Action words or verbs are an essential part of our language. They help us create sentences and clarify what we are talking about. It would be really hard to talk to each other without using any action words. They are also very important to our toddlers! With the power of action words, our kids can learn how to combine words together to make phrases and are able to tell us what they want to do. So, what can you do to help your child learn action words? Here are a few ideas…
Talk to your child throughout the day. Talk about what you are doing. “I’m making cookies. First, let’s mix the dough. Can you open this bag of flour?”.
Use book reading time to point out pictures of actions. We often point out the objects or people in pictures, but forget to emphasize what’s going on in the page. “Wow, the bird is flying. The boy is looking at the bird. Uh-oh, the bird dropped the worm”.
Get moving outside or inside. One of the best ways to teach action words is by doing! So, run, jump, roll, pretend to fly, sit, clap, push, throw, catch, and crash. Encourage your child to act out these actions with you. Don’t forget to say what you are doing. If you both are running, say “run, run, run!”.
Play Simon Says with lots of silly action words. This is a good way for your toddler to understand more action words and follow directions as well. “Simon says sit! Simon says stand up! Simon says dance! Simon says crawl! Simon says sing!”
Play with your kid’s favorite toys and talk about what is happening. Does your kid like cars? Use words like go, push, stop, crash, drive, dump. Are crafts more their thing? Talk about paint, draw, erase, glue, dot, stick. Would your child rather play outside? You might use the words run, jump, roll, stop, swing, slide, walk, fall.
Ask for clarification. Asking a question while giving your toddler two options may help your kid copy the action word they want. “Do you want to read or play?” “Should we walk or run?” “What is baby doing – eating or sleeping?”
I bet you will have lots of fun using action words while also teaching your little one about all the action that is going on around them.