create sentences and count words in sentences

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The next step in language learning is creating sentences!  Have you ever had the absolute joy of witnessing a young child put sentences together for the first time? It’s amazing! This has been one of my favorite stages in parenting — all the stages are wonderful, but this stage is extra special to my mama heart! And it goes so fast, doesn’t it?! Enjoy those mismatched verbs and pronouns while you can! And if you do it right, which we of course want to, they will soon be speaking grammatically correct.


My son’s first sentence was “me up”. So precious! Was this a “sentence” according to its definition? Of course not! He put a pronoun and an adverb together. But it was a start!


What is a sentence?

A sentence is a group of words that forms a complete thought.

A sentence begins with a capital letter, ends with an end mark and has a subject and a predicate. (A predicate is the part of a sentence or clause containing a verb and stating something about the subject.)

Words put together make sentences. And every sentence needs a subject (noun), a verb, and a complete thought.


How can we help our children build sentences in their own language?


The best thing we can do with our children is talk, ask questions, have them copy you for responses. This can be done during morning routines, at the table, at the grocery store, in the car, brushing teeth!

“I am getting dressed.”

“I am eating a banana.”

“I am in the car.”

“I see the blue sky.”

“I put two red apples in my cart.”


And of course, we should read!


  • Reading provides rich experiences with counting words, discovering syllables in words, rhyming, and listening to the sounds in words. This is all done naturally and does not need to be micro-managed.
  • Though they aren’t yet “reading” for themselves, many children will point to the words and “pretend.” My son had started to do this at two. He would point to the words as he “reads” — this is a beginning stage of reading!  And he even would memorize many of the books we read! All the while, they are hearing sentences being constructed
  • My son memorized many of our Dr. Seuss books. Rhyming books, and books that have repetitive sentences and sequences are easiest for children to learn and memorize. I am just shocked at how well he knows Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You?, Green Eggs and Ham, A Wocket in My Pocket, and Hop on Pop. Children will learn that these words are creating sentences, thoughts, stories.


Check out more reasons to read to our children at this post: 10 Reasons to read to your child


More Teaching Tools:

  • Ask questions, explaining to give me a complete sentence in response.
  • Give the child word cards or show a short sentence in large font. Find words in the sentence. The child should be able to use their knowledge of the alphabet to find the first sounds in a word.
  • A great way to practice this is simple poem or Bible verse cards. You can memorize the Bible with your child, and then present them with a short verse with word cards. They will see that each word spoken in the verse is represented by a card. “Reading” the cards is not necessary; instead, they will discover that each grouping of letters forms a word that you can be spoken, read, or comprehended!
  • Creating sentences with vocabulary stickers. We use a first 100 words sticker book and talk about what we see! It’s simple!
  • Counting words in short sentences using small objects. We use counting bears.

Here are examples of short sentences to clap and count the number of words on one hand — or with the bears — (4-5 word sentences).

The cat is small.

This is a dog.

How tall is the house?

The leaves are green outside.


What Teaching Tool will you use today to teach sentences and words in sentences to your child? 


This post is Post 7 of 10 in our Learning Language Series. See all of the posts, with Teaching Tools packed into each post, here:

  1. What is phonological awareness?
  2. Why is rhyming an important language skill? {free nursery rhyme printable}
  3. What is phonemic awareness?
  4. How can I help my child develop phonemic awareness?
  5. How can I teach onsets and rimes?
  6. What is the importance of counting syllables in words?
  7. How can I help my child create sentences and count words in sentences?
  8. How to create a solid vocabulary from infancy?
  9. What is phonics and how do we begin reading?
  10. How can I help my child grow in language learning before reading?


create sentences and count words literacy learning preschool

grab the free homeschool resource guide here!

A simple start to your homeschooling journey is closer than you think! Use these practical resources and tips to get started today! You don’t have to have everything figured out to get started!

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