Children of all ages need to fully understand the words they need and their meanings in order to read. There are simple ways to expand a preschooler’s vocabulary and introduce early reading concepts. You may be doing a lot of this throughout the day or even the week without even realizing it. Here are some simple and fun vocabulary-building activities that you can do every day to teach your child new words.
Visiting The Library
A trip to the library with your preschooler is a great way to introduce them to new words. Just being in a place with lots of books and literature will go a long way in helping your preschooler become familiar with reading. So, if you’re looking for a great place to develop your preschooler’s vocabulary and reading skills, look no further than your local library. If you’re not sure what to do when you get there, you can ask a library staff member for help.
Using Descriptive Words
The more you can expand your child’s vocabulary, the better. The more words they hear daily, the more words your child will learn, absorb, and eventually use on their own. For instance, when describing a fabric pattern, try to use words like unusual, relaxing, and creative. These words may still be beyond your child’s understanding at the moment, but using them in context will make them more understandable.
When introducing new words, watching is learning. An effective way to help preschoolers learn new words is to make them visualize what they hear. Teaching preschoolers how to categorize can help them think logically and build their vocabulary. For this activity, use flashcards or pictures cut out from magazines.
Reading Aloud Together
How often do you read aloud to your child? Reading aloud is not only a great way to spend quality time with your preschooler, but it is also an excellent opportunity to expose them to new words. And the best part is that if you don’t understand something, you can always explain it to them. Choose books that are interesting to preschoolers and use words that are slightly above their level of understanding. Use context, other words on the page, and pictures to help figure out the meaning together.
An easy way to introduce a new word to your child is to use the word yourself. This will help them expand their preschool vocabulary much faster. Yare your child’s first and best role model after all.
If you want your child to learn more words, make it easy. Say it often, sure, but show it—label everyday items to develop a basic understanding of known words and help them recognize them.
White kites fly in the night. The fat cat sat on the carpet. How many memory words can your preschooler come up with? Not only is rhyming fun, but it is also an easy way to get your child thinking about how words are connected.
As you can see, building a vocabulary is not difficult, but it is necessary for children starting on the path of reading. It may require planning, such as taking them to the library or labeling things around the house, but most of the time, helping your child learn and take in new words is just a natural part of your day. From reading to simple conversation, you can help your child improve their language. They will learn how words work, what they mean, what is the same, different, and much more. It’s simple, and it’s a lot of fun!