Your child’s vocabulary progresses rapidly in their early childhood years. From speaking only a few syllables at the age of one, the child progresses to speaking fully formed complex sentences by the time he turns four.
If you did not know this already, a good vocabulary would help your little one in succeeding in all walks of life, and a good foundation in these years will put them at an advantage. Fortunately, a large part of the work will be done by your kids themselves, since these industrious little people will be constantly looking at you, hearing you, imitating you, learning from you. But how can you play a bigger role? What can you do to build your child’s vocabulary? Well, you might want to try out these four fun ways:
1. New places, new words!
We’re certain both you and your kids would love this. Go exploring. Maybe a park or a garden in the neighborhood, or a fancy supermarket the kiddo has never been in. Unfamiliar places have unfamiliar objects with unfamiliar names. Your kid, naturally curious, will love to know more about them. From the caterpillars to the mannequins, the words are endless.
2. A scavenger hunt
Your own house can be a treasure trove of new words, and this fun game is perfect to let your children actively expand their vocabulary. Once your child is capable of reading, use sticky notes to label the household items. Your kid has to find them, and while doing so, will learn the words and what they actually represent. These physical items, the ‘countertop’, the ‘windowsill’, the ‘faucet’ etc. will catch their eyes, and etch the names into their minds much better than the images in picture-books. Bring out the sticky notes!
Nothing beats this age-old ritual of reading books and telling stories. Your kid loves this family time, so did you, so did your grandparents, and so on. Read to your kids, and read with your kids. Once all your storybooks have been exhausted, and once your child has become an expert, encourage them to make up their own stories. This is a great exercise in building creativity and imagination, all the while greatly enhancing their vocabulary. Make way for the new storytellers in the house!
4. Games that improve vocabulary
Learning new words and their usage could be, and should be, fun. Many games are good for this purpose. Scrabble and Hangman are old favorites. In our age of smartphones and tablets, there are a lot of new games that teach them new words (or reinforce familiar words) through rhymes and songs and so many other creative ways. These games often enrich them with knowledge about the world, while teaching them new words from the world of science, the world of animals, the cosmos, different cultures of the world, and so on. It’s game time!
We’re sure you would have also come up with your own ways to develop your child’s vocabulary. We’d love to know them. Share in the comments below or tag us whenever you share them on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll repost!