What makes your child smile? Adam loves nothing more than playing Lego with Daddy, jumping in the waves with Nana, seeing his friends at Pre-School or going on a family adventure. In fact, one of the reason for starting our blog was to capture those priceless smiles. I wanted a way to record Adam’s smiles so we could look back at them over the years.
In today’s society you would think that technology such as video games, social media and watching TV is what makes the current younger generation smile. However, research conducted by Wrigley’s Extra® found that reading stories and playing hide and seek are the best and simplest ways of putting a smile on a child’s face.
Wrigley’s Extra surveyed the children of 1,000 parents to see what makes children smile. The great outdoors, old fashioned games and just being with Mum and Dad were cited amongst the most fun activities.
The children, all aged 11 and under, claimed that spending time with grandparents and playing with a family pet were the things that made them smile the most. Although technology has a place in a child’s life, it can never and should never replace the emotional connection needed in order to put a smile on a child’s face.
I am extremely pleased that traditional, back-to-basics play is so popular – after all we have an entire blog dedicated to showing parents how they can play with their children. The Wrigley’s Extra research found that playing outside made 36% of children smile. Take a look at our outside play adventures for some inspiration. I will never forget the sheer joy on Adam’s face when he created his Humpty Dumpty Egg Splat painting!
In connection with National Smile month Wrigley’s Extra has launched The Extra Smile Back™ Project where they will donate a minimum of £250,000 to help protect children’s smiles. Through running oral health workshops in partnership with Oral Health Foundation the project will protect the smiles of more than 10,000 children across the UK.
As part of the campaign Wrigley’s have published a book: “The Lost Smile” by Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey. In the story everyone is too busy in order to interact with Kyle. His Mum is working on the computer, his Dad is doing the housework and his sister is watching the TV. He believes they have all lost their smile.
Kyle packs a bag of smile searching tools and goes on an adventure to find their lost smiles. He searches the streets, the park and even the moon whilst putting up “Lost Smile” posters. He eventually uncovers their smiles and learns how to make the world smile.
At the back of the book there are fantastic tips on how to keep your family’s teeth clean and healthy. I never knew you are meant to avoid brushing your teeth for at least 60 minutes after eating or drinking!
Joseph Coelho, author of The Lost Smile said: “Smiles are the most powerful thing and we don’t have to go to complicated lengths to find them. Sometimes life gets in the way and we forget to smile at those around us, especially our children. The Lost Smile is a gentle nudge to parents to prioritize their smiles and to protect the most precious of grins.”
Each night, after our bed time story and just before Adam goes to sleep we ask him the same question: “What made you happy today?”. I love the look of concentration on Adam’s face as he replays the day in his head to tell me a particular incident that made him smile. “The Lost Smile” has become part of Adam’s bedtime routine now and is a wonderful way to end the day.
What three things make your child smile?
All profits from the sale of The Lost Smile will be split between the charities Action for Children and the Oral Health Foundation. For more details of the project and to purchase a copy of The Lost Smile visit www.smileback.wrigley.co.uk.
*This is a sponsored post for Wrigley’s Extra® written on behalf of their Extra Smile Back™ Project which launches today.