Teaching verbs to children is very important. Listening to your children speak is a joyous and emotional experience for parents. A child’s first words are usually nouns such as Mama, Dada, Baba, etc. As your child grows and by the time they are two years of age, they will start picking up some common verbs such as go, eat, sleep wash, etc.
Why are Verbs important?
- It helps children build sentences.
- Using verbs at a younger age has several benefits.
– a recent study showed that 2-year-olds who use more verbs had advanced grammatical skills six months later
- Children with no verbs at 24 months may be at risk for problems with language development.
Always seek advice from a certified speech-language pathologist if you have concerns about your child’s speech and language developmental milestones. Let us look at some activities to teach verbs to children with speech and language delays.
Using Modeling to teach action words (verbs) through pretend play
Children love to play. They learn various skills using pretend play. You can use playing to teach different verbs to your child. It is one of the simplest activities.
Step by Step Instructions:
- Collect a few toys, and choose what will help you model the verbs.
- Encourage the child to play with the toys that you have collected.
- Remember to follow their lead when playing.
- Model the verbs while you play with them, and give some comments on what is happening during the play.
- Say the target verbs multiple times as you are commenting.
You are making vegetable soup with your child.
Target Verb: ‘cut’
You can comment: “Oh wow! You picked a carrot! The carrot looks bright and orange; let’s cut the carrot. Cut, cut, cut…… Let’s cut slowly. Ok, all done! We cut the carrot. Oh, you picked some onions. Now, let’s cut the onion. We have to cut two onions that you picked…….”
- Using a teddy bear or any soft toy: Use verbs like walk, sleep, sit, stand, wash, run, climb etc.
- Using a bubble maker: Use verbs like open, blow, pop, run, close etc.
- Using vehicles: Use verbs like climb, drive, ride, fly etc.
- Using blocks: Use verbs like build, stack, keep etc.
- Using crayons: Use verbs like draw, help, go etc.
Using Books to teach Verbs.
Books teach verbs in a more structured way. Many books contain repetitive words and provide multiple opportunities to model the target verbs.
Multiple ways you can use books in teaching verbs
- Help your child to find the verb and then find the matching picture.
- You can then model and use the target verbs. As you look at the pictures, you can comment on what is happening in each image.
- Try to make reading more interactive by adding sounds and exclamatory words and making the book come to life. You can do this by using figurines or a soft toy to act a scene or an action verb.
- Encourage your child to act on the action verb while reading.
- Let’s Get Talking: A Speech-Language Therapy Companion for a Child’s First Functional Words
- Illustrated Action Verbs for Toddlers: Action verbs for toddlers
- First Book of VERBS: An Early Language Book
Using Interactive Games to teach Verbs
Interactive games are interesting, fun-filled, and engaging activities to target verbs. It is one of the best ways to encourage the learning of verbs. These games can be effective as they keep your child engaged for a long time.
Advantages of using Interactive games
- These activities can be helpful in person as well as during teletherapy.
- Various games that help target verbs are available.
- There are games available.
- Children can interact with the words or objects on the screen.
Some interactive game suggestions:
Please get in touch with your child’s speech-language pathologist if you have any questions about activities to teach verbs to children with speech and language delays.
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