We have a lively household with two little girls who constantly demand our attention and keep us on our toes. As they grew up, we tried to enhance their vocabulary by introducing them to the appropriate words for various objects, actions, and emotions.
For instance, while working in the kitchen, we typically mention that we are “cooking.” However, to expand their vocabulary, we now describe each action using precise terms such as “chopping,” “cooking,” “baking,” “washing,” and so on.
As our girls have matured, we have begun incorporating new words into our conversations. They are actively learning idioms and proverbs, which adds an exciting dimension to our linguistic exchanges.
Similarly, there are various other ways to teach vocabulary to children.
15 ways to improve children’s vocabulary:
1. Word of the Day: Start with the word of the day trick. Introduce a new word daily and encourage children to use it in conversations.
2. Visual Dictionary: Introduce a visual dictionary with colorful pictures representing various words, helping children associate visuals with vocabulary.
3. Vocabulary Games: Incorporate vocabulary games like
Aim 2 Spell (3-14), PBS Word World (3-5 years), Scrabble (8+), Pictionary (8+), Bananagrams (7+), etc.
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4. Reading: Numerous studies suggest that reading books beneficially boosts vocabulary. Researchers’ findings at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) reveal that teenagers who read in their spare time know 26 % more words than those who never read. So, to begin, ensure your youngster reads for at least 30 minutes daily.
5. Storytelling: Encourage children to create stories using newly learned vocabulary, simultaneously fostering creativity and language skills.
6. Word Associations: Play word association games where children connect related words, helping them expand their vocabulary networks. For example, choose a starting word, such as horse. The next player has to say a word associated with the starting word quickly. For example, they might say neigh. This game encourages quick thinking, vocabulary expansion, and connecting different words.
7. Labeling objects around the house with sticky notes: It can be a fun and effective way to reinforce word recognition. For example, you can label the refrigerator with a sticky note that says “fridge,” the table with “table,” and the window with “window.” As your child goes about their daily routine, they will repeatedly see these words, associating them with the corresponding objects and strengthening their vocabulary.
8. Technology Tools: Utilize interactive vocabulary apps, online quizzes, and educational websites to make learning vocabulary enjoyable and accessible.
9. Vocabulary Journals: Have children maintain vocabulary journals where they can write down new words and their definitions and use them in sentences.
10. Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt: Organize a scavenger hunt where children search for items corresponding to specific vocabulary words.
11. Word Walls: Create a word wall in the classroom or at home, displaying new vocabulary words that children can refer to regularly.
12. Vocabulary Charades: Play a game of charades using vocabulary words, prompting children to act out the meaning of the word without speaking.
13. Vocabulary-building conversation: Engage in everyday conversations, asking open-ended questions to encourage your child to express themselves and use a broader range of vocabulary.
14. Vocabulary Role Play: Encourage children to engage in role-playing activities using vocabulary words in different scenarios or professions.
15. Vocabulary Field Trip: Organize outings to museums, zoos, or parks where children can explore and learn new words related to their surroundings.
Nobody can tell you how to raise your children the best you can. You know your child well, so choose activities from the list that suit their age and interests to enhance their vocabulary without causing undue stress.
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