Methods to enhance vocabulary for young children
Vocabulary is a list of words that we should know in order to communicate more clearly. It is imperative we develop the vocabulary of young children. Never underestimate newborn babies, it is a normal tendency to assume they are only feeding and sleeping. Indeed, the babies can understand what we speak to them by showing them expressions. So, please do not ignore talking to them. It Helps to develop their oral language and communication skills. There are varieties of aids available in the shops. You, the parents, are the right resource to work upon even before the child starts going to school.
I would like to recommend the ideas below on how to enrich the vocabulary skills and vocabulary growth of a toddler’s age.
1. Flash cards as a beginning:
A card containing a small amount of information as an aid for learning. There are colors, alphabets, numbers, fruits, vegetables, animals, and birds available in the market. I would like to say, for example, you can take one concept such as fruits as a start-up for the 6 months old baby once starts the sitting posture. I personally experienced making my daughter sit for 5 minutes and showing the flashcards, teaching the word by pointing the picture. This picture-enriched learning technique helped me a lot, when my child started speaking, she tried most of the words which I trained from the flashcards I had shown and she had very good language development. It is a colorful aid, that never diverts the mind of the infant. The most recommended brand for buying flash cards are Happy Hula and Apple Tree. There are other brands available with larger vocabulary too that you can check out depending upon your need.
2. Educational toys:
Battery and non-battery educational toys dumped in most homes must be used effectively. Using it and throwing it away is the modern concept of young minds which will never instill in the mind what is learned from the toy. Always make them have constant touch with their educational toys which will never go from their mind. There are two types of toys battery and non-battery toys.
A. Battery toys:
Battery-operated toys listening to rhymes, short stories, and the sounds of the alphabet enable them to retain the new words in the minds of children.
B. Non – Battery toys:
I would recommend wooden toys which I used for my child.
- Beads and thread – the words learned from this toy are colors, numbers, and patterns.
- Hammer toys – the words learned are a hammer, up, down, turn and wait. These are typical examples of words frequently used during the game, but may not be limited to only these words.
- Puzzle tray – enables them to learn the words on seeing the picture and matching it with the desired shape.
- Jigsaw puzzle – various concepts are there as the number of pieces start from 2 to 100 pieces. They observe pictures, patterns, shapes, sizes and start doing the puzzle. Observation improves and patience also develops. Start with an easy puzzle to create enthusiasm.
- Board and pop-up books – they contain more pictures, touch and feel pages, and less text which attracts toddlers to learn the language.
3. Story telling workshop at home:
Story narration in daily routine is the best way to increase the vocabulary of kids. Select a story according to your child’s age and capacity. I request you not to pressurize too much more than your child’s level in order to avoid hesitation. Encourage your child to make friends of your child’s age for story telling session to make it fun. By the time this story telling habit will also help to build vocabulary, reading skills, independent reading habits, and language skills in your child. It is my pleasure to share some stories that kids like to listen to.
- The thirsty crow:
Once upon a time, there lived a thirsty crow flying in search of water. The crow was thirsty and exhausted in the hot sun. The crow was flying up and down in need of water. He saw a pot filled with little water but could not drink it. He got an idea, found pebbles, and started putting them one by one in the pot as the water level raised up. The crow drank and flew happily.
Questions to be asked to your child:
- Have you seen crows?
- What color is the crow?
- What idea did the crow get in its mind to drink water?
- Was the crow happy at the end?
- Are you happy like this crow?
There are so many bedtime stories with wide vocabulary that you can read your child or narrate your own. A time spent in story narration and reading will drastically develop the child’s vocabulary and interest in reading. Pick out narrate a story and ask questions according to the age of your child. Make it as animated as possible with funny and loud voices to make it sound interesting.
Benefits of strong vocabulary:
A strong vocabulary gives a lot of confidence and improves the self-esteem of the child. With the help of building vocabulary, you can also get reading achievement for your child. Several proven methods that can be used to enhance vocabulary are discussed above. The proven benefits of a good vocabulary are stated below:
- It helps in critical thinking and analysis
- Children can be quick to learn reading, writing, and speaking
- Becomes a confident child
- Thought process is very quick.
- Comprehension improves
A rich vocabulary is important for the child’s success as communication is the most valuable skill which is underrated but most important. In the practical real world, being a good communicator is the most essential soft skill. Starting early with young children will reap huge dividends later on. Parents are requested to view this as an investment of their time for their child’s future. Spending quality time to develop vocabulary through the suggested methods will not only boost the child’s confidence but also spark an interest in the child’s reading habits. Wide vocabulary development from a young age should be taken seriously. A methodical approach as described above should be adopted. Share your views in the comment box if you have already tried any and seen visible results.
About the Author:
Lakshmi Sakthi Alagappan lives in Thanjavur in Tamilnadu, India. She is an administrative officer at Blossom Public School. She likes reading books, listening to music and surfing.