Vocabulary is typically the easiest to learn as a young child, and the acquisition of a broad vocabulary can help any kid succeed in life. However, not all kids learn at the same pace, especially if your kid has special needs like autism. But that doesn’t mean they cannot enjoy learning and reading. There are learning centers or schools that specialize in reading programs for children with autism.
But to truly expand a child’s vocabulary skills, it pays to help them yourself. As a parent, you likely have more influence on your kids than anyone else.
While there are numerous methods to communicate the joy and meaning of words, here are the best and most effective exercises to expand your kid’s vocabulary skills to the next level.
Talk To Your Child Regularly
Young children, especially in their toddlerhood, are like sponges, so you must immerse them in language right from the beginning. In fact, experts say that the number of words kids learn in the early years of their lives is closely related to their future success. The best way you can introduce and expose them to vocabulary is by interacting with them regularly. So talk to them, and try introducing words that explain emotions, objects, or numbers.
Read Books With Them
Start reading books to them while they’re young, and it’s best to begin using simple picture books with short sentences on each page. As your kid grows, gradually increase the stories’ complexity while keeping them engaged by reading with them and asking them questions about the story, such as whom the characters are and what they’re doing.
Don’t worry if you’re not sticking to the exact words on the pages. After all, you’re not teaching your child to read, but you’re expanding their vocabulary—and engagement is more important than accuracy.
Let your kid create their own stories and ask questions so you can introduce new words to them with similar meanings, giving the child the context of understanding. For instance, if your child says, ‘It was really small,’ you could respond, ‘It must have been tiny.’ You can make them understand it more by providing an example of the word, such as ‘Remember that really small apple we got at the supermarket? That was a tiny apple.’
You can build on their basic comprehension of well-known words using labels to name commonly used items to help them recognize what it looks like. For instance, if you separate your kid’s toys into different bins of similar items, label the containers, such as ‘blocks’ or ‘dolls.’
Encourage Your Children to Read and Write By Themselves
Reading and writing contribute to better vocabulary while promoting the correct and regular usage of new words. You can instill this into your child’s routine by getting them a library card and taking them regularly to borrow books at the library. It’s wise to emphasize the importance of reading by staying away from gadgets for a certain period and reading as a family. Additionally, take some time off your day and teach your child to write. You can start with simple phrases and evolve to more complex sentences as they grow older, and reward them when they do it properly.
Linking fun and anticipation (rewards) with reading and writing in their early years will more likely continue the practice as they grow older.
As a parent, the greatest gift you can give your kids while they’re young is expanded vocabulary—helping them communicate and live better while molding themselves to be the best version they can be.