Verbs are an important part of a child’s early language development. Learning verbs is beneficial for building syntax (the rules of word order and word combinations to form phrases and sentences.) For example, if a child has 10 words in their repertoire, all of which are nouns, there’s a limited amount of communication that can occur. However, if the repertoire is expanded to include verbs, a child can begin to combine words and begin utilizing simple sentences (e.g., ‘eat cookie, hit ball, go car.’) Books are just one way to promote verb learning. Listed below are a few examples of books that utilize a repetitive script with a lot of exposure to verbs.
- ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle: target verb: ‘eat’
- ‘I Went Walking’ by Sue Williams: target verbs: ‘walk, see’
- ‘Swing, Swing, Swing’ by Gail Tuchman: target verbs: ‘swing’
- ‘Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Farm’ by Joy Cowley: target verbs: ‘wash’
- ‘The Napping House’ by Audrey Wood: target verbs: ‘sleep’
You can encourage your child’s participation and engagement by making this interactive. Once he/she has learned the story’s dialogue, try pausing to see if he/she will fill in to finish the story’s line. You can also act out the verbs, adding movement as another modality to engage and teach your children.