How often children take notice of their surroundings explains over 10% of the variation in their well-being, reveals our new report Ways to well-being.

In 2008, NEF (New Economics Foundation) produced their five ways to well-being framework for adults. This set of five actions - connect, be active, keep learning, take notice and give - were beneficial to adults. We wanted to find out whether this approach could work for children and young people, as well.

So we've been working with NEF over the past year to find out. Together, we've:

  • Asked around 1500 young people aged 10 to 15 a number of questions related to the five ways that we felt might be relevant to children’s lives
  • Held focus group discussions with 70 children aged eight to 15 in six schools around the country.

Key findings

  • There's good evidence that four of NEF’s five ways - connect, be active, take notice, keep learning - work for children
  • Evidence for the fifth - give - was more mixed, although children did talk about being kind and doing things to help others
  • However, we have found evidence for another way to well-being relating to creativity, imagination and play.

Ways to well-being postcards

We've put the five ways to well-being for children on a set of postcards as a reminder of the things that children can do to support their own well-being. Download the postcards.

Parent's guide

Our guide How to support your child's well-being gives some simple tips to parents on how they can encourage children to take part in the activities that could enhance their well-being.