Happiness Happens Month

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite societies – the Secret Society of Happy People. And the month of August is Happiness Happens month. Now doesn’t that sound like a great thing to celebrate? It is designed to encourage the expression of happiness as well as trying to teach people not to rain on other people’s parades. They believe that happiness is contagious and that more people need to recognise it and talk about it. And, let’s face it, in a world that contains so much doom and gloom more happiness is always a good thing.

Motto

The motto of the society is:

“If you’re happy and you know it … tell somebody! If someone else is happy and they know it … listen!”

That reminds me of an old Latvian folk song and a good old sing song is something that always puts a smile on faces. So, ‘If you’re happy and you know, clap your hands’, stomp your feet, shout hurray and then do all three! This great website also features other songs with words and sheet music you can print and flash videos with music.

What Makes You Happy

Talking about happiness is a great way to share it. Get the children to draw something that makes them happy and then ask them to describe to the child next to them, or to the class, what is in the picture and why it makes them happy. It’ll be an interesting exercise that may allow for some basic teaching on the meaning of happiness and how to achieve it. You could also get the children to start a daily log of what they feel happy about – and their scrapbooks would be a great place to record this. It would be beneficial to get the children to recognise that simple things, such as a sunny morning, birds singing or giving someone you love a kiss, can make you as happy as getting whatever new electronic gizmo is all the rage for Christmas.

Silver Lining

The Secret Society of Happy People also celebrate happiness day – August 8th – which they dedicate to doing good deeds related to the colour silver. This is because happy people always find a silver lining no matter how dark the situation may be – another good trait to instil in young minds. And they have a list of fabulous ideas (www.sohp.com/) that you can do to mark the day. One I particularly like is a happiness chest for which you’ll need:

• shoe boxes or other small lidded boxes

glue

• decoration – may I suggest the following in keeping with the silver theme for starters, but essentially you could use anything the children like:

o silver paint

o silver glitter

o glitter dots

o metallic crayons

o metallic felt-tips

o acrylic jewels

o metallic foil paper

o feathers

tissue or crepe paper for lining.

Once you’ve gathered your items you can start to put together the boxes in whatever ways the children want. They could cover the outside of the box with silver paper and decorate with glitter and acrylic jewels, they could paint the box with metallic paint and then decorate with feathers, they could draw pictures of their favourite toys and glue them to the box – the list is endless and allows for a great deal of creativity.

Once completed, the box can be filled with photos, ticket stubs, precious cards, letters, in fact anything that makes the child happy. Then if the child ever feels a little sad they can open the box and have a boost of happiness. What a great keepsake to look back on in years to come too!

And, don’t forget they don’t have to make the box for themselves – they can make it for anyone.

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