Few people can boast of a good vocabulary, even as adults. There is a lot of reading, exploring, and communication involved in the process of vocabulary building, which goes on for a lifetime. However if children learn to pick up new words from an early age, it becomes easier to learn more words later.
Here are some ways to get a head start in the vocabulary building game:
- Stop The Baby Talk Already:Baby talking is bad enough when young couples do it (if you’re one of those couples, you should stop too!), don’t let your child continue with it for long either. Children will always respond to baby talk because it is comfortable. Why bother with the grown-ups’ language when baby talking gets you what you want. Start telling your child you cannot understand them when they use their baby voice, and that they should use their adult voice. If a child feels like no one understands he/she will almost always be willing to switch to a more communicable method.
- Point And Spell:Integrate learning into your everyday routine by making the child aware of everyday objects. Point out words on road signs and billboards, besides daily objects like cups, bowls, lights etc. This becomes fun in toy stores, where you ask your child to name certain objects, and if they do it correctly they are rewarded with the toy. Ask them to spell out smaller, simpler words, and gradually move up to 3, 4, and 5 syllable words. (To make trips outside more fun for kids, go to The Fun Is Out There.)
- Read Together: The importance of reading to your child cannot be stressed enough. A new book always contains atleast 5 new words which your child gets to learn. Between stories, ask them meanings of random words. This ensures they either learn a new word or brush up on the words they already know. Here are a few stories you might find interesting.
- Spell Out Emotions: Pinpointing exact emotions and feelings are hard for almost everyone to do it. Maintain an open environment at home, and whenever your child cries or throws a tantrum, sit them down and ask them what exactly they are feeling and what they hope to accomplish. Talking to your child in a rational and expressive manner helps to not only sort out their emotional issues, but also teaches them to express their feelings better.
- Wider Social Circle: A child can only learn so much from children his/her own age. To expand your child’s information spectrum let them mingle with older and younger children as well. They get to play various roles in this manner, learning from the older children and teaching the younger ones. They also get a feel of various relationships and how to interact within society.
A proper channel of expression is mandatory for the overall growth of a person. A great teacher once said “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Instill in the child the power of expression which comes with a huge vocabulary and a great imagination.