Learning grammar, punctuation and spelling isn’t always the most enjoyable task for children, especially as it can be quite complex and tricky to understand. However, having a good understanding of grammar is essential for primary school children, as it acts as building blocks for learning how to speak, write and listen. In fact, by the time children reach Year 6, they’re expected to understand and be able to use all of the grammar and punctuation used in the National Curriculum. That’s why it’s so important to try and make learning this difficult topic fun and exciting. We’ve come up with some creative activities parents can use to teach grammar at home and help kids start enjoying all things grammar!
Encourage Your Child To Read
Reading is one of the best ways to help your child improve their grammar skills. In fact, when kids read a book they enjoy, they can see how the author composed their sentences and used specific grammar for effect. This not only shows them how to use grammar correctly, but helps when it comes to understanding why it’s been used. As well as improving grammar, reading is also a fun and enjoyable activity that will help improve all aspects of your child’s writing skills, including sentence structure and increased vocabulary.
Play Spot The Mistakes
Correcting grammatical mistakes is a creative activity that can also be turned into a fun challenge for your child. Try writing one or two paragraphs on a sheet of paper - ideally something your child will find funny or enjoyable. As you write, include some mistakes such as an apostrophe or comma in the wrong place, misusing a question mark, or including a few spelling mistakes. Now give your child a red pen and ask them to spot the mistakes on the paper by circling them - just like a teacher would. Often children enjoy this playful role-reversal and you could even ask them to give you a score out of 10! For slightly older kids, a fun and more relevant way to do this is to use text message examples and ask them to correct the shortened language and missing punctuation.
Write For Fun
Get creative and ask your child to write something just for fun is a hands-on way for them to practice using grammar properly! Some fun ideas include writing a short fictional story, a poem, a personal daily diary or a news article on a topic they’re interested in. Once they’ve chosen a topic and written their piece, go back through it together to check their spelling and grammar. Make sure to explain any missed grammar or punctuation, as well as praise them when they’ve used it correctly.
Make Some Grammar Flashcards
Getting your child to create their own grammar flashcards to use at home is a creative way for them to learn. We recommend using colourful cards, felt-tips and stickers to make the cards fun and interactive. On one side ask your child to write out specific examples of different types of grammar and the answer on the other. Once they’ve made them, you can test their knowledge by holding up the example and seeing if they know the grammar being used. Not only is the process of creating the flashcards a great learning activity, the quick-fire practice also helps embed the grammar into their long-term memory.
Use Fun Online Resources
With so many fun and interactive games and resources online for learning grammar, it’s an excellent way to try and engage your kids in this tricky topic. Here’s some of our favourites:
Find Some Colourful Grammar Books
Finally, even though it’s fun to use games, it’s also a great idea to get some colourful, easy-to-use books for your child to have as a reference or a regular activity. Here’s a couple of our favourites.
Usborne Junior Illustrated Grammar & Punctuation
An easy-to-use guide to grammar and punctuation with sections on nouns, pronouns, verbs, apostrophes, quotation marks and more. With clear and concise explanations, fun and colourful illustrations, short quizzes and example sentences, this book will help children develop their writing style and skills.
Grammar and Punctuation Ages 7-9: Prepare for school with easy home learning
These types of Collins activity books are colourful and engaging, designed to help children progress with their learning. They combine useful practice with motivating activities and provide a great sense of achievement.