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Building Your Child’s Vocabulary: It’s Easier Than You May Think

By: Krystle Crossman

Your children will pick up a great amount of words in a very short amount of time once they begin talking. There are some things that you can do to help them pick up even more and increase their vocabulary. Home-school mom and blogger Penelope Trunk has a list of ways that you can help:

1. Monetary compensation – Trunk states that when she was a child her parents would give her and her siblings a nickel for every four syllable word that they used. This may not be a method that all parents would want to use but for those who do it is a good way to help their children use a bigger vocabulary through the day.

2. Loving words – Show your child that loving words is something that you do and is something they should do too. Give them art projects that include words in some form. Trunk loved words when she was a kid and passed that on to her children. Show them how words affect our everyday lives. Words are everywhere. Teach them about all of the great things that you can do with words such as write a poem, sing a song, or communicate with others. Reading books is a great way to get them to love words. Have them write poems about something that they love in life. Make it a challenge to see how many syllables they can get in the poem or what the biggest word that they can rhyme is.

3. Games – Using words while playing games is a great way to get your children engaged in language. Scrabble is one of the most famous word games in the world and is an excellent way to get your children thinking about ways to incorporate one word with another. It will help them to learn to form large words as well as learn how to spell correctly. There are a lot of other great games that can help them with vocabulary such as Scattergories. Trunk says that in her home they play Cards Against Humanity which is an x-rated game for adults but she said that her husband went through the game and turned it into a PG game (there are many cards that are not x-rated such as “jazz hands” and “object permanence”). She states that when her kids play this game with them they have a really great time. If they do not know what a word means they have to look it up in a dictionary. This helps her children to learn new words in a fun way.

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