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Understanding and using doing words (verbs) in simple sentences


Why is this important?
This activity encourages children to build sentences using two key words: it also helps to widen vocabulary. This is an important step in the development of grammar.

What to do

  • You will need:

- Teddy and doll (or two other favourite toys).
- Cup, brush, item of food, flannel.

  • Put out teddy and doll and two different items (e.g. cup and flannel). Say:

 ‘Make teddy drink.’
 ‘Wash doll.’
 ‘Make doll drink.’

  • You could also ask the child to make doll or teddy perform an action that doesn’t need any additional items (e.g. sleep, run, hop, sit, wave, clap).

 ‘Make teddy jump.’
 ‘Make teddy sit.’
 ‘Make doll sleep.’

  • When the child has successfully followed an instruction, ask ‘What’s happening?’ Encourage the child to use a two-word phrase to describe (e.g. ‘teddy jump’, ‘doll drink’).
  • If the child doesn’t respond or uses a single-word (e.g. ‘jump’), offer a choice:

 Adult: ‘Make teddy jump.’
Child follows instruction correctly.
Adult praises: ‘Well done. What’s happening?’ (points to teddy).
Child: ‘Teddy.’
Adult: ‘Is teddy sleeping or teddy jumping?’
Child: ‘Teddy jump.’