Welcome to this week’s Wordy Wednesday, that moment in the middle of the week when we embrace our inner word-nerd to bring you a set of pictures centered on a wonderfully wordy theme! Our theme this week: action verbs! And what better way to work on verbs than to get involved in the action! So, if you have what Miss Elizabeth refers to as a mature, respectful colorer, get out your special 64-box of sharp-tipped, perfectly-aligned, reverently-handled crayons (otherwise, dig deep into the junk closet for that shoebox full of label-less crayon nubbins), and get ready to breathe some color into these pictures (and sneak in some excellent language practice along the way!)
Verbs can be tricky for kids to master, thanks to the pesky way that they change based on context. Let’s take a look at the verb dance as an example. I dance. You dance. We dance. But He/She/It dances. Yesterday, I danced; tomorrow, I will dance; right now, I am dancing. It takes a kids bit of practice to learn to use these different verb tenses correctly, but verb tense conveys important information about who or what is performing the action and when that action takes place.
Then there are those even more pesky irregular verbs that don’t follow the rules: go becomes went, eat turns into ate, buy becomes bought.* These verbs are even more challenging for kids to master, whether they’re typically developing or have language difficulties. Irregular verbs appear in early children’s language development, with the child uttering correct phrases such as I eat. After a few months, children often begin to overregularize, using I eated instead of I ate.
The act of coloring is fantastic for fine motor skill development. If your child has a hard time coloring within the lines, try this trick: use regular white glue to outline the picture. When it dries, it will form a raised barrier to mark the edge of the picture. You can also use the opportunity to practice labeling colors, making requests, and sharing. We like to make only a couple of colors available at a time, so that the child needs to ask for additional colors. Throw in some extra language practice and have your child name the color – reading it from the label or make one up! (Miss Elizabeth LOVES the names of the Crayloa crayons – “purple mountain’s majesty,” “mac and cheese,” “dazzle dazzle rose” – great opportunities to flex those articulation skills!).
With less sophisticated language users, our coloring pages can be a fun way to work on simple expressive and receptive verb vocabulary. Ask the child what the character in the picture is doing (expressive language), or offer the child a few pictures and ask him or her to indicate a particular action (“Who is dancing?”, receptive language). Coloring the picture is the reward!
Happy Wednesday from Melanie and Elizabeth!
*These odd verbs are mostly holdovers from Old and Middle English, which in turn come from the Germanic roots of our language.