Child Language
Possessive S

By 4 years of age, your child's grammar skills are rapidly improving. Your child should be able to use the the possessive S grammatical form correctly in conversation. 

For a quick grammar review, possessive S is a grammar form that show's possession of an object by adding an S to a person or animal.  

For example: Mom's car, Dad's phone, Bobby's ball

Language Milestones Targeted

Expressive Language

Receptive Language

  • Uses about 500 words 
  • Speaks with 4+ word phrases 
  • Uses possessive 's
  • Understands 900 words 

Flash Card Teaching Phase

What You Need: Possessive S Flashcards

How To Use Cards:  

1. Print the cards or pull them up on some sort of device (computer, tablet, iPad, etc…)

2. At first, take name a few cards and have your child watch and listen to you to show him or her what type of response you are interested in. For example, point to the keys a mom is holding and say “mom’s keys.”

3. After completing 1-2 cards, ask your child to repeat your responses for 2-3 more cards. 

4. Once, your child has learned the pattern, encourage him or her to name the cards without your verbal model. aka...all by him or herself!

Tip: My recommendation is to repeat this task a few times in a row for about a week or so. Once your child seems to be “getting it,” move on to games the below. They are more functional and this will help to carry-over progress into everyday speech!

House or Farm

What You Need: A house with little people or a farm with animals

How To Play: Get on the floor or sit at a table with your child. Start to play with the house or farm. While playing, have the little people or animals take or play with something. 

For example, you may give a bottle to a baby. Ask your child “who’s bottle is it?” Hopefully, your child will respond with “the baby’s bottle.” 

If your child does not respond with the correct grammatical structure, say the correct answer and ask your child to repeat it. Then, move on!

Tip: Make playing as fun and natural as possible. Don’t turn it into a quiz (I will say this often since it is important!)


What You Need: A children's book

How To Play: This one is easy! Sit down and read a book with your child. While reading, periodically ask your child a question about who a certain object belongs to. Wait for your child to respond. If he/she responds with the correct answer, say “great talking” and move on.

For example, you might say “who’s bed is this?” and child responds with “it is billy’s bed.”

If your child doesn’t say the right answer, tell him/her the correct response and ask for a repetition. Then, move on! 

Tip: Again, don’t make it into a quiz. After a few nights or months of reading, your child will become a pro!

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› Possessive S