A lot of people often ask what are some ways to teach children verbs and actions. It is important to know that children learn to receptively identify verbs and understand them visually before they will start to label them. One way to teach this is to pick some verbs to practice at home and focus on a few at a time.
Find pictures that demonstrate the verbs and show the child two of the pictures. Give them a few moments to look at the pictures.
Next, verbally label one of the pictures and tell the child to find the action in one of the pictures.
If the child is unable to find the picture you labeled, you can point to the picture that you labeled and show them.
You can also add some fun to the exercise by using stickers.
Once the child finds a labeled photo put a sticker on a separate paper that has a reward on it.
When enough stickers are accumulated, they can see what a great job they did and it can be fun to get a reward, such as timed play with an Ipad or their favorite toy.
After they can successfully identify actions in pictures, you can begin to practice labeling actions in pictures by modeling words like “walking,” “eating” etc., having the child begin to repeat words you are saying. You can even do this during storytime. Ask them questions such as “What’s happening here?” or “What are they doing?” Even when they are unsure, you can always verbally label what is happening. Say things like “Oh! They are running.” Giving a child verbal models during daily routines is also a great way to encourage building verb based vocabulary. When getting your child dressed, you can model words like “stepping” when putting on pants. During meals, you can label words like “eating,” “sharing,” and “holding.” Encourage children to repeat words after you label them. Many parents don’t realize just how many opportunities there are to label verbs throughout a normal day. Also remember, your child will often want to act the action out themselves once they become more familiar with the words. So have fun with the actions! Having fun while learning makes this experience for children want to stay involved and they don’t even realize how hard they are working and learning.
Kristen Eng SLPA