Re-read the book and stop to note that the animals are happy. Point out the facial features of the animals and children that let us know they are happy. Ask your child to make a happy face for you. What about a sad face? A scared face? Model these faces with your child. Look at the faces of characters in other books. Can your child find other pictures of people or animals that are happy? How can they tell?
Tell your child that sometimes when people are happy they like to dance, just like in the book. Have your child think of other things they like to do when they are happy. Do they like to sing? Play with their toys? Hug Mom and Dad? Helping your child understand their personal preferences to their emotional reactions will help them recognize their emotions and will normalize their feelings.
When you notice your child is happy during the day label that emotion. “I see you are smiling! You are happy! Just like in Dancing Feet.” You can also label your own emotions. “I am feeling so happy right now. I like watching you play on the playground. That makes me happy!”
In a happy moment, label your child’s happiness and then point out all the ways your child is being happy and in control. “I know you are happy because you are laughing and smiling! But look! You have an inside voice. You are dancing with safe feet! I know you want to jump off the couch but you are keeping your feet on the floor!” Before your child gets too wound up and out of control point out all the positive behaviors your child is doing. This will show your child that you can be happy and in control of your body, while also demonstrating what behavior is OK. Laughing and dancing are OK, shouting and jumping on the furniture are not (or whatever limits you have in your house.)
Model the same discussion when you are happy. “Wow, I am so excited right now! I want to shout at the top of my lungs right now and jump up and down! But I am going to keep an inside voice and use safe jumps. Watch me!” Our kids learn how to regulate their emotions from watching us, so labeling our actions, sharing our internal thoughts, and acting out situations where we are working on controlling our emotions will go a long way in giving your child a model of how to stay in control even when he or she is feeling excited.