“Vocabulary is key to reading comprehension. Readers cannot understand what they are reading without knowing what most of the words mean” (Reading Rockets). There are several simple, no prep things that you can do to be intentional about helping your child learn new words.
Use Big Words
My first suggestion to help increase vocabulary is to use “big words”. Back in college, it was a strategy recommended for simple vocabulary practice for our students and I’ve been using it since. For example, instead of saying, “let’s sing the abc’s.” We could say, “let’s sing the alphabet.” Another example is when your child is playing and you’d like to offer your help, you can say, “call me if you need help or assistance and I’ll be right there.”
Read High Quality Children’s Books
Another way to incorporate “big words” into your daily routine is to read great children’s literature. High quality children’s literature will include more complex vocabulary and will continue to be engaging for your child even as they age. There are several places you can look to find really great children’s books. Three ways to find great children’s books include:
- Going to the local library and asking your librarian for help
- Getting a Broccoli Box Sensory Kit subscription - each kit includes high quality children’s literature
- Checking out Sarah McKenzie’s book lists at The Read Aloud Revival
Use Broccoli Boxes With Your Child
Finally, incorporating Broccoli Boxes into your routine can help you to be intentional about your vocabulary instruction. Each Broccoli Box is inspired by children’s literature and includes additional Ways to Play, which have ideas for using “big words” in your play. They also provide a variety of themes allowing you opportunities to naturally use words that you may not otherwise have a reason to use and therefore introducing your child to an even greater vocabulary.
What’s been your biggest struggle helping your child expand their vocabulary?