Be Happy!

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sunflower spring childToday is the first day of spring! I don’t know about you, but with all of the up and down temperatures and unexpected ice storms, I am definitely ready to embrace spring and drink in the sun for several months to come! 

Did you know that it is also International Happiness Day? I think it is truly fitting that the first day of spring falls on International Happiness Day! Studies show that people are happier when the sun is shining. It has also been found that expressing gratitude actually increases your level of happiness. Something as simple as sincerely saying “thank you” to someone can actually boost your mood! Acts of kindness are also a fantastic way to increase levels of happiness, for both the giver and receiver!

It is important to help young children learn how to have a sense of gratitude, caring, and kindness. You can help young children learn these qualities by setting a good example and by taking advantage of natural learning opportunities, such as thanking clerks, servers, and community helpers. You can also be intentional in your efforts by helping young children write thank you cards for gifts, helping them do something nice for a neighbor or friend like planting flowers together and giving them away once they bloom, and (if they are in sports or team activities) by helping them encourage and support teammates.  You can read and discuss stories about kindness with them as well. Here are just a few story possibilities that promote kindness and compassion:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead

How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends? By Jane Yolen

How Kind by Mary Murphy

Hey, Little Ant by Philip and Hannah House

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray

Even though the temperature on the thermometer is still a bit chilly, it is a bright and beautiful sun that is shining in my window this morning! I hope that you have an opportunity to soak in some sun today and that you have the opportunity to be kind and express gratitude to someone special in your life as you celebrate the happiness of spring!

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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