Between You, Me, and the Four Walls
1. Bunches of Books
Start early and read aloud to your child. In the beginning they will be most interested in the visuals, but eventually the words will spark their curiosity. This is a great time to point to letters as you read and sound out words.
2. Start With Your Name
Everyone has a name and that’s a great place to start learning the alphabet. What letter does your name begin with? What other things start with the same letter? What’s your mother’s name? And so on.
3. Sing Your ABCs
Singing is intuitive and fun, and rhymes and rhythm help children learn the alphabet without pressure. Sure, ABC songs might eventually drive you bonkers after hearing them hundreds of times, but use that as a sign it’s time to move on to the next step.
4. Play The ABC
Children learn through play, which is more fun than memorizing flash cards. Incorporate a flip letter board to introduce letter sounds and picture association.
5. Use Your Hands (or a Poster!)
Sensory experiences create memory pathways and puzzles can be useful learning tools. And they come with the built in bonus of also improving motor skills.
6. Alphabet Playdoo
Playdoo is another great way to learn the alphabet by creating letters with this fun and colored putty.
7. Rainbow ABC
Speaking of color, what child doesn’t enjoy coloring? Incorporate letter coloring sheets that you can either buy, download for free, or make yourself.
8. Eat the alphabet!
The dinner table can be a great place to learn the alphabet. Use everything from alphabet cookies to alphabet soup and enjoy the fruits of multitasking.
9. Letter Scavenger Hunt
On a visit to the grocery store, or a walk through your neighborhood, make it a game to see how many of the letters you can find.
10. Enlist Your Wall Teacher
Not to beat our own drum but it’s well known that children learn from observing their surroundings. Just having an ABC poster (like maybe one with animals as letters?) on the wall is a non-intrusive and inviting way to learn the alphabet. Plus, you’ll have wall art with beautiful and fun animals to liven up your child’s room.
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!