We all know how much significance reading and writing skills hold in today’s highly competitive world. These skills are not only critical to ensuring the academic development of children but also constitute an essential component in building their overall personality.
Having said that, what do you think is the foundation for carving strong reading and writing skills in kids? Well, the answer is ‘vocabulary!’
Vocabulary defines a person’s ability to not only read and write but also interact and communicate the ideas and concepts to others in a clear and precise way. It is one’s grip on a particular language and the understanding of basic words, their meanings, and usage in different contexts. Hence, vocabulary development in children is not only essential for building their reading and writing skills but is also crucial for strengthening their listening skills, comprehension abilities, and, most importantly, their communication skills.
So today, we, at The Navyandhra School, have brought forth for you a few easy ways that will help ease the task of vocabulary development of your kids. Read on.
- Begin with age-appropriate vocab
This is very important if you really wish to help your little one with his vocabulary. Start off with words that are commonly used in day-to-day conversations. Explain the meaning and usage in different contexts. While that might seem overwhelming to you, it need not be like that. You don’t have to take a dictionary and sit with your child for an hour or so every day. The best vocabulary development happens when it is done in an easy flowing, fun-filled way. Hence, instead of teaching the exact definitions of words in a complex language, explain them the meaning in a way they can understand properly.
- Make use of synonyms
An easy yet effective way to help your kids expand their vocabulary base is to make use of synonyms in day-to-day conversations. Be a good role model and begin by using the alternative words yourself. This will help them understand that there are always better alternatives to use. Some of the basic synonyms that you can teach your little ones are:
Big: Huge, Enormous
Cool: Cold, Freezing
Hot: Warm, Humid
Clever: Smart, Brilliant
Dog: Canine, Pooch
- Adopt the game way approach to vocabulary building
Playing is the best way to make the kids learn. Hence, engage your kids in a fun-filled alphabet game, where you will randomly pick up an alphabet, and each member has to say aloud a word beginning with it. You can also make a rule that each member has to explain the meaning of the word they utter. This will enable your kids to learn a lot of new words while having a lot of fun doing that.
- Introduce them to descriptive words
We understand you might feel that your kids just don’t listen to you. But the fact is that even when they are not showing, they are actually all ears to you. They hear and immediately grasp all the words they find you uttering. Hence, make it a point to expand your own speaking vocabulary by including a lot of descriptive words in your conversations with your kids. For instance, instead of telling them to eat an apple, you can ask them, “Eat that shining red, fresh apple.” Or rather than wishing them good morning, you can choose to say, “Have a beautiful morning!” Introduce your kids to other commonly used adjectives and how they can use them to add some specific details about whatever they are talking about.
- Set them up for some rhyming practice
An easy way to expand the vocabulary is to take up any word and then think of as many rhyming words as possible. It is not only full of fun but is also an easy yet effective way of introducing your kids to a lot of new words. You can also play it up as a game where the child who knows the most rhyming words wins. You can also try introducing your kids to some interesting tongue twisters; for instance – the fat cat sat on the mat.
- Read aloud their favorite storybooks to them
Make it a point to take out at least 15 minutes every night to read out some of your child’s favorite books to them. Read in a loud and clear voice and at a slow and understandable pace. This will not only help to grab your child’s attention but will also help them get the correct pronunciation of different words. Keep cross-questioning the kid throughout the story to make sure they listen and understand what each word means.
Vocabulary building is indeed important for children’s academic, intellectual, cognitive, and personality development. However, the key to helping the kids expand their vocabulary in a smooth and productive manner is not to overdo it. Hence, take your child’s pace into consideration and accordingly try to teach your child just as many words in a day as he/she can comfortably grab.
At The Navyandhra School, we firmly believe that learning should ideally be motivating and not stressful. We follow the same ideology at our institution and explore ways to expand the innate curiosity of young minds. We would hence advise you to try and stimulate your child’s innate curiosity and creativity, and then, engaging them in a learning process wouldn’t be a task any longer.