How would you describe yourself? Who are you on this island? For a few minutes, relax and imagine what it is like being on your future island. When you are ready, take a bit of paper and a pen and create a drawing of your future island with you there on it.

  1. After five minutes of silent visualization, ask the children to open their eyes again. Give them paper, pens and scissors, so children can create a presentation of their own future islands. Give them enough time to do this (at least 20 minutes, but more is better). You could have a special session to make the future islands.
  2. Place the islands around Kofi’s island.
  3. Tell the children

Look again at your own island and imagine once more how good it is to be on that island. Then come back to the present and ask yourself: How will I get to my future island? Which boats shall I chose to start the journey on? What is the first thing I need to do now to start moving towards my future island? Just think about these questions for yourself, so that you find your own answers. [Do not ask the children to give their answers to the group.]

  1. If appropriate, children can take their future island with them to remind them what it is like. They can add to and change their island if they want.

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