Simple Grammar Games to Help Kids Remember
English is a complicated language and grammar can be tricky for kids. Many feel overwhelmed by all the rules.
You can help your child at home, giving them an important foundation for learning. If you’re not confident in your own knowledge of grammar, brush up on the basics here.
Below are a few simple games and activities that make learning about grammar fun.
Grammar Simon Says
Play the grammar version of Simon Says by choosing a body part to represent different parts of speech. The Jolly Grammar guide has a scheme already established. In this scheme kids touch their forehead with five fingers for common nouns, or they move their arms in a jogging motion for verbs, for example.
Your job is to call out a word and your child must work out what type of word it is and make the correct motion. The great thing about this game is that it incorporates movement into learning which kids enjoy.
Raise Your Cap
This is another simple game which allows kids to move, making it ideal for kinaesthetic learners. You can incorporate it easily into your normal story time. Give your child a cap or hat, and while you’re reading out loud, ask them to put their cap on each time they hear a word which should start with a capital letter.
If you’re reading to more than one child, challenge them to see who can put their cap on fastest. If they make mistakes, pause to reflect on the rules for capitalisation.
Past, Present, Future
Write down a list of verbs in past, present and future tense, for example jump, jumped, jumping. Cut out each word and create three columns, one for each tense. Kids are required to match the cut out words to the correct column. Give them a time limit or get them to play against each other.
This is an excellent way to teach kids about spelling rules for adding ing and ed to verbs. It can also be adjusted for vocabulary by getting kids to match synonyms and antonyms in columns.
Colour Coding Fun
A simple, fun activity is to colour code for part of speech and get kids to circle or underline words in sentences with coloured pencils. Start with nouns and adjectives and then build on this with verbs, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions and prepositions as their knowledge and confidence grows.
You can create your own code or use the Jolly Grammar code. Start by reading a story together and circling words, then get your child to work independently.
Silly Sentence Building
With your child, create lists of verbs, nouns, adjectives, pronouns and conjunctions then cut them up and ask your child to create sentences with the words. The goal is to make the sentences as silly as possible, so be creative with your words.
This activity helps kids understand the different role parts of speech play in a sentence. You can also ask them to use their silliest sentence as the opening line for a creative writing exercise.
Spot the Error
Print up sentences with some errors, such as commas in the wrong place and no capitals, and challenge kids to find the mistakes. It helps to tell them how many mistakes to look for.
You can turn this into a writing exercise by getting your child to dictate a story to you, so they are editing their own work. This will encourage them to look more closely at their own writing.
With a little imagination, learning about grammar can be easy and fun.