A Comprehensive List of Adjectives for Kids

Opposite adjective big and small illustration

Children start learning about people and their surroundings from an early age, which is why teaching them adjectives is the perfect way to give them a solid foundation from which they can experience the world and build their vocabulary. In addition, by learning how to use adjectives to describe these experiences, kids start to feel more in control of their own world. The value of an adjective comes from its ability to characterise a noun, giving more detailed and imaginative information about the object of discussion. 

By adding the ability to visualise something more clearly, a reader can learn to convey feelings with more emotion, and to describe exactly what you want. Do you want your child to expand their vocabulary by learning age-appropriate adjectives for just 20 minutes everyday? Then you should get the KidSmart app. KidSmart is more than just being one of those writing apps for kids, but a tried and tested educational tool geared towards critical thinking and self learning through games and interactive activities. 

Here’s a list of common adjectives for kids that you can start teaching based on their reading and interaction levels:

Year 1

Colors: blue, green, purple, orange, black, white, pink, red, yellow

Size: big, small, short, tall, fat, thin

Sounds: loud, quiet

Shapes: round, square, oval, triangular

Numbers: one, two, few, many

Touch/Texture: rough, smooth, soft, hard

Weather: sunny, rainy, windy, dark, light, cloudy

Year 2-3

Alphabetising the adjectives can help kids learn the words and their respective meanings more quickly and organise their learning process. This will also allow them to find adjectives that start with a specific letter more conveniently and explore other options more easily.

Letters A – C: angry, bumpy, busy, brave,  crispy, cruel, cheerful, chilly,

Letters D – H: dangerous, deep, dirty, dry, empty, equal, easy freezing, funny, fat, fluffy, furry, fuzzy, huge

Letters I – N: itchy, icy, juicy, kind, lazy, long, lumpy, left, large, mean, messy, naughty, new, nice

Letters O – R: oily, old, plump, pretty, proud, quick, ready, ripe, right

Letters S – Z: short, simple, slimy, sloppy, slow, spiky, spoiled, sticky, stiff, still, stinky, strong, swollen, thin, tiny, tricky, ugly, weak, wise, wrong, wet

Year 4 – 6

Letters A – C: able, adventurous, absurd,  apologetic, aware, alert, amusing, ancient, annoyed, anxious, bitter, brilliant, bashful, beautiful, bulky, capable, cautious, creative, creepy, cruel, curly, challenging, charming, clever, compassionate, cozy, cranky

Letters D – H: damp, daring, delicate, delicious, disrespectful, dreadful, dull, ecstatic, endless, enormous, entertaining, exhausted, fantastic, foolish, frightened, furious, fussy, gentle, gigantic, gorgeous, graceful

Letters I – N: innocent, icky, intelligent, infinite, jaded, joyful, jolly, jumpy, kind hearted, kindly, knowledgeable, likely, lousy, loyal, lucky, marvellous, naive, nervous, nimble

Letters O – S: optimistic, oval, petite, pleasant, polite, precise, prickly, salty, shocking, slick, slippery, sour, sparkling, straight, stubborn, stunning

Letters T – Z: temporary, terrified, timid, tricky, truthful, whimsical, young, yummy

Classifying Adjectives: Grammar for Kids

There are different kinds of adjectives, all of which will at some point or the other be a solid stepping stone towards improving grammar for kids as they get older and advance through the school system. After organising the words in alphabetical order, these adjectives have been further sorted into categories for greater understanding and can be quite useful when preparing for promotional exams, such as the CEM and 11+.  

Proper Adjectives 

These adjectives are derived from proper nouns and are used to describe something in terms of culture, nationality, or religious affiliation. 

Some examples of proper adjectives include: African, Asian, British, French, Japanese, Latino, American, Australian, Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish

Food Adjectives

There are many words that can be used to conjure tasteful images when discussing food choices. With the proper adjective definition for kids, they can understand the difference between a “ tasty, cheesy, homemade, spaghetti with meatballs” and a “regular mass-produced fast food pasta,” Some examples include: 

Sweets: sugary, chocolatey, syrupy, minty, 

Fruits: ripe, sour, juicy, tart, acidic

Dairy: Cheesy, buttery, creamy

Beef: Chewy, peppery, spicy, marinated, lean, dry

Cereal: crunchy, soggy, flakey, nutty

Adjectives for Describing a Person

There are many terms that can be used to describe a person in terms of their physical appearance and personalities. It is important for your child to have these words in their written and spoken vocabulary because as they grow older, they will at some point, face a situation that requires them to describe someone. Some examples include: 

Characteristics and Traits: clever, creative,kind, generous, considerate, flexible, mysterious

Personality: calm, humble, arrogant, proud, charismatic, mean

Physical Appearance: straight hair, cropped hair, blonde, brunette, lanky, dwarfish, plump, skinny 

Happy Adjectives

These words are great for describing jubilant situations, helping children create strong descriptions for a party or celebration scenes like their last birthday or playdate. 

Examples include: beaming, joyous, blissful, joyful, delightful, pleased, cheerful, jovial, jolly, glad, thrilled, elated, gleeful, sunny

Peaceful Adjectives

These words are used to describe a state of serenity. Some examples include: serene, calm, harmonious, peaceful, nonviolent, quiet, undisturbed, still, soothing, tranquil, relaxing, restful

Sporty Adjectives

Many school curricula include a variety of sporting events as part of their physical education activities, so your children have most likely come across this type of adjectives. 

Examples include: accurate, active, agile, athletic, frenetic, skilful, speedy, swift, slick, 

Adjectives to Describe a Place

These descriptive words can serve as a springboard for new territory that your child visits or reads about. By learning the right adjectives to describe a location, they become even more interested in learning more about the world outside of their immediate surroundings. 

Some examples include: gigantic, grassy, exotic near, far, tidy, spacious, spooky, smelly, lively

How KidSmart Can Help Writing for Kids

Because adjectives are so common in everyday conversations and learning materials, learning more about them is vital to creating and speaking grammatically correct sentences. KidSmart can help achieve this through its array of gamification strategies and activities that are designed for 

  • Progressive Grammar – The app follows progressive development methodology and introduces new concepts based on the level of understanding specific to your child.
  • Spelling – Since KidSmart is geared towards the UK curriculum, it presents words that are relevant for the child’s year and tests them multiple times to assess their confidence level. It then adjusts the difficulty level automatically based on the responses.
  • Vocabulary Building – As your kids progress, new words are introduced with meaning and usage examples. They also have access to the Oxford Dictionary at any time. 

For further learning resources check out KidSmart’s free 11 plus exam papers for kids by clicking here.

FREE 11 Plus Exam Papers

A collection of 100+ 11 plus exam papers for practicing every day. The pack includes practice papers from grammar and independent schools. Whether you are preparing for CEM, GL, CSSE or ISEB you will find sample papers in this pack.