18 Sep 2015 | 5 min Read
Author | 500 Articles
It starts with single words like mama, papa and dog but before you know it your child is well on her way to stringing together long sentences using new and complex words… and you can help in that transition… and we tell you just how.
It wasn’t very long ago that you child probably used sign language to tell you what he/she needed, tugging at your t-shirt or pulling you by the finger to the kitchen to get just what he/she needed. But now that is hardly the case. Your child is growing fast, and with it so is his/her vocabulary. And the more you help him/her expand this world of words, the more you will see your child bloom into a confident young toddler who can freely express himself/herself.
According to experts, a child completes 80% of his/her learning between the ages of 0 – 4. It is during this time that he/she learns to connect words with his/her thoughts and feelings. In fact at 18 months of age your little tot can master as many as 200 words! Isn’t that simply amazing? So obviously the richer your child’s vocabulary the more likely he/she will be able to effectively communicate how he/she feels, what he/she has observed and most importantly what he/she wants and doesn’t want (get ready for a whole lot of “Nos” right about now).
As if you needed another reason to get your child immersed in the world of words, studies across the world have linked a rich vocabulary with a better performance at school and better inter-personal skills among children. Well then what are you waiting for? Get started right away, and we have just the tips to help you along the way that will make learning new words fun and exciting and not “just another chore that mommy has asked me to do”…and before you know it you will have your very own budding wordsmith!
Rather than having your child sit with a big pile of books expose him/her to new experiences that will help in turn to build a larger vocabulary and also his/her knowledge simultaneously. Go to the zoo and you have a whole new set of words for your child to pick up – enclosures, carnivores, herbivores, amphibians – get our point? Seeing and experiencing what these words mean will also help your child retain the words better. Some other options for you to explore could be parks, museums, train rides or pretty much anything that your child will enjoy.
This one is easy and you are doing a whole lot of it anyway aren’t you? So just make it interesting by talking about something that you would like to do with your child. Like maybe plan a family holiday. Talks about what the options are and what each holiday will consist of, that alone will be a treasure of unexplored words for your child. Pretty much anything is game as far as conversing goes, supermarket shopping list, a recipe in the kitchen, a trip to the mall, your household chores all are vocabulary banks waiting to be explored. And don’t shy away from complex words, trust us your child is more than ready to pick up on them.
No don’t make your child race towards a finish line and ready for the spelling bee contest but you should definitely try to at least slip in What we mean is, use every opportunity you get through the day to gently introduce your child to at least 3 – 4 new words each day. Even time out is an opportunity to slip in a new word expressing how upset you are with her behaviour. Later you can explain what you meant. It will be effortless, and for all you know the next time she is upset with you she may just use the word back at you!
This is a great way to get little children to not only share what’s on their minds but also get more confident with the words they use everyday. You can help your child write out the best thing and the most disappointing thing about the day every evening, and also share what she is planning for the next day. Soon you can graduate to short imaginary story writing or even art descriptions – a fun activity with plenty of opportunity for vocabulary building
There is no substitute to reading when it comes to building a child’s vocabulary. Not only does it help your child with fluency but it also help her to improve her comprehension and conversation skills. Carve out time to read out stories or informative books together everyday. Over time you can inculcate the habit of news reading for a minute each day, depending on her area of interest.
But amidst all these tips the most important thing we would like to share with parents is that, don’t try to over – achieve with your child. Instead focus on making the learning process casual and fun, that way your child is more likely to reciprocate with eagerness to learn more! Take our word for it!