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For more information please see the safeguarding section of our website under Key Information > Safeguarding.

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Understanding and using pronouns: ‘he’ and ‘she’

Why is this important?
Pronouns are words that replace a noun or a person (e.g. the boy – ‘he’; the girl – ‘she’). Other pronouns include ‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘they’.

What to do

  • Find two character toys – one must be a girl (e.g. Barbie) and the other a boy (e.g. Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman).
  • Gather together several everyday items (e.g. brush, cup, spoon, flannel).
  • Demonstrate that the toys can do lots of different things (e.g. brush hair, wash face). Say:

‘He’s washing.’
‘She’s jumping.’

  • Can the child choose the correct character to relate to the pronoun?
  • Share books and use pronouns to talk about what’s happening (e.g. ‘he’s running’, ‘she’s skipping’).
  • Talk about what children are doing in the park when you are out for a walk, or on the bus. Use a lead-in phrase to help the child relate the pronoun to the male/female, e.g. ‘Look at that boy, he’s hopping.’ ‘Can you see that lady? She’s eating.’