Lesson 19: I Can Be Happy

Behold Your Little Ones: Nursery Manual, (2008), 80–83


Introduction for the Teacher

To prepare yourself spiritually to teach this lesson, please read and ponder the following:

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy; the plan He created for us is often called the “great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8). Although adversity is an important part of life, we can choose to have a positive outlook, and our cheerful attitude can help others be more optimistic as well.

Learning Activities

Begin with a gathering activity. For ideas, see page 3.

Prayer

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Story

Have a child hold the picture on page 82. Tell the following story:

Mary and her mommy were going for a walk (point to Mary and Mommy in the picture). Some people they passed were frowning (ask the children to frown). Mary asked Mommy, “Why are the people so sad?” Mommy said, “I don’t know, but maybe we can smile at them and help them be happy.”

As they walked along, Mary saw a woman coming toward them. Mary smiled her biggest smile (invite the children to smile their biggest smiles). When the woman saw Mary’s happy face, she smiled back. Mary said, “It worked!” Mommy said, “When we choose to be happy, it helps others be happy too.”

Ask the children to smile for you. Tell them that their smiles help everyone feel happy. Invite the children to say “happy.”

Song

Sing or say the words to “Smiles” (Children’s Songbook, 267) and do the actions below. Invite the children to join you.

If you chance to meet a frown, (pull corners of mouth down to a frown)
Do not let it stay. (shake head from side to side)
Quickly turn it upside down
And smile that frown away. (push corners of mouth into a smile)
No one likes a frowning face. (pull corners of mouth down to a frown)
Change it for a smile. (push corners of mouth into a smile)
Make the world a better place
By smiling all the while. (nod head up and down)

Game

Have the children stand in a circle. Tell them you are going to practice sharing smiles. Stand in front of a child and smile at him or her. Invite the child to smile. Then say, “Let’s go share our smiles.” Take the child by the hand, go to another child, and smile. Invite the new child to hold the first child’s hand and share smiles with another child. Continue until all the children are holding hands.

Conclusion

Tell the children that when we choose to be happy, we can help others feel happy too. Invite the children to say, “I can be happy!”

Prayer

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.

Optional Activities

Preparation

  • For the review activity: Mark page 67 in this manual so that you can turn to it easily. Bring pictures of things you are thankful for; you could use pictures in this manual or in Church magazines, or you could draw your own.

  • For the illustration activity: Copy the illustration on page 83 for each child.

Song

Sing or say the words to “If You’re Happy” (Children’s Songbook, 266) and do the actions below. Invite the children to join you.

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,
Then your face will surely show it. (smile; point to face)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)

Repeat, replacing “clap your hands” with other actions, such as “turn around,” “pat your knees,” and so on.

Activity Verse

Recite the following activity verse and invite the children to join you:

A smile is very catchy. (push corners of mouth into a smile)
And so when I feel sad, (push corners of mouth into a frown)
I try to give a smile away, (push corners of mouth into a smile)
And soon I’m feeling glad! (place both hands over heart)

Review

Repeat the two picture activities from lesson 15 (pages 64 and 65). Explain that remembering all the wonderful things Heavenly Father has given us can help us feel happy.

Illustration

Give each child a copy of the smiling-frowning face on page 83. Invite the children to look at their pictures while you sing the “Smiles” song again. Help them turn their faces from a frown to a smile at appropriate times during the song.