Grammar is an integral and inseparable part of any language. But unfortunately, most often an ignored aspect as well.
While parents of this era, want their children to speak English and have multi facet knowledge about the language, we as parents, forget to inculcate the correct understanding of the language structure from an early age.
In my opinion, parents of toddlers and preschoolers, can incorporate the learning of grammar and language through fun and games in their daily lives. Most kids resent and parents dread grammar, because of the kind of approach that is used to introduce and teach grammar. Bombarding preschoolers with words and terminologies or teaching grammar strictly ‘by the book’ are culprits that create a dislike for the subject and language.
In a two parts series I share with you, how you can, as a parent, teach basic concepts of grammar to your preschooler (some activities can be done even with toddler).
Here I list down fun activities and ideas for teaching Noun and Verb to your little powerhouse of curiosity.
Use the easiest definition of Nouns
‘Noun is a person, place, animal or thing’
Rhyme this the way you like and sing along every bow and then.
Your set of alphabet flashcards cab be put to use to teach nouns. Place all the cards on the floor and ask your child to pick one. Ask the child to name a person, a place, an animal and a thing beginning with that letter. This can make a fun group activity with friends and cousins.
Ask your child to hunt for and touch in the room, as quick as he can
‘a blue thing ‘
‘a picture frame’
‘a noun that begins with p’
And so on
This game can be a fun way of learning colors and living and non-living things as well.
Make a long long list
Choose a particular letter and ask your child to think of as many names as he can that begin with that letter. Then think of as many animals, things and places possible. You can set a timer of 30 seconds or more depending on the age of your child.
There is no Indian I have known who hasn’t played antakshari. How about playing the game to teach nouns? First player says a noun first, the next player has to say another noun beginning with the letter the first noun ended with.
Player 1 – India
Player 2 – Amritsar
Player 3 – Russia
You can play this game with places, animals, things or just nouns in general.
Noun of the day
Choose a noun of the day. And every time that noun converges your daily activity stop and cheer. Suppose you choose ‘chair’ today. Each time some one says chair or you watch a chair on TV or read the word chair, its time to cheer.
Verbs are the most fun thing to teach to kids, because of the activity and play you can involve in teaching.
‘ Verbs, Verbs, Verbs! Verbs are actions words’
I remember abruptly breaking into a dance on this tune in my classroom, even before I formally introduced verbs to my students. And they all sang and danced with me, before they learnt the grammatical meaning of the word.
Here are five fun games mommies can play with their kids at home to teach Verbs
Simon says jump
Simon says eat
Simon says comb your hair
Simon says sit
Simon says stand
Simon says turn around
Simon says walk
Simon only asks you to do some verb. One of the easiest and fun ways to teach verbs is play Simon says with kids.
Act it out
Mommy sings a rhyme or a song and the child acts it out. It can also be done the other way round. Sing rhymes and songs with lots of action words and discuss briefly the verbs in the rhyme after singing. Eg: teddy bear teddy bear turn around, wheels of the bus go round and round.
For this game, parents or kid pretends to be an animals and acts like it, the other one has to guess.
You roared, so you are a lion. You barked like a dog. This activity also helps in developing vocabulary around animal sounds.
What are they doing?
While at the park or in the mall, or reading a news paper or magazine. Point out to people doing some action and ask, what are they doing? This will help the child comprehend different action words.
Spot the Verb
When you narrate or read out a story to your baby, ask hin to listen carefully and clap each time he hears a verb.
Concepts that are taught through games and play are never forgotten. So, its time for us parents to not rely on teachers completely and think of innovative and fun ways to teach our children.
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