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Creative Ideas for Teaching Children Nouns and Proper Nouns
Nouns are used to designate people, places, things, objects, and concepts. They are, quite simply, the building blocks of our language. Children are sometimes confused as to how nouns are used, and if they’re very young, they may use nouns as substitutes for complete sentences. They may, for example, say simply “juice” when they mean “I want some juice,” or “bed” when they mean “I’m tired, and I’d like to go to bed now.”
So, how do you teach your child about nouns in a way that’s fun and will give them an edge over their peers? You can use online noun worksheets from various sites, but we also encourage you to work one-on-one with your kids. The best way to do it is by making learning about nouns a game. Kids love to play, and they especially love to play with their parents. Noun worksheets are a great way to facilitate learning, and you can try these great activities as well.
The 20-Second List
Make a 4-column chart. The headings should be Person, Place, Thing and Idea. Give your child 20 seconds per column, to fill it with as many correct nouns they can come up with. Make sure you have a stopwatch so you can count off the seconds correctly, or use a timer on your computer. When they finish one column, shout “Go!” to move them to the next. Expect mistakes early on, but when they fill all columns with four or more correct nouns, offer a reward – maybe a sticker, or 10 minutes worth of video game time. Keep upping the ante, and increase the rewards accordingly.
News You Can Use
Cut out pictures from newspapers or magazines. Ask your child to identify the nouns in the pictures. For example, “This is a firefighter rescuing a cat from a pole.” They’ll not only learn about nouns, they’ll develop an interest in what’s going on in the world around them.
For older kids, you can ask them to write their own story about the picture, again underlining the nouns. Online worksheets also offer similar activities.
Guess the Game
Kids love games and sports. So for this game, you have them pick a game or a sport that they like. Then they write out a list of nouns that have something to do with the game or sport. For instance, for Monopoly, they might choose “hotel,” “house,” “money” or “bank.” For hockey, they could choose “stick,” “puck,” “player,” referee,” and so on. To switch it up, you might write the nouns the child has chosen on cards, and then ask him or her to identify the game or sport that the noun relates to.
Travel With Nouns
This is a variation on a very old party game. You can start by saying, “I am going in a trip, and in my suitcase I have packed an automobile.” You can bet your child will get a giggle out of that. Now, his or her job is to come up with a noun that begins with the letter “B”. Keep going back and forth.
You can also play “sentence games” when you’re out for a walk with your child. Ask him to identify the nouns in sentences like “There’s a boy on a bike.” You can also work on proper nouns by playing this game – “Look, there’s Ryan on his bike.”
Online Noun Games
There are also tons of games that you can play online that will help your child to learn about nouns. Some of the best are noun worksheets and proper noun worksheets for kindergarten children from TurtleDiary.com.
These noun activities and noun games can help you explain to your kids why nouns are so important in writing. As a bonus, here’s another really fun activity that’s guaranteed to have your kids giggling and wanting to learn more – have them write a story. It doesn’t have to be long. Then ask them to underline the nouns, and take all of them out, and read the story without the nouns. They’ll see how important nouns are!
Combine fun games with noun worksheets for your kindergarten kid, and they’ll learn quickly and have fun learning.