Between You, Me, and the Four Walls
Our vocabulary is not only how we connect with other people, but a strong language ability is associated with a number of positive things, including happiness, friendships, and academic success. What’s more, words also have the power to inspire action, and ignite change.
Studies show that some forty percent of children have such a limited vocabulary that it hampers their learning. So here are 7 great ways to help build your child’s vocabulary so that they may grow up to be masters of words!
1. Talk the talk
It’s important to start early and immerse your child in language through parent-child interactions, because the number of words children learn in the early years are closely related to their future vocabulary, and even success. And it’s not hard to have this interaction – just look around your home and surrounding and name the things you see, as well as using words to explain emotions and ideas.
2. Be a book whisperer
One key to a great vocabulary is an obvious one – reading books. It’s one of the most powerful of shared activities and it works best if you can make it a routine with a dedicated reading time, so it becomes a natural part of the day. And reading to your child means you can tackle books with a bigger vocabulary.
What did people do before the Post-It note? One thing is for sure, they didn’t use them for this word learning activity. Simply attach Post-It notes to various objects around the house, turning a walk between rooms into a word scavenger hunt of sorts.
4. Play word games
There’s a host of word games out there, from Scrabble to I Spy to Bananagrams, that can all help make learning new words interactive and fun.
5. Write stories for fun
Fun is the key word here. Don’t force your child to write about things that don’t interest them, but let them write about any subject that piques their interest, with no rules other than having fun and getting words down.
6. Create a word wall
A great way to help learn new words is to write each new word on a paper and tack it to the wall.
Which is just what we’ve done for you with our 100 Big Words poster! The science behind words on the wall is that a child needs to be acquainted with a new word 4 to 12 times before it is added to their vocabulary.
7. A word-a-day challenge
Introducing a new word each, or every other day, will boost your child’s vocabulary. And it’s fun for the whole family. There are word-a-day calendars, apps or websites that you can subscribe to. And there are some nifty word-a-day posters too!