Whether your toddler has just begun to blabber or your preschooler is a chatter box who just won’t stop talking. Helping your child build his vocabulary is a fantastic idea at any age. Encouraging a child’s vocabulary development leads to development of language and literacy skills. Now the key is to not overdo it.
Here are some simple ways you can help your child build vocabulary without making it a humongous task either for yourself or your child.
#1 Use enriched vocabulary
A child learns best by aping. A child may forget to listen but he will never ever forget to ape you. When you speak to your child use a variety of words. This way you’d build not just your baby’s vocabulary but your own too. Use enormous instead of lot, freezing instead of very cold, mimics instead of copies and so on….
#2 New words are everywhere
Words that are common for us are new for a child who is learning. When you visit different places with your child you are exposing him to not just new environment and experiences but also to umpteen new words. Whether it the market, store, park, mall, zoo, railway station, airport, or just a drive in the car , there is an opportunity to learn new words everywhere. So the best way to teach new words is to visit different places and speak to your child about them.
Also Read – Which Language Should We Use With Kids here
#3 Make reading a routine
Reading books is the number one way of exposing a child to richer vocabulary. A two year old may not be able to tell you that he did not understand the meaning of a word, but as you read, he is listening and registering words he has heard before and the one’s that are new. If your child is older and has come across a new word as you read, take a small pause and explain the word in a kid friendly manner.
#4 Plan Play dates
Allow your child to spend time with kids his age. Even if younger kids aren’t too chatty, getting together with kids their age will give them a chance to test their language and interaction skills in a social setting. And don’t be surprised if your child picks a few new words too.
#5 Allow him to complete his sentence
Children learn to speak in stages. From words to complex words to simple sentences and then to complex sentences. Through this journey you begin to understand their language and cues. But it is a good idea to allow your child to complete what he is trying to say. Not with perfection, but complete his sentience to his satisfaction.
#6 Correct them with care
A child who is leaning to speak is likely to mispronounce words. But it’s essential to not reprimand and correct them in a subtle manner. If my baby says “I want a poon” I’d reply, “here’s your spoon” as I hand over the spoon to him. For older kids, when they use a new word and they have gone a wee bit haywire – applaud their attempt, point out how well the word was used and then review the proper way to use and or speak the word.
#7 Talk, Talk, Talk and Talk a little more
Your preschooler will know names of all funny comic characters that you can barely pronounce. Their brain is like a sponge. Don’t hesitate to expose them to as much as you can. When you are making a new recipe talk about the wok, oils, nuts, veggies, seasonings and everything else. When you go out to buy a shawl talk not just about the shawl but about cold, temperature, shops, markets, handlooms, fabrics, cars and streets. When you visit a nursery to choose new plants for your house, talk about marigolds, impatiens, zinnias, and geraniums.
Children grow by leaps and bounds in their formative years. This is the best time to help them build their language skills and vocabulary.
These are simple activities we could do to give that little extra to our babies.
While you ponder upon what I have written here, I’d love to stay connected with you, Mama.