Grammar Games

Grammar games are not really games....but how we talk to our children while we play ANY game. 

The best way to help your children develop grammar skills is to adjust the way you talk with them. 

To me...this is actually easier and FREE!

Quick Grammar Background - Please Read!

Most children do not need to be taught grammar structures directly at a young age. Children learn from exposure through story reading and talking with adults and friends. Through multiple exposures, our children develop a “schematic” for grammar naturally.

Children with language delays require more exposure and/or direct teaching by a professional. 

At home, to best help our children, all we need to do is learn a few simple tricks.

Best "Grammar Talk" - Stay With Me!

The best way to talk to your child is through varied conversation. When playing with toys,  the trick is to say sentences using the toys as the subject. You will naturally vary your grammar use. For example:

  • Thomas is driving the train
  • The bear is sleepy
  • The car fell down
  • Dora jumps off the bed
  • I built  tower

These sentences use a variety of subjects and verbs

What NOT to do - equally as important!

AVOID always directing you child or giving commands

  • Don’t do that. 
  • Come here. 
  • Put that down.

These sentences do not offer a variety of grammatical structures

AVOID always using self-talk or parrellel talk

  • I am cooking
  • You are coloring 
  • We are driving in the car

If we simply narrate our day ALL DAY LONG,  we don't use a variety of sentence structures. This means less exposure for our children!

****Self-talk and parallel talk IS RECOMMENDED at other times during the day to work on vocabulary. Just switch it up!****

Finally..."Game" Ideas! 

Thanks for sticking we me! You just learned A LOT of helpful information!!!

1. Farm or any game with "people"

While you play with animals or people, use a variety of sentences.

For example:

  • The cow is walking
  • The chicken eats grass. 
  • The horse is sleeping in the barn
  • The goose fell down
  • I have 3 sheep
  • You are holding a farmer
  • Where does the farmer work?

2. Read

Reading is one of the best, if not THE best, grammar games or language activity. You can introduce and review many grammatical structures including verbs, subjects, pronouns while having a visual (pictures)!

Review how BEST to read to your child during grammar games here.

3. Out For A Walk

On a walk, preferably in a park where other people are present, talk about what everyone ELSE is doing, not just what you are doing. For example:

  • The girl is swinging
  • The squirrels jump from branch to branch
  • Where is the boy? The boy is climbing in the jungle gym 
  • The leaves fall from the tree

Aren't you glad you don't have to force your child to do a worksheet?!

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Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference.

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Author of  child language development eBook series

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  1. Fitzgerald et al. Are Some Parents' Interaction Styles Associated With Richer Grammatical Input? Am J Speech Lang Pathol.2013; 22: 476-488. Retrieved from on 8/1/2013.