Present Progressive

This page has 2 sections:

If this is your first time here, please read the introduction. It is necessary! If you have been here before, jump down to the games and download your copies!

Quick Printing


The use of the present progressive verbs emerges by 3 years of age. 

For those who need a quick grammar refresher course, the present progressive means ~ing verbs such as "she is running," "he is jumping," or "he is sleeping."

This section includes a drill practice activity to introduce the present progressive. Some children need mass, non-errored practice when initially learning a new grammar structure. Some children don’t!

If you are unsure, do the drill practice activity with your child and then pick a game to try. If your child is doing well with the game, you don’t need to repeat the drill practice. If your child is having a lot of trouble with the games, take a step back and try the drill practice activity one more time.

What’s Included:

  • 3 activities
  • Easily printable handouts
  • Space provided to make notes, ask questions, etc...

Recommended Use:

  • Pick an activity and print it out. 
  • Place the activity in a frequented spot to help remind yourself to try it out for a few days. 
  • Jot down some notes on what seems to work and what does not.

Present Progressive Games

1. Pictures

What You Need:

The attached picture cards: Present Progressive Game

How To Play:

Print the cards below or open them on a computer, tablet, or any other device. If you printed the pictures, cut them out. 

First, describe a picture (i.e., she is running). Ask your child to repeat. Do this a few times so your child learns the grammatical structure.

Next, show your child a picture and see if he/she can say the sentence without being prompted. For example, show your child a picture of a girl running. If your child says "girl" or "run," say "good job. Girl is running." Wait a few seconds to see if your child will repeat the correct grammatical structure. If your child doesn't repeat it, don't worry. Say the sentence again and move on. Don't force repetitions. It is not recommended at this age.


  • Some children LOVE to act out these action cards. This usually increases interest in participating. 
  • I usually don't like to use flashcards or worksheets for learning under 6 years of age; however, grammar can be an exception. Sometimes children need lots of repetition. 

Other grammatical structures to target:

(once your child masters present progressive)

  • Use of articles "a" and "the"
  • Pronouns "he" and "she"

Quick Printing

2. House Play

What You Need:

A playhouse/farm and little people/animals. If you don't have a house or farm, don't worry. You can just use the little people/animals.

How To Play:

While playing house/farm, have the toys complete some actions. You, the parent, narrate these actions. At first, you may be doing most of the talking using the present progressive. However, your child is listening and that is a very important step.

After a few times playing house and listening to the present progressive, encourage your child to use the same grammatical structure. Your child may already be repeating your sentences. If this is the case, that's great! If your child is not repeating, ask your child to repeat your present progressive sentences. Ask one or two times max. Don't press it too much. It is not necessary.

The last step is to encourage your child to say the present progressive without any verbal models. To do this, play with your child. When your child describes the action of a little person such as "she sleeps," gently correct your child to yes "she is sleeping." 


  • Don't turn playtime into a quiz or a stressful environment by pressuring your child to repeat too much or by over-correcting too often.
  • By you, the parent, using the present progressive a lot while playing with your child, you accelerate the learning process. 
  • Remember to keep it natural!

Quick Printing

3. Outside Play

What You Need: 

Nothing! Instead, think about where you need to be. I suggest playing in a park, going for a walk, or simply playing in the backyard.

How To Play: 

While outside with your child, talk about what other people or animals are doing. For example, you could comment that "the squirrel is climbing the tree" or "the leaf is falling."  If you are at the park with other children, you might say "she is swinging, do you want to swing? "

By simply describing what you see outside, your child is exposed to lots of present progressive sentences and you don't really even have to think about it!


  • Encourage your child to join in and make comments as well.
  • See if your child can repeat your phrases. If he/she can't, don't force it!

Quick Printing

› Present Progressive


If you would like to cancel your subscription, you may do so at any time. Click the button below.