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Fri, 15 Oct, 2021

Verbs for Kids: When and How to Teach Verbs

Teaching Verbs to Kids


Listening to your child talk is the most exciting thing to watch. Watching them develop their speech from mere babbling to forming a proper structure of sentences, that is an experience to live for.

Verbs are a significant part of speech in the English language. Thus, it becomes vital to learn verbs at a young age. By second grade, your child is introduced to different parts of speech. So, teaching action words to your kids at a very young age is necessary to lay the foundation for other essential lessons in the future.

Why is it Important to Learn Verbs for Children?

Verbs are essential as a part of speech. They are used to convey motion or a subject in action. Let’s take an example - She her lunch quickly. That did not make any sense, right? Now look at this - She ate her lunch quickly. The verb ate added meaning to the sentence.

When you take a look, almost every sentence needs a verb. The choice of verb depends on the tense of the sentence. Your child needs verbs for language development to understand the further working of a language.

At What Age Should Kids Start Learning Verbs?

According to a recent study, a 2-year-old child who uses more verbs is more likely to develop advanced grammatical skills post six months.

There are a lot of variabilities to how many verbs a child should use. Tentatively, they should know at least 40 verbs by 24 months. A child knowing only three to four verbs at 24 months lies at the lowest end of the scale and is concerning.

Children who do not use verbs and do not increase their learning speed at 24 months are at risk of hindering their language development. These kids won’t be able to produce short sentences.

List of Verbs for Kids to Begin With

Basic Action Verbs for Kids

Start with the basics. Here are some action verbs for kids that describe behaviours that are already a part of their life.

  • Draw
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Play
  • Run
  • Jump
  • Write

Verbs for Feelings

For kindergarten and early elementary school kids, verbs for feelings and emotions are easier to grasp.

  • Cry
  • Hug
  • Happy
  • Smile
  • Giggle

Verbs for Daily Activities

Kids develop a daily routine and use these verbs to describe them.

  • Eat
  • Work
  • Sleep
  • Wash
  • Play
  • Carry

Sensory Verbs

Kids in first and second grade learn sensory actions of their bodies. This is the perfect time to teach them sensory verbs.

  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Listen
  • See
  • Touch

5 Effective Tips for Parents to Help Kids Learn Verbs

1. Explain the type of words

Help your child understand the word first. Your child will not use a word before he understands it entirely. Explain verbs to them by doing the action that represents the verb.

2. Help them identify verbs in sentences

Jot down sentences in a notebook, and tell your child to identify and highlight verbs from the sentences. This is an excellent way to enhance their ability to judge verbs and separate them from regular sentences.

3. Keep a list of verbs your kid speaks & understands

Before your child can speak a word, they will have to understand that word. Maintain a list of verbs that your child has spoken and also keep track of verbs he understands.

4. Use verbs associated with things that your child likes to do

By identifying activities, your child likes, you will come up with action words associated with them. If your child enjoys bath time, you can repeat verbs like splash or wash while bathing.

5. Practice

Kids need to hear unfamiliar words they learnt before they start using them by themselves. Try to make them use different verbs throughout the day. Repeat the same verb in different contexts. This makes your child realise the various situations in which one verb can be used.

Fun Verb Activities for Kids

1. Simon Says

Brainstorm a list of verbs and introduce these verbs to your child with the game ‘Simon Says.’

In this game, when ‘Simon’ that will be you, says a verb, your child will have to perform that activity. This way, they will associate verbs with their meanings and actions.

2. Verb Vocabulary Games

Building your child’s verb vocabulary is important for helping them learn verbs and their uses in everyday conversations and writing. You need to instil fun into their learning by involving verb vocabulary games. There are even board games available that will enhance your child’s verb vocabulary.

3. Charades

Make a list of action verbs on pieces of paper. Let your child pick a paper and give them a minute to act the action out to you. This activity ensures that your child can correctly associate verbs with their meaning and understand what the verb is meant by.

4. Fishing for Verbs

This game gets creative and encourages your child to identify verbs. For this activity, you will need a kiddie pool. Then you need to make bits of paper shaped like fish. Write a word on each fish. Tell your child to pick them up one by one, and if it is not a verb, they will have to throw it back.

5. Hot Potato

For this activity, make any item your potato; it can be a toy, a pillow, or a ball. Gather around in a circle with your entire family and play some music while passing the ‘potato’ around the circle. Stop the music, and the person holding the potato will have to name any verb. Let your child think of verbs that were not said before.

6. Verb Cards

Take an index card and write a sentence on the front of the card. Underline the verb in that sentence. Repeat this procedure with more cards. Write whether the verb is linking, action, or helping on the back of the cards.

If your child guesses the correct verb, they get to keep the card with them; if not, they will have to put it back in the card deck. This activity ensures that your child knows the difference between different verbs and where they can be used.

Learning Verbs is Now Fun with PlanetSpark

Verbs are an important part of speech. Without them, your child cannot have effective communication daily. You need to get your child’s base right for them to use verbs correctly.

With PlanetSpark, we provide your child with live online classes that cover topics ranging from public speaking, creative writing to spoken English. Enrol your child and watch your young learner develop his language skillset efficiently.