Therapy Activity

Child’s choice

Last Updated: 15 August 2023

Appropriate Population: 

  • School-age (or slightly below)
  • Pre-school
  • Appropriate for all 


Goal: Building a child’s ability to understand and use verbs within their favourite activities.



  1. Ask parents what activities their child enjoys and does regularly, such as drawing, playing outside, and playing cars. An appropriate activity is anything the child engages in for a long period of time and does often.
  2. Think about some verbs that are associated with that activity and list them down. E.g for cars it might be driving, stop, go, slow down. Decide how many verbs you want to focus on for the activity.
  3. Identify if the understands the verbs? I.e If you say stop, does the child stop? If you say slow down can they slow down?. Children must understand a word before they can use it. Understanding which verbs the child understands will help you determine which verbs to use within the activity and encourage the child to use them. 
  4.  When you have the list and know which verbs the child understands but isn’t yet using, play with the child and repeat these verbs as much as you can.  Whenever possible, do the action while saying the verb. For example, if you are helping your child learn the verb “push”, make sure you push the toy car while you say “I’m pushing the car”. By doing so, the child will remember the new word. 
  5. You might prompt a child to use a verb themselves. You can do this in a few ways,  By asking the child a choice question “Did you pour the water or did you splash it!?” .  By setting up a repeated pattern and then pausing and expectantly looking at the child to fill in the pattern “321, go!, 321, go!, 321” ….(expectant pause and look at the child).
  6. Let the parents know what verbs you focused on, which ones you believe the child understands well and any that the child said within that activity. Discuss with parents how they could incorporate these verbs into other routines. For example, if you’ve been emphasizing the verb “pour”within water play, You might ask  parents to think about other times that could use it. Potentially at meal times when they pour a glass of milk. In this way, the  child will have opportunities to hear the new verb in a variety of situations. 
  7. You can give parents the Hanen handout in this folder to help them think about how to reinforce the use of verbs you have focused on in this activity,


Step up: 

  • Focus on a number of verbs at once.
  • Emphasize the 5th step and set up a lot of opportunities for the child to use the new words, praise them when they use the verb. 


Step down:

  • Focus on just one or two verbs.
  • If the child does not seem to understand any of the verbs just go back to the modeling stage. Choose one simple verb and demonstrate this with the child, and say the verb as the child does it. 



  • Objects from the child’s everyday environment.
  • Hanen handout.
Fora's Speech Pathology team


Fora's Speech Pathology team

Was this article helpful? *
Thank you for your feedback!
There was an error trying to save your feedback. Please try again later.

Related resources

  • Roll the die

    Appropriate Population: 4 years and up Moderate or mild delay or age-appropriate cognitive, expressive and receptive language ability Goal: Staying [...]

    Therapy Activity
  • Follow up questions

    Appropriate Population:  5 years and up Moderate or mild delay or age-appropriate cognitive, expressive and receptive language ability Goal: Giving [...]

    Therapy Activity
  • Things at home

    Appropriate Population:  School-age (or slightly below)   Goal: Use adjectives to describe and distinguish between two similar household items. Understanding prepositions [...]

    Therapy Activity