A strong vocabulary paves the way for a child’s ability to learn, their ability to understand the world and their ability to communicate effectively with other people. The more words they know, the more they are able to make sense of what they learn. Now, what can you do to build your child’s vocabulary? Research shows that a child needs to see the usage of a word 5-7 times, before it is stored in their long-term memory. Here are some specific tips to make the vocabulary acquisition more fun.
1. Word games
Children learn vocabulary the best with repeated exposure and opportunity to practice that in a non-threatening atmosphere. Games are best to enforce the words after you introduce it to them. You can do inexpensive ways to play games like synonym cross word puzzles, Word search, Scrabble. There are many online sites where you can play interesting and engaging vocabulary games with your child. If you need more, you can find some cool vocabulary games here.
2. Peer reading
Introduce your child to the vocabulary used by their peers. Reading literature by children is the best way to do that. This will give them the motivation and confidence to learn and use new words. Reading the works by peers will also inspire them to focus more on writing. You will be able to find a lot of such literature at Kidz Parade literature by children and The Kidz Parade.
3. Keep an idea book or a journal
Does the word ‘journal’ put off your child? Introduce the concept of an ‘idea book’ to them instead. Let them write all their aspirations, imaginations and observations in that book.
Encourage them to write lists if they do not want to write long paragraphs, ask them to write only a couple of sentences every day when they start with, ask them to write about something close to their heart. You will see your child building vocabulary and writing skills gradually.
Research shows that writing journals has both physical and psychological benefits while improving their writing skills and vocabulary.
You can find many writing prompts here.
4. Read aloud to your child (even if they are older)
Jim Trelease, the author of Read-Aloud Handbook says, “Children have a reading level and a listening level and they are usually not the same. A 4th-grader may be reading on a 4th-grade level, but can listen to stories on a 6th-grade level.”
You can read aloud to older children, even to those who are upto 14 years. Reading aloud to teens helps them with finding the right vocabulary to express their emotions. This is a great bonding activity, while building your child’s vocabulary.
5. Talk, Talk and Talk: A very effective way to build your child’s vocabulary
Learning words is helpful only if it is practiced. Have conversations with your child in various topics. This will give them the opportunity to listen to new vocabulary as well as to express their thoughts using the new vocabulary. Communicating with people with varied interests is also a great way to acquire new vocabulary.
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Do you have any insights or tips that you use? Would you like to share that? Please use the comments section below and let us know!
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