The Verbs Game™

by Babs Hadjusiewicz January 20, 2016


Let’s play The Verbs Game™ with your child of any age today. This talking game is a good way to build your child’s oral language or storehouse of vocabulary and knowledge. You can even talk this activity with an infant. And it’s another free activity you can do with your child anywhere you are. Here’s how:

First off, let’s remind ourselves that a verb is an action word. Talk to your child, emphasizing the action word (verb) just as you emphasize the naming word (noun) when you play The Nouns Game™:


We walk



They swing

We read

You swim.

As you play The Verbs Game, model added vocabulary and knowledge by occasionally saying, “Verbs name things we do.” The particular verbs and sentences you model will depend on your child’s age and interests and on the activity the two or you are doing in the moment.

Here are some sentences you might say with your infant or toddler today:

We swim in the pool. 

wash the table. 

You eat peas with your spoon.

Grandma opened the door. 

You drank all the milk.

Look at the camera.


Wow! Imagine the hundreds of verbs you can model for your child today!

For a fun variation of The Verbs Game, take turns with your toddler or preschooler to name action words in any tense or form: run, runninggiggle, ran, walked, hop, fly, swim, play, read, drink, ate, wrote, talked, and so on until you just seem to run out of verbs. For exhaustive lists of such words, you may want to check out my book, Words, Words, Words.

Research and experience tell us that oral language development prepares children for later success as readers, writers, and learners. When you model for your child the naming of verbs as words that name the things we do, your child learns vocabulary and knowledge, along with grammar knowledge, for later use in reading and writing.

In Little Books of Verbs, you’ll find helpful rhymes and songs about verbs. There are accompanying talking activities. And as the book’s title suggests, you’ll find little books that you and your child can cut out, staple, and write in. Here are some of those verb rhymes and songs. Introduce and repeat each one until your child is saying it with you. Then add another rhyme or song. Soon, just like with the “ABC Song” or “Happy Birthday,” you’ll notice that your child chooses familiar rhymes and songs about verbs to entertain herself…and others!


What’s a Verb?


A verb is a word like


or hop

or see

or feel

or run

or stop.


A verb is a word for an action I do.



tie my shoe.


Verbs are Special Words

(Sing to tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)

Verbs are words I use to say

the actions I do every day.


and play

and run

and walk


and sleep

and read

and talk

Verbs are words I use to say

the actions I do every day.

Copyright © 2015 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Babs Hadjusiewicz
Babs Hadjusiewicz


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