Prep: 5 Minutes / Activity Time: 10 Minutes

“The Gorilla Stands…” uses a small plastic toy gorilla (but any small plastic figure can be used) to give your preschooler oral language practice with prepositions.

Prepositions are words that tell about a location (a place or a time). Some of these words/phrases are:

  • in front of
  • behind
  • above (or over)
  • on (or on top of)
  • below (or under)
  • beside (or next to)
  • between
  • inside
  • outside
  • around
  • near
  • far
  • small plastic gorilla or other figure
  • a simple bridge made of Lego® or Duplo® blocks (or an unbreakable cup that is big enough to fit over the toy)

Step 1: Demonstrate how to place the toy in different positions that match the preposition that you’re saying. For example, put the gorilla under the bridge (or cup) and say, “The gorilla is standing under the bridge.”  

Step 2: Hand the toy to your child, and ask him to put it in different positions (in relation to the bridge or cup). Offer help, as needed.

Step 3: When your child places the toy in a position, ask, “Where is the gorilla?” Model the correct answer, using a complete sentence with a preposition. Have your child repeat the answer after you. You might say, “That’s right! The gorilla is standing next to the bridge.”

Step 4: Continue this game using a variety of prepositions. Be sure to ask your child to describe where the gorilla is (in terms of prepositions).

Model what you want your child to say. Position the gorilla and then use a complete sentence to tell your child where it is standing. Encourage your child to repeat the complete sentence about the gorilla’s position. Change the gorilla’s position, and play again!

Invite your child to decide where to position the gorilla and the bridge (or cup.) Then, ask your child, “Where is the gorilla?” Encourage your child to answer you in a complete sentence, using the appropriate preposition.