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Fun Ways to Help Your Kid Develop a Rich Vocabulary
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- January 29, 2023
Children grow up so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that they were newborns, and now you see them crawling, walking, and becoming increasingly fascinated with the world around them.
As your baby grows into a toddler, you will begin to hear that endearingly sweet voice form words. Your baby’s language development will progress at an incredible rate from infancy to around three years of age. Babies begin learning how to express themselves through oral language by observing how they communicate with others and imitating the sounds around them. How to increase toddler vocabulary might puzzle you as a parent!
Parents must support and guide their children through the various stages of their developmental milestones at this time. It is important to remember that language development and vocabulary building in children who are just starting to talk will occur at their own, individual pace. When babies show signs of wanting to talk, here are some simple ways to encourage them.
How to increase toddler vocabulary – simple: Talk to them! It may appear absurd to converse with your baby as you would with a friend or family member. According to research, exposing children to a large number of words and a diverse vocabulary during their first three years can significantly improve their language skills and intellectual development. Children who are spoken to more frequently in their first few years have IQs that are higher than those who aren’t.
Instead of saying ‘goo goo’ and ‘gaga’ to your child, use proper words in meaningful conversation. For example, you can describe your day to your child using descriptive words such as, ‘Wasn’t it a fun day at the park today?’ You could even include your tiny tot in the cooking process. ‘These bright orange carrots are delicious and healthy,’ you can say. ‘Do you want to try them, little darling?’
Even if your child can only respond with gurgles or babbling inarticulate sounds (as infants aged 4 to 12 months do), rest assured that your words are being absorbed, so keep talking.
Introduce your child to the joys of reading from the very beginning. Choose a time when neither of you are tired to read so that you can both enjoy this bonding and learning experience. To make it more engaging, read it aloud and use intonation and voicing styles.
You may also deviate from what is written on the page. Use the photos as a guide when interacting with your baby. For example, you could say, ‘Look at the little boy and his dog!’ They’re chasing after a big red ball.’ You are also introducing new words into their vocabulary while providing visual support through the book’s illustrations.
Parentese, also known as motherese, refers to the specific language used to communicate with a baby in a high-pitched, singsong voice accompanied by exaggerated facial expressions. It has been discovered that this type of speech also encourages babies to pay more attention to the speaker and to process the difference between words and their arrangement in a sentence.
Parentese is preferable to baby talk, which is an unproductive way of making sounds that contributes nothing to your baby’s language development.
Rhyme and Sing
The repetitive use of words, combined with catchy tunes in children’s songs, aids in the development of phonemic awareness. These nursery rhymes and songs allow you to change the sounds in words like “cat” to “bat,” “rat,” or “fat.” It’s also a fun way to teach your baby new words.
Aside from books, you can find copies or samples of these rhymes and songs online. There are numerous vocabulary game apps also available on smartphones and tablets.
Go on a Trip
Going out and showing your child the world is another fantastic way to expose them to new words and phrases.
Books and shows are helpful, but so is taking your child for a walk in the park, a trip to the zoo, or even a quick trip to the supermarket. All of the colorful things around us can serve as excellent educational materials for a baby who is just learning about the world we live in.
Point out interesting things (although most would be to a baby’s mind) such as the “huge, yellow sign” or the “tall, leafy tree.” At the market, use adjectives to describe items such as “the big, freezing tub of ice cream” or “the fluffy, brown teddy bear.”
Teach Words by Using Words
To learn words, your child must be exposed to as many as possible words that you can share with them. Engaging your baby in conversation, showing them the world around them, and using rhymes and songs can help them develop their language skills and vocabulary.
Remember that each child progresses at their rate in reaching developmental milestones. Consult your pediatrician for a general guide on how to identify the stages that your child is supposed to go through so that you can better assist in improving and enhancing your child’s growth.
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