World Smile Day: Date, History, Activities & Quotes

July 14, 2022 5 min read

Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts, invented the smiley face in 1963, as is now widely known throughout the world. That image went on to become the world's most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer.

1. What is the Date of World Smile Day? 

World Smile Day (October 7), a relatively new holiday with an intriguing backstory, falls on the first Friday of October. This day was created by a commercial artist named Harvey Ball in response to his creation of the smiley face. Harvey was concerned that commercialization would diminish the symbol's significance. We can't blame him; the symbol has been used in a variety of contexts, including clothing, comic books, coffee mugs, pins, and more. These little yellow faces are more than just a symbol; they're a declaration about the power of a smile.

2. World Smile Day History

Harvey Ball, a graphic artist and ad man from Worcester, Massachusetts, invented the smiley face symbol in 1963. This symbol's popularity exploded in the world of popular culture. It is every artist's dream for their work to be respected and recreated, and few symbols have left as long a legacy as Harvey's creation.

The smiley face has become one of the world's most well-known symbols over the years. It has appeared in films such as 'Forest Gump,' as well as in the graphic novel 'Watchmen.' It's so well-known that we're sure you can picture it just by saying "smiley face." That distinguishing yellow circle with black dots for eyes and a simple curve for a genuine and pure smile. The original smiley face, on the other hand, had a more oblong smile, a bit more hand drawn in aesthetic, and took up more space on the face than modern recreations. Because of its overuse, it began to drift away from its original intent of goodwill and cheer, and he knew something had to be done.

In order to regain control, World Smile Day was made an official holiday in 1999. The day's celebrations were simple but effective: people were to use the day to smile and perform small acts of kindness all over the world. Harvey wished to keep the smile connected to the person. You'd smile as a result, which would make someone else smile and brighten their day.

3. World Smile Day Activities

Do Unto Others

Many organizations could benefit from the assistance of volunteers. Whether it's cleaning up the environment, helping the elderly, or giving back to veterans, it all contributes to a better world. Doing something charitable outside of your regular routine can be enlightening for both you and your community.

Follow Your Dreams

With work and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. We all have hopes and dreams that we've put on hold. Allow yourself to indulge in whatever you want on this day. Take out your guitar from the closet, pick up a paintbrush, or do anything that brings a smile back to your face.

Commit a Random Act of Kindness

Not everything must be planned. Keeping a spirit of goodwill in your spirit throughout the day is the ideal way to celebrate. You'll keep an eye out for opportunities to make someone's day brighter. Compliment someone on their outfit and thank your coworkers for their hard work. Follow your instincts in whatever small way you can have a positive impact on someone. You'd be surprised how much recognition can mean to someone.

Julia Donaldson's The Spiffiest Giant in Town

According to the Amazon description, readers are reminded in this book from the creators of Room on the Broom that "sometimes it's what's inside a person-or a giant-that matters most." This story will show students that random acts of kindness can change someone's perception and outlook.

Coloring Page for World Smile Day

Students can color in their own smiley face character and read a short excerpt about Harvey Ball, thanks to HomeSchooling.

How thoughtful! Mary Murphy's

According to the Amazon description, this story is about a Hen who gives her friend Pig an unexpected gift. "How kind!' says Pig, who is so touched that he decides to do something kind himself, so Pig gives Rabbit a gift. 'How kind!' says Rabbit, who does something kind for Cow, who is kind to Cat, who wants to be kind in return.

Spread A Laughter

Students can pair up with a partner and use a tape measure or a piece of string to measure each other's smiles. The worksheet allows students to draw their own grin inside the smiley face, count their teeth when they smile, and make a list of things that make them smile.

Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's Kindness Quilt

According to the book's Amazon description, "Minna and her classmates have been asked by their teacher, Mrs. Bloom, to work on a Kindness Project." "Mrs. Bloom wants them to do, draw, and share an act of kindness. Minna and her family do many kind things, but Minna can't decide which one is right for her project. So she starts writing, drawing, and cutting—and an idea for a paper quilt depicting many acts of kindness begins to take shape!"

What Makes Me Happy

Teachers are required to post a large poster in the classroom with the words "What makes me smile," and then students can go up and write what makes them smile on the poster. If the students are young, the teacher can write down their responses. The poster can be displayed in the classroom throughout the year as a reminder to always smile.

Dental Service

Because sparkling teeth are an important part of a smile, incorporating a dental hygiene lesson for World Smile Day could be an interesting twist. Educate the class on how to maintain a healthy smile, either with the help of a dental hygienist or on your own. Students can make their own smiles out of pink Play Doh and white beans for teeth as a fun activity. (Alternatively, as seen elsewhere, students can use marshmallows, peanut butter, and apple slices.) 

4. World Smile Day Quotes

"I have witnessed the softening of the hardest of hearts by a simple smile." — Goldie Hawn

"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness." — William Arthur Ward

"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." — Phyllis Diller

"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do." — Mother Teresa

"A smile is happiness you'll find right under your nose." — Tom Wilson

"I think that anybody that smiles automatically looks better." — Diane Lane

"Smile, it's free therapy." — Douglas Horton

"A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside." — Denis Waitley

"Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you." — Anna Lee

"If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it." — Andy Rooney

"Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you'll start to see a big difference in your life." — Yoko Ono

Always keep your smile. That's how I explain my long life." — Jeanne Calment

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