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BY Marla

How to expand your child’s vocabulary with summer verbs

Summertime brings loads of options for outdoor activities to fill those hot summer days and nights.  Being able to enjoy nature, see neighbors and friends, and take in the beauty of this world we live in brings so many opportunities to be active and opens the door to natural conversations with your children.

Summer is a great time to think about VERBS in particular. Make up a sequenced series of pictures that show the steps in a task, and lead your child to describe things in the future, present, and past. For example: went swimming, going swimming, will swim, is/are swimming, was/were swimming. Be sure to touch on irregular past-tense forms of verbs, like swam, rode, went, ate, drank, hit, threw, caught, etc.

Here are a few more ideas to encourage your children to expand their usual vocabulary.

If you are going to the pool to swim, expand on the verbs to include such actions as: climb in, jump in, dive in, walk in, slide in, flip in, cannon ball in, belly flop, splash, kick, frog kick, dolphin kick, float, lay,  breast stroke, freestyle, back stroke, fly, stretch out, hold your breath, blow out air, pull, reach, rotate, race, glide, dip,  place, push it away,  wet your hair, stand around, get out, dry off.

If you are taking a bike ride,  expand on the verbs to include such actions as: hold, balance, sit, stand, pedal, steer, tilt, look just one hand, push, pull up, fell, lean forward/back, follow, lead, move over, brake, stop, start, grip, grab, speed away, accelerate. 

If you are going to the park to play, expand on the verbs to include such actions as: slide, climb, swing, sway, cross over, swirl, hang, fall, sit, descend, ascend, float, scream,  squeal, dig, scoop, build, run, walk, stroll, chat, pull, push, hold, roll, turn, cross.

If you are going for an ice cream or drink, expand on the verbs to include such actions as:  hold, scoop, melt, suck, slurp, guzzle, chuck, spill, sooth, quench, cool, freeze, lick, choose, select, purchase, buy, share, sample, empty, consume, shake, open.

If you are going to practice baseball, expand on the verbs to include such actions as:  warm up, stretch, play, hit, throw, catch, slide, stand, watch, shout, direct, listen, wear, run, walk, load, steal, sneak, pitch, stumble, save, make a play, pop up, slug, ground, drop, open, close, cheer, encourage, support, wait, sit, follow,   win, lose, tie, shake.

The list of all possible actions could fill up pages!  Instead of listing them, go out to experience the season, and expand your child’s verb vocabulary by helping them describe all the marvelous things they can do!

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Written on July 12, 2012 by:

Marla Zerbib, M.A., CCC/SLP is a Speech Language Pathologist at the Kafuman Children’s Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor & Social Connections, Inc. Marla has an undergrad degree from the University of Windsor and earned her master’s in speech and language pathology from Wayne State University. She has worked with children for over 14 years, in both private practice and school settings.

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