If you’re happy and you know it!

 Aim of the game:

This is a great way of teaching your child body parts and action words through song. The repetition, rhythm and rhyme of singing helps to reinforce learning and in this particular song you can teach your child body parts such as ‘hands’, ‘feet’, ‘eye’, ‘nose’, ‘head’ etc and action words such as ‘clap’, ‘stamp’, ‘blink’ ‘wiggle’ and ‘touch’. 


 What you will need:

 A willing singing voice!


 How to play:

  • Sit opposite your child so you are face to face, with just a few feet between you. You may also wish to stand for parts of this song.
  • Introduce the song so your child knows what to expects (e.g. “let’s sing Happy and You Know It”)
  • Sing the song as a slow and steady pace to give your child the opportunity to clearly hear the words, watch your actions and join in if they want to. Pace is really important – as adults, we often make the mistake of singing songs too quickly and children need more time to process and join in than adults do:

“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands [clap, clap]. If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands [clap, clap]. If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands [clap clap] 

  • If you want to continue with the song choose a different body part and action (e.g. stamp your feet, wiggle your nose, blink your eyes etc).


Listen to If You’re Happy and You Know It Song audio clip here


 How to extend:

  • Introduce different action words and body parts to change up and introduce new vocabulary e.g. brush your hair, wiggle your fingers, touch your ears etc.
  • Offer your child a choice of actions or body parts using pictures on a choosing board. We have a downloadable song choice board for ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ and many more to choose from in our Therapy Centre .
  • Build in an opportunity for your child to have a go at saying a word by using pauses.

If your child is learning to say single words you could try “If you’re happy and you know it clap your……[pause for child to say ‘hands’]”.

If your child is learning to say short phrases try “If you’re happy and you know it….[pause for child to say ‘clap your hands’]”.

If they don’t join in that’s ok, just fill in the missing words for them and maybe next time they’ll have a go.

  • Encourage your child to request and ask for more by pausing at the end of the song and waiting to see if they indicate they want to sing again. You can cue them in by asking “more?” or “more singing?”
  • When your child is a little older and also familiar with the song, have fun playing around with singing speeds and volumes. This can introduce the concepts of ‘fast’ versus ‘slow’, ‘noisy’ versus ‘quiet’ etc which is another language learning opportunity. Have fun being silly singing it really fast together, really slowly or really quietly.




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