The early years of childhood are the most important in our development and one of the most vital developmental processes is learning how to use and understand language. Research has shown that the younger children are when they start learning new words, the greater their capacity for vocabulary will be. Additionally, the brain developments that occur during the process are also vital for developments in other areas, both academic and social.
Children develop at different rates and so if your young child seems to be struggling linguistically, it is usually not something that you need to worry about. Keep an eye on them, but don’t jump to any conclusions just yet. It is very important that both parents and teachers actively work towards helping children to develop their language skills and build their vocabulary.
In this article, we will explain some great ways to help kids learn new words.
It has long been the consensus of childhood and early-stage learning scientists that reading books with your child has so many social, educational, and developmental benefits. Reading books with your son or daughter from when they are very young helps to develop their listening and comprehension skills, their recognition of emotive subtleties, and their understanding of language and grammar. When your child is very young, read books to them that have funny characters and stories with lots of pictures, because this will engage your child and ensure that they enjoy the reading experience.
If you instill a love and appreciation of books in your child when they are young, they will continue reading independently long after you stop reading them bedtime stories. Regular reading has been proven to be the number one method for improving vocabulary and particularly when children are young, their brains are like a sponge for new words. Proactively encourage your child to read at every opportunity and take the time to discuss their favorite books with them.
Play Words Games
Children learn best when they are having fun and so the best way for you to help your kids to learn new words is through play. There are so many great games that you can play with your child no matter what age they are. For very young children, get some wooden letter blocks and challenge your child to make as many different words as they can. Suggest different starting letters or different categories like animals, food, or colors to get your child thinking about groups of words.
As your child’s language skills become more developed, introduce them to more advanced games. There are many word games and one that never gets old and is fun to play for both you and your kids is the scrabble. It would help your kids explore new vocabulary words. The unscrambler tool at UnscrambleX.com could be very beneficial for improving your child’s vocabulary as it can give your child a random selection of letters that they need to rearrange into words. By playing these games together with your child, you can teach them words that they didn’t already know every time they get a new set of letters to unscramble.
Sing Songs Together
Music is so great for kids' development and one of the best ways to help your child learn new words is to sing songs with them. There are so many fantastic songs for children that introduce all kinds of vocabulary like animals, colors and the days of the week. For really young children, it is really fun to add dance moves or hand gestures to help make the song more exciting and also to reinforce the meaning and context of the new words.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
Even though children’s brains are perfectly evolved for learning new words, it is really important to immerse your child in target vocabulary to help them to remember it. Repetition is the best way to help new words stick in your child’s memory, but that repetition has to be contextualized and not just presented to your child randomly. Every time you have a new work that you want your child to learn, make sure to use it frequently when speaking to them but in a natural way. More often than not, your child will instinctively decipher the meaning, but if they do not, they will usually ask you to explain the word after they have heard you use it a few times.
Having a wide range of vocabulary offers many social and educational benefits for children. Children with great vocabulary skills are better able to express themselves, engage in debate and critical thinking, and to remember information and important skills. Take an active role in your child’s linguistic development and make sure the learning is fun and your child will make some amazing vocabulary progress.