Toddler Grammar
Negatives

Teaching negatives to your child is easy with these following ideas. By 3 years old, your child will learn to say "no" and "not" appropriately. Enjoy!

Juice

No Juice


Language Milestones Targeted


Expressive Language

Receptive Language

  • Uses about 200-300 words consistently 
  • Speaks with 3+ word phrases 
  • Uses articles: a, the
  • Uses negative words
  • Understands 500 words 


Not That One!


What You Need: Little toys (toy food, people, or animals work great!)

How To Play: Tell your child that you are going to play a fun game of choices! He/she is going to learn a new way of asking for toys. Place two toys on a table. Ask your child which one he/she wants by saying which one he/she doesn't want. At first, the parent will have to model the desired response a few or even many times. This may be a brand new skill.

For example, place a toy strawberry and a toy hamburger on the table. Let's say the child points to a strawberry. The parent the says, "not hamburger." The parent knocks the hamburger off the table in a silly way and gives the child a strawberry.

Once your child seems to understand the game, start encouraging your child to say "not____."

Tips:

  • Don't turn this play time into a quiz or a stressful environment for your child by pressuring him/her to repeat too much or by over-correcting
  • While playing, say "no" and "not" lots. With many verbal models, you will accelerate the learning process. 
  • Keep it natural!


Drop It!


What You Need: Anything that can dropped safely such as plastic toys

How To Play: Place a few non-breakable items on a table or on the floor. Tell your child that you have picked out your favorite toy but it is a secret. Tell your child that he or she is a detective and has to figure out which one is your favorite. Tell your child to pick up which toy he or she thinks it is. When your child chooses an object, say no "not____" and then tell them to drop it and try again. Most kids will find this hysterical. It's the little things really! Do a few rounds like this until your child picks out your favorite toy.

Once your child gets the hang of it, switch roles. Have him or her pick out a toy and you be the detective. This is when the real learning will take place.

Tips:

  • Don't turn this play time into a quiz or a stressful environment by pressuring your child to repeat too much or by over-correcting
  • While playing, say "no" and "not" lots. With many verbal models, you will accelerate the learning process. 
  • Keep it natural!



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