Published On: Tue, Jun 16th, 2015

The Tree Making Parents, Preschoolers and the Postman Smile – The Smile Tree

Danielle Mantakoul

“So, what makes your heIMG_2617art smile”? I asked this recently of my preschool class. It was an impromptu question that morning and one that I had no idea would lead us to the Smile Tree.

The children responded with “flowers, hot chocolate, rainbows, mummy, hugs and fairies, the kinds of things you would expect three and four year olds to say, but the one that made my heart truly smile was, “Bunnings makes my heart smile Mrs Mantakoul”. I could not help myself, “Bunnings makes my heart smile too Anna”. One child’s comment alone inspired me. We would make a tree, a Smile Tree, and invite everyone to write what made their heart smile.

The creation of the tree began and once made, parents were asked IMG_2616what made their heart smile along with all the teachers in the preschool. It has been wonderful to see a rare insight into the hearts of children, teachers and especially parents.

This week I shall be chasing the newspaper delivery guy, grandmas, grandpas, siblings and even the preschool postman, courier and cleaners, and if I happen to see you walking by preschool, perhaps you too will find yourself adding to the Smile Tree.

Try to talk to your child regularly about what makes their heart smile. This gives it a voice and reminds kids of their happy place. And while I am not saying that Bunnings will fix everything, I am saying that if we can help our children to identify things that they love passionately, these can be great go to places when you find your heart not doing a whole lot of smiling.

By Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2015

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