One of the most important things you can do to build your child's vocabulary is to simply talk to him or her.
Here are a few activities you can do at home to increase their vocabulary from an early age.
Finding the Right Words
Materials Needed: paper and pencil, construction paper, newspapers and/or magazines, dictionary and/or thesaurus, scissors, glue
Procedure: This activity can be a fun art project, or it can be used as a birthday, anniversary, or holiday gift.
- Pick a person or animal in your child's life.
- Have your child brainstorm some words that describe that person/animal. A dictionary and/or thesaurus will help generate some new and unusual adjectives as well.
- Scan through the headlines in newspapers as well as advertisements and articles in magazines looking for the brainstormed words. Remind your child it is fine to use other words he/she may come across even if they are not on his/her brainstormed list.
- Once you have accumulated a pile of words and even a few appropriate pictures, arrange the cut-outs on construction paper.
- Organize and glue them to make a unique collage or a creative greeting card.
"On The Go" Vocabulary Games
Materials Needed: Paper and pencil for Vocabulary Charades only
Procedure: These games can be played in the car, at the beach, or at home anytime.
- Vocabulary 20 Questions
Pick a word from a particular category (beach items, birds, types of fish, states, etc.). Tell the category to the guessers.
The guessers ask yes/no questions about the "mystery word."
Cue your child to use the information given in previous answers to narrow down his/her questions and guesses.
Vocabulary Alphabet Game
In a group, take turns naming a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet, going in sequential order.
Options to make it more challenging:
Play several rounds. Any word named in previous rounds cannot be used again.
Require that each word given belongs in the same category (i.e. foods, games, animals, etc.)
Require that each word is a specific number of letters.
Each player writes 2-3 vocabulary words on a piece of paper (to make it more challenging, require them all to be from the same category). Divide the players into teams.
Players take turns acting out the words without talking or sounds.
See which team can guess the most words!