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I was extremely delighted to see that the United Nations acknowledges happiness and well-being via the International Day of Happiness on the 20th of March each year. In support of humanitarian efforts around the world.

Happy Day

This U.N. Resolution identifies the pursuit of happiness and well-being as fundamental human goals. Let us celebrate this day with the children and families with whom we work. The day strongly links to supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development.

I for one will be celebrating!

I am equally excited that Pharrell Williams is a leading ambassador for the United Nations Foundation. Linked to his international hit song ‘Happy’, Pharrell has called this ’24 hours of happiness’. He has asked his fans to donate to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.

On a recent flight I watched the film ‘Despicable Me 2‘, where the song is featured. It is such a feel-good song and so catchy that I was singing away on the plane. I’m not sure what the other passengers thought!

Pharrell’s song ‘Happy’ was also the subject of an article in The Sunday Times on 9th March 2014, where Lauren Stewart discussed ‘Ear Worms’ – how we connect to ‘catchy tunes’. Which is, indeed, what this song is.

Why not mark the International Day of Happiness with the children in your setting?

You may want to ask the children what are their thoughts on ‘happiness’.

Use a sensory questioning style to ask children:

What makes them feel happy?

What does happiness sound like?

What does happiness look like?

Do we have a happy food taste?

I wonder how we share happy thoughts with each other?

I wonder what a happy thought is?

Ask the children to write or draw their thoughts or write their thoughts for them.

Take photographs of the children, display them or make a ‘scrap book’.

Remember to link to the characteristics of effective teaching and learning.

We can all make a personal commitment to have a full day of happiness and well-being and spread the happiness vibe.

‘So clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because, I’m happy!’

If you are on Twitter share your happiness stories and activities on the 20th; use the hash tags #Happyday and #EYTalking and I will retweet.

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