Fri, 21 Jan
15 Creative Ways to Improve Your Child’s Vocabulary
The importance of vocabulary can hardly be overstated. A kid with a good vocabulary not only does well academically but also socially. Being eloquent with language can boost their confidence and increase their chances of having a super successful career.
But no kid can turn into a wordsmith overnight. It requires getting into the practice of learning new words every day, reading books, and developing creative writing skills in kids.
While teaching English to kids is a full-time job, there are many creative ways to make it fun.
Here are the top 15 enjoyable ways to build your child’s vocabulary:
1. Fall In Love with Books Together
The more your kid reads, the more they get exposed to new words, making book reading a great way to improve your child’s vocabulary.
Get your child excited about reading new comic books, storybooks, or even audiobooks. It is important to make reading a routine. So, read stories together and explain to them the meaning of all the new words they encounter.
2. Get Creative with Post-It Notes
Got post-its? Have some fun by asking your kid to label the items in your house with them, for example, a chair, refrigerator, television, etc. You can also label some items and then ask your kid to read them.
To add to their vocabulary further, start adding adjectives to the item, for example, wooden chair.
3. Play Word Games
How to increase vocabulary while having fun? The answer is word games!
I Spy, Scrabble, Word Search, Hangman, Pictionary – there are so many word games that you could play to help build vocabulary for kids. It makes the whole process interactive and fun, and your child will look forward to it every time.
4. Help Them Use Words in Sentences
Once your kid gets introduced to a new word, teaching them how to use it in a spoken or written sentence will help improve their vocabulary in a real sense. It will help them understand how to use the word in different contexts.
Turn the weekly spellings homework into a sentence-building activity where your kid has to use a little more of their brains.
5. Make It Colourful with Scrapbooks
Kids always get excited about colourful stationery. So, you can make a scrapbook with them by dedicating a page to every new word they learn. Doodle around the meaning of the word or find the word in a magazine or an old newspaper and paste it in the scrapbook. This will help them remember what they learn.
6. Play ‘Word of The Day’
Learning words for kids can get repetitive and boring. So, why not introduce them to a ‘word of the day’ concept? This will ensure that your child learns at least one new word every day. You (and your family) can take turns with your kid to use a dictionary, word-a-day calendar, website, or app to come up with the word of the day, understand its meaning and use it in a sentence.
7. Familiarize Them with A Dictionary
Introduce your kid to the concept of a dictionary and teach them how to use it. For every new word that they come across, ask them to find its meaning in the dictionary. Don’t forget to show interest and delight when they find the meaning of a new word all by themself from a dictionary.
8. Converse In English, please!
English conversation for kids is very useful in improving their vocabulary. Tell them about your day as well as ask them about theirs using open-ended questions. The more they take an effort in articulating their thoughts and feelings, the more confident they will grow about their language skills. Thus, English learning for kids can help them improve vocabulary words effectively.
9. Assist Them to Use Words in Different Scenarios
If you want to engrave a new word deeply into your child’s brain, then teach them how to position it in different scenarios.
For example, the chosen word is ‘elated’. You can say to your kid how elated you were when they were born and then ask them to try to use it in a sentence, for instance, how elated they were when their team won the football match!
10. Look For Word Roots
Root words are vocabulary building words or word parts that form the basis of new words through the addition of prefixes and suffixes. For example, “egotist” has a root word of “ego” plus the suffix -ist. So, if your child comes across the word “receptionist”, help them recall the meaning using other words associated with the suffix -ist.
Fun fact: Children learn about 5,200 root words between birth and second grade on an average!
11. Explain The Concept of Synonyms
Synonyms are another great way to discover new words for kids. They are other words that mean the same thing like “joy” and “delight”.
Use thesaurus or Google to substitute synonyms for various words or even to help define a word. Synonyms are often useful in creative writing as they help prevent over usage of a single word.
12. Get Them to Write Stories
If your kid likes storytelling, chances are they will enjoy story writing too. Writing stories will not only help build their vocabulary but also improve their grammar and spelling skills. It will spark their creativity and imagination which is so good for exercising their brain!
13. Practice Rhyme Recitation
Rhyme recitation is one of the best vocabulary building activities. It helps kids discover new words and the rhyming pattern helps them remember the words better.
You can pick some fun rhymes or play them on your computer to help your kid grasp new words while they sing along.
14. Chat About Past Events with Them
Talk about past events with your kids that help them remember a funny, exciting, or emotional incident. Ask them open-ended questions and encourage them to describe these events in English.
You will be surprised to know how striking a simple conversation can help build a child’s vocabulary as well as help you bond with them.
15. Time For Some Drama
Act out a word and ask your kid to guess it just like you’d play Dumb Charades. This can even turn into a fun family game night!
Pick words that are easy to act using facial expressions or hand gestures. You can add a timer and point system to this activity to dial up the enthusiasm.
Now, did you know that there were so many different ways to build your child’s vocabulary?
Learning new words and improving language skills should not feel like a chore. So, use the above games and activities to help your kid improve their vocabulary in a fun way, and soon you will be happy to see them write impressive essays and become more fluent with their spoken English!