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.’