Speech Therapy Activity: Teach your Child to use Action Verbs to Communicate-Part 3

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

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Do I need to teach my child Part 1 & Part 2 of the Action Verbs Series first?

Yes, as your child will need to understand the concepts in Part 1 and 2 in order for him to move on to Part 3. The picture below provides some details..

The First 3 Steps in Learning How to use Action Verb cards to Communicate

Click the buttons below to go to Part 1 & Part 2 of this series.

What is Part 3 all about?

This step involves teaching your child to pick out an Action Verb picture card of the activity that he wants to do. He needs to pick it from a selection of pictures that is on chart. The goal is for him to do this independently while naming the picture.

It's preparation time...

Step 1:

Print out and laminate an A4 sized paper (landscape) with only the title written on it as in the image below..Leave some space above the title for punching holes..

Step 2:

After laminating, paste on 2 strips of Velcro (the rough side) where the grey boxes are-see below.

Step 3:

Remember to leave some space above the title for punching in holes...

Step 4:

Print, laminate & cut out the Action Verb pictures that you have taught your child using the steps in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Action Verb Series

Paste some Velcro behind each card (for details, see the picture below)

Setting up the Action Verb Cards for the Laminated A4 Card

What is the most suitable size for the Action Verb picture cards?

It depends on what works best for your child, however we need to be able to fit at least 3 cards per row as in the picture below.

A good size for 3 picture cards per row would be 6cm x 6cm per card. For 4 cards in a row, you would need to make them smaller...

The "Outdoor Activities" Card

What do I need to do next?

At this level, you will need to hang the "Outdoor Activities" card somewhere near the door that leads to the porch. Place only the Action Verbs picture cards that your child knows well. You can start with placing ONLY 2 picture cards, as your child gets better at this, you can increase the number of cards.

What is the goal of this activity?

The goal of part 3 of this series is for your child to first go to the "Outdoor Activities" card, that is hanging near the door. Next, pull out the picture of the activity that he wants to do and finally, give the picture to you.

How do I teach my child to do this?

Lets use the same example as in Part 2 of this series.

The Example:

Both the trampoline and bicycle are kept outdoors in your porch. Your child cycles every evening at 5 pm. After he returns from cycling, he jumps on the trampoline. This is his daily routine.

(to understand better, read part 1 & 2 of this series first before you move on)

Step 1: Until your child masters this activity, you will need someone to help you conduct this training. Your training partner may be your husband, wife or one of your child's sibling.

Since you know that he cycles at 5 pm daily,

a few minutes before 5 (just as in Part 1 and 2 ), show him the "Outdoor Activities" card with the 'cycle' and 'jump' picture card on it. ( Try to make him see where you have taken the Outdoor Activities Card from)- See pic below...

Outdoor Activities Card - place 1 to 2 pictures only

You say: "What do you want to do?"

Your training partner will need to:

  • guide your child's hand to the cycle picture,

  • help him pull it out and

  • hand it to you.

Now You say: "You want to cycle"

Remember to repeat name of the action verb picture cards as often as you can...

At first he will be confused since you normally show him 2 cards for him to select by pointing or touching (and maybe verbalizing) the card he wants.

Do this whole process as quickly as possible.....This is something different to what he is used to doing and we do not want him to think that he is not going to get to cycle.

If he thinks that, he may not participate in the training. We must also make sure that he gets to cycle at 5pm sharp. This is very important.

Why is this very important?

Step 2: This is when your child returns home from cycling and is ready to start jumping on the trampoline...

Just before he hops on the trampoline, show him the "Outdoor Activity" card.

Again, your training partner will need to guide your child to select the right card and proceed to give it to you. This time the right card would be the "jump" picture card.

Where do we go from here?

Practice this activity with all the Action Verb picture cards that you have worked on using the processes described in Part 1 and 2 of this series.

Look out for part 4 of the ACTION VERBS SERIES by coming back to check out our blog page (click on the "speech therapy" menu) for updates OR

When do I need to stop the training partner from guiding my child?

This is subjective...when your child is confident and able to do it by himself, it's OK to stop.

We do not want your child to be too dependent on the training partner's help.

However, before stopping completely, you may want the training partner to gradually reduce the help given.

For example, instead of holding your child's hand firmly to guide him to pick the picture and to pass it to you, have the training partner hold your child's hand lightly, allowing him to direct the activity...

Holding his hand gently is mostly to help your child feel more confident...

As he gets even more confident, reduce the guidance further, the training partner may only need to touch his shoulders as a form of support...

This process is what we call "prompt fading".

Where can I get some Action Verb Cards?

If you are a member of Louis Center's "Parents As Therapists" FREE program, you can find the link to download 24 common "Action Verbs" picture cards. It is located in the Speech Therapy Toolkit section. Just look out for a box named "verbs" the cover picture below.


All you need to do is to print and laminate them.

How do I become a Member of Louis Center's Program?

This program is available only for parents who have children with special needs. Membership is ABSOLUTELY FREE.

Click the buttons below to go to Part 1 and 2 of this series...

Visit Louis Center's Blog for Occupational Therapy and Academic Intervention tips and strategies....

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