Entertaining and Educational Activities That Will Boost Your Child’s Vocabulary

Vocabulary delays and restricted lexical volumes are oftentimes quite frequent in toddlers, and sometimes, even in children of pre-school age. This group of children is descriptively named “late talkers”. In the case of these children, their speech delays will impact their quality of life, at older ages. It has been proven that such delays will mark certain clinical differences between early-talkers and late-talkers, from a neuronal connection development standpoint. Those parents that are concerned about their children’s lack of speech until a certain age can try to integrate into their daily schedule some activities that are entertaining and educational at the same time. Most likely, these activities will expand your child’s vocabulary form the basic “mama-papa” dichotomy and will translate into later successful linguistic developments.

Read to your children – even if they are infants

By reading children’s books to your infant child will activate various parts of their brain. Different words, colors and images will also boost their brain’s plasticity, according to WebMD. According to child development experts, the more words a child is hearing during a day, the more likely they are to start using them earlier in their development. As children’s minds are quite easy to mold into certain patterns, they are also very likely to imitate their parents and start showing vocabulary signs at an early age.

Previously to 3 weeks, infants might take interest in books that have plenty of illustrations but are also appropriate for bath time and chewing. So, make sure to invest in such items. After that age, most children take an increasing interest in books with words and sentences that rhyme and repeat. But just as before, plenty of illustrations will make infants show a higher interest in books and reading. Covers that flip and rise with plenty of colors will likewise attract their undivided attention. If the child is more interested in the book itself, don’t panic. It’s normal, as children up to a certain age are visual creatures.

Play online checkers or similar puzzle games

Crossword puzzles, checkers, chess and simplistic board games will help with your child’s vocabulary development. More than this, they can increase their brain’s flexibility and bring advantages in the long run. Checkers, while not directly correlated with your child’s vocabulary, brings the incredible advantage of memorization. By the age of five, your child should already show signs that they have the capacity to memorize and repeat the movements of each chess piece across the board, as well as their names. This will increase their brain’s plasticity and flexibility, helping them to expand their vocabulary in an organic fashion.

When it comes to board games, make sure to verbalize as much as you can all the necessary steps to accomplish the game’s mission. Once again, as children are very likely to imitate and replicate adult behavior, they are more likely to start verbalizing certain words and expressions themselves.

Use Scrabble as the main teaching resource

In terms of vocabulary games, Scrabble may be the winning one. Scrabble is one of the most popular board games at the current time, with free online variations. This way, we can safely claim that this is an accessible resource if you search for an entertaining and effective way to expand your child’s vocabulary. Search for Junior Scrabble version, for a more approachable variation of the game. Words with Friends can also be a great resource if you want to increase the word volume present in your child’s vocabulary. If you want to offer them more opportunities to learn more words, use a cheat sheet. These online systems will provide you with new words that you can teach your child. However, make sure to have a dictionary nearby. This will help you easily explain the notions behind the words to your moppet.

Implement a Vocabulary Word of the Day strategy

Once your child passes a certain age, usually after kindergarten, you can easily implement a “vocabulary word of the day” strategy to boost their vocabulary. It has been proven on multiple occasions that those late-talkers that catch up with their early-talker peers show almost no developmental delays in their vocabulary and social interactions. Alternate days in which you test their vocabulary and understanding of certain words with days in which you teach them a new word from the English Dictionary. This will empower them to use more and more complex words. Take the example of the word “remarkable”. Even toddlers can understand that the word is simply used as a replacement for “good”. Boosting their brain power and plasticity by using new words every day and reinforcing what they already know is a proven strategy to correct potential vocabulary delays.

Video games will definitely help

While video games usually have a bad reputation when it comes to child development, certain games will help them attain higher literacy and vocabulary levels.

  • My Word Coach is an incredible game, available on both Nintendo and Wii and is developed by linguists. The main goal of the game is to boost students’ vocabulary and word understanding. And besides, the game has a built-in dictionary with plenty of easy to understand explanations of the words.
  • Smarty Pants is a game that even parents will enjoy playing. The game is developed by EA and is a quiz-based game. It incorporates questions from a variety of domains, from arts and history to English vocabulary and language.
  • Reader Rabbit is an educational game that aims to improve children’s reading capacity through a series of funny and entertaining games. There are various versions, appropriate for different grades.

These simple strategies will help you stimulate an appropriate literacy and vocabulary level in your children, and even stimulate them to become early-talkers. While in the long run, if corrected speech delays don’t affect much children’s overall academic results, it’s better to approach similar delays at an early stage. Various games and activities will help, just like will do a daily sleep time story session. For more complex issues, it would be advisable to address your concerns to a speech therapist.