The 'Smile' project for children, schools and early years

What is the 'Smile' project?

The ‘Smile project’ is based on the ‘5 ways to well-being’, which are five evidence-based things people can build into their daily lives to improve well-being, protect mental health and increase emotional resilience. It is a joint project between the Public Health Schools and School Travel teams. 

The ‘Smile project’ has taken parts of the ‘5 ways to well-being’ and translated them into child-friendly language. 

‘Smile’ stands for :

  • Speak
  • Move
  • Imagine and play
  • Learn
  • Enjoy

The 'Smile project' shows how you can do all of these things on journeys you make every day - in particular on your journeys to nursery and school.

Why use the ‘5 ways to well-being’ with children and young people? 

PSince Public Health Schools started in 2014, the main request (from parents, carers and staff) has been their support to help pupils build resilience. Of the 1 in 10 children affected by a mental health issue at any one time, 70% have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age (Mental Health Foundation 2016)

There's good evidence that four of the five ways - connect, be active, take notice, and keep learning - work for children.  Although evidence for the fifth – give – is more mixed, children do benefit from being kind and doing things to help others. Furthermore, there is evidence for another way to wellbeing relating to creativity, imagination and play. 

How can I practise the 'Smile' ideas my child?

'Smile' for young children

See here for information for parents and carers, and ideas on how to  practise the 'Smile' ideas with young children

'Smile' for school-aged children and schools

Here are some ways to practise the 'Smile' ideas with school-aged children: 

For more information: 

For more information please contact: