How to increase your child’s vocabulary

How to increase your child's vocabulary

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Vocabulary is one of the main components of the Primary School English syllabus. It is therefore important for you to expand your vocabulary if you are a primary school student.

Knowing a great variety of words is helpful when writing compositions too. Have you ever experienced situations when you wanted to say something but just could not find the right words to express yourself? It is frustrating, isn’t it?

To help students write better, we need to provide ways for them to increase the number of words in their ‘vocabulary library’.

We have prepared these 300 vocabulary cards for our students. These are words that students can use in their English compositions. They include phrases to describe characters’ feelings, as well as vivid verbs to describe actions.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THESE 300 FREE VOCABULARY CARDS

The following are a few practical ways for children to widen their range of vocabulary.

1. Read widely.

Reading is a wonderful way to expand your vocabulary. When you are reading, you will inevitably come across words and phrases that are new to you. The good thing about encountering such new words and phrases during reading is that you are able to learn their meaning in context. Most of the time, you will be able to guess the meaning of some of these new words and phrases, based on the context of the story.

2. Look up the meaning of new and unfamiliar words.

If you are not able to guess the meaning of new and unfamiliar words, it is always a good idea to check the dictionary. Whenever my own children come across words that are unfamiliar to them, I usually get them to look up the meaning in the dictionary.

A favourite online dictionary for children is the Learners’ Dictionary. What I like about this online dictionary is the simple definition provided. There is a section on Vocabulary too, where the editors have identified 3,000 core vocabulary for learners.

3. Use the new words you have learnt as soon as possible.

To retain the new words and phrases learnt, look for the soonest possible opportunity to use them. The more you use those new words, either in speech or writing, the easier it is to retain them.

4. Learn one or two new words or phrases a day.

A more direct way of expanding your vocabulary is to proactively learn one or two new words a day. You can get a vocabulary notebook or journal and write down one to two new words each day. Look up the meaning of those new words and form a sentence with each. If possible, use them in your writing or conversations during the day. You can get new words from story books you are reading or any vocabulary lists available. Print out this ‘Reading With A Purpose’ sheet to help you write down new words from the books you are reading.

5. Write more.

Writing forces you to put your thoughts into words. When you are writing, you have to look for the correct words and phrases to express yourself. This makes writing one of the most practical ways to use your vocabulary. Without a good range of vocabulary, your writing is limited.

Another useful exercise to do after writing, is to underline those words that you can replace. Think of another word that you can use instead. This challenges you to dig into your mental library of words for synonyms or less commonly used words. This leads us to the next point.

6. Use new words in your writing.

Now, when you are writing, do not just write with words that you are comfortable using. Explore new ways of expressing your thoughts and ideas. Ask yourself, “Is there a better way of expressing this? Is there a better word or phrase to use?” Constantly remind and challenge yourself to use the new words that you have learnt when you are writing.

For example, if you have always used the word ‘excited’, challenge yourself to use other words or phrases to describe excitement. How about ‘enthusiastic’, ‘exhilarated’ or ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’?

Here is another example. If you have always used the word ‘delicious’ to describe food, challenge yourself to use a different word or description, such as, ‘sumptuous’, ‘savoury’ or ‘flavourful’.

Note that the words do not have to be bombastic or complicated. Very often, simple words can create vivid descriptions.

7. Use specific adjectives, verbs and nouns instead of general ones.

Make it a point to use specific words in your writing and speech. It is easy to use general terms as you do not have to put much thought to it. For example, it is effortless to describe something as ‘nice’. However, what do you mean by ‘nice’?

Using specific terms forces you to search in your library of words for the most suitable word or phrase.

For example, instead of describing a movie, cake or dress as ‘nice’, use specific adjectives, such as ‘a captivating movie’, ‘a beautifully-decorated cake’ or ‘a stunning or attractive dress’.

Besides adjectives, use specific verbs (or vivid verbs) to describe actions.

For example, instead of ‘Jack ate his lunch’, use a specific verb to describe the way he ate. Such as,

Jack gobbled up his lunch.

Jack nibbled at his lunch.

Jack swallowed his lunch.

Notice that each verb conveys a different meaning and paints a different image in the readers’ minds.

It takes effort to widen your range of vocabulary. However, the effort you put in is worthwhile when you see your storehouse of words growing by the day and your writing improving!

At a Glance

If you’re concerned about your child’s vocabulary, there are many at-home ways to boost it.

Kids who practice new words often do better with reading and at school.

Using new words and playing fun games can help your child learn more vocabulary.

There’s a strong connection between understanding words and understanding what you read. This means that kids who learn and think differently often do better at reading comprehension when they spend more time learning, practicing and understanding words.

Here are some at-home teaching methods to try that will improve your child’s vocabulary.

1. Describe the word.

Provide a description of each new word you introduce. For example, maybe you’re teaching your child the word merchant, which is common in upper elementary social studies textbooks. You can talk with your child about the local merchants in your town. What kinds of stores are in your town? What do they sell?

2. Say it your way.

Once you’ve described a new word, it helps to ask kids to come up with their own way to describe it. For example, after explaining how fortunate you are to have such a nice family, your son or daughter might explain how fortunate they feel to have the latest video game.

3. Act it out.

By acting out a word, your child is bound to better understand it. This may be particularly helpful if your child has lots of energy and loves to run around. The new word frolic, for example, can come alive through jumping around like a puppy, goat, or lamb. Why not bring the fun outdoors as well? Frolic in the garden, yard or along the sidewalk.

4. Quick draw.

Get some pencils and paper. Without using actual words, draw a quick sketch of what the new word is. For the word, reluctant, you might decide to represent it by drawing a person standing at the edge of swimming pool with only one toe in the water. Your child, who is reluctant to eat vegetables, might draw a big bowl of broccoli and a frown face next to it.

5. Analyze this.

Teach your child the meanings of common prefixes, suffixes and root words . For example, the prefix multi- means many and the suffix –less means not or without. Geo is a root word that means earth, as in geology. Recognizing these patterns will help your child with word meanings and understanding.

6. Write a story.

Using a list of new words, ask your child to be an author and write a story. In order to do this well, your child will need to use all of the words correctly. Bringing words together into story-form from a list will take imagination. Encourage your child to be creative and have fun.

7. Tell me once, tell me twice…

Use the new word all the time. So, if the word is essential, you might talk about what is essential to pack for a camping trip or have a discussion about what is essential for happiness. A checklist of essential chores might help remind your child to walk the dog, do homework and set the table before dinner.

Key Takeaways

Drawing, acting out and writing stories will boost your child’s ability to understand and retain new words.

Practice the words over and over and use them all the time around the house.

Encourage your child to describe words when prompted and tell you about them.

Share

About the Author

About the Author

Ginny Osewalt is a dually certified elementary and special education teacher with more than 15 years of experience in general education, inclusion, resource room, and self-contained settings.

Did you find this helpful?

Recommended for you

Stay informed

Sign up for weekly emails containing helpful resources for you and your family

Review our privacy policy. You can opt out of emails at any time by sending a request to [email protected]

“Understood” as used above includes Understood For All Inc., and their officers, affiliates, parents, and related entities, and their respective employees, contractors, or other personnel.

root words

Share 7 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Vocabulary

Coming soon Google Classroom

Share 7 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Vocabulary

At a Glance

If you’re concerned about your child’s vocabulary, there are many at-home ways to boost it.

Kids who practice new words often do better with reading and at school.

Using new words and playing fun games can help your child learn more vocabulary.

There’s a strong connection between understanding words and understanding what you read. This means that kids who learn and think differently often do better at reading comprehension when they spend more time learning, practicing and understanding words.

Here are some at-home teaching methods to try that will improve your child’s vocabulary.

1. Describe the word.

Provide a description of each new word you introduce. For example, maybe you’re teaching your child the word merchant, which is common in upper elementary social studies textbooks. You can talk with your child about the local merchants in your town. What kinds of stores are in your town? What do they sell?

2. Say it your way.

Once you’ve described a new word, it helps to ask kids to come up with their own way to describe it. For example, after explaining how fortunate you are to have such a nice family, your son or daughter might explain how fortunate they feel to have the latest video game.

3. Act it out.

By acting out a word, your child is bound to better understand it. This may be particularly helpful if your child has lots of energy and loves to run around. The new word frolic, for example, can come alive through jumping around like a puppy, goat, or lamb. Why not bring the fun outdoors as well? Frolic in the garden, yard or along the sidewalk.

4. Quick draw.

Get some pencils and paper. Without using actual words, draw a quick sketch of what the new word is. For the word, reluctant, you might decide to represent it by drawing a person standing at the edge of swimming pool with only one toe in the water. Your child, who is reluctant to eat vegetables, might draw a big bowl of broccoli and a frown face next to it.

5. Analyze this.

Teach your child the meanings of common prefixes, suffixes and root words . For example, the prefix multi- means many and the suffix –less means not or without. Geo is a root word that means earth, as in geology. Recognizing these patterns will help your child with word meanings and understanding.

6. Write a story.

Using a list of new words, ask your child to be an author and write a story. In order to do this well, your child will need to use all of the words correctly. Bringing words together into story-form from a list will take imagination. Encourage your child to be creative and have fun.

7. Tell me once, tell me twice…

Use the new word all the time. So, if the word is essential, you might talk about what is essential to pack for a camping trip or have a discussion about what is essential for happiness. A checklist of essential chores might help remind your child to walk the dog, do homework and set the table before dinner.

Key Takeaways

Drawing, acting out and writing stories will boost your child’s ability to understand and retain new words.

Practice the words over and over and use them all the time around the house.

Encourage your child to describe words when prompted and tell you about them.

Share

About the Author

About the Author

Ginny Osewalt is a dually certified elementary and special education teacher with more than 15 years of experience in general education, inclusion, resource room, and self-contained settings.

Did you find this helpful?

Recommended for you

Stay informed

Sign up for weekly emails containing helpful resources for you and your family

Review our privacy policy. You can opt out of emails at any time by sending a request to [email protected]

“Understood” as used above includes Understood For All Inc., and their officers, affiliates, parents, and related entities, and their respective employees, contractors, or other personnel.

root words

Share 7 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Vocabulary

Coming soon Google Classroom

Share 7 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Vocabulary

The learning and the proper understanding of vocabulary are important for a child so as to gain academic excellence. It helps a child to adapt ideas and think more logically. In addition, it also helps in boosting up the power of communication in a more engaging way. Therefore, the process of improvisation of your child’s vocabulary should be started at an early stage to create a lifelong love for reading and writing. It is good to increase slowly instead of being quick and forcing your kid to learn.

Introduce a new word each week

Introduce a new word each week and along with it describe the word in detail. For example, if you have introduced the word ‘shopkeeper’ to your child, then try to explain this word with the help of some practical examples and show your kid who is a shopkeeper, what does he/she do, how they are helpful to a society, etc. This will help your child to understand the correct usage of the word and will also interpret its correct meaning. Another tip is to use funny words, as this will add some extra enjoyment to the task of learning new words.

Remember, do not overdo it. Do not introduce too many words at a time as your kid may get confused and puzzled. For more advanced learners, you might want to introduce more difficult and unusual words, like xerothermic or these 12 words beginning with X.

Read the story aloud for your child

Reading aloud is one of the most effective ways of increasing vocabulary in a child. It not only increases the understanding but also enhances the communication in a child. Take the help of a picture book to demonstrate the correct usage of words. Picture books are usually bright in colours and hence catch the attention of a child. In addition to the reading aloud, it is good if you interact with your child too. You can ask them what they understood, and what they are seeing in the book, what does this picture mean, etc. You can also connect the story with your child’s activity so as to present a practical scenario. For example, if a picture shows ‘a child with a book’, then you can tell your child ‘‘as you are reading your favourite book, so as this boy too.’’

Allow your child to read book independently

Encourage your child to read their favourite book independently. Help them to pronounce any new word correctly and explain the meaning of that new word. Allow them to make mistakes while reading books as mistakes are important to be right. If your child is old enough to understand a child’s dictionary, then introduce the same and encourage them to use that too. Magazines, newspapers, storybooks, etc can be helpful if your child is interested to read. You can even take a look at these 5 techniques to encourage your child to read with no books involved.

Children who read more understand and use large vocabulary as compared to the kids who do not read.

Use activities

There are many learning-based activities available which you can take as a help to improve your child’s vocabulary. Games like Scrabble Jr., Upwords, crosswords for kids, etc. and many other mind games can be used to enhance their vocabulary skills. These games are so interesting that your child may not even realise that they are learning too while playing. Also they can help in increasing the thinking and concentrating power in a child. You can also use role-playing and these 8 image prompts games to encourage team work and improve communication skills.

Converse in a daily routine

It is good if you converse with your child while doing your daily activities. You can talk through your activities and encourage your child to participate in the conversation. When your child comes back from school then ask them about their day and encourage them to share their whereabouts and how their day was. This will help to reduce the hesitation which is usually there in a child unless he starts communicating with others.

Drawing

Drawing is helpful in many ways. In terms of improving vocabulary, drawing can do a miracle. It depicts the understanding level of a person whether it’s a child or an adult. Ask your child to draw a picture of a new word. For example, if you have introduced the word ‘play’ then according to you the image will be like two kids playing together, whereas for your child it can be simply a ball. Both imaginations conclude to the same word ‘play’. So you see drawing gives a clear understanding of a new term. Hence why drawing can be an effective way to improve your child’s vocabulary.

Correct mistakes with care

You may observe that your child is making mistakes while conversing and pronouncing new words. In this case, do not make fun of this or reprimand. Correct the mistakes gently and let them understand how this mistake can be avoided and what the correct usage can be. This will enhance the confidence in your child and will let them use the words correctly in the future. The gentler the correction, the more positive the results will be.

Be patient

While teaching and improving vocabulary, you may find that there is repetition of the same thing. However, you need to be patient as this situation is completely normal and fine. A child develops at its own pace, and there is no matter of taking the stress and losing hope. Therefore, be patient and energetic as this all takes time but the results are fruitful.

How to increase your child's vocabulary

How to increase your child's vocabulary

Lives with a notion “Simple Living, High Thinking” and have an optimistic approach towards life. Always eager to learn new things. She is the founder of a Parenting website called Budding Star.

Help your preschooler learn new words to establish early reading skills

  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin

Andrea Rice is an award-winning journalist and a freelance writer, editor, and fact checker specializing in health and wellness.

Before a child can learn to read, they need to have a good, well-rounded understanding of basic words and what they mean. And while that may sound a bit overwhelming, there are very easy ways that you can build a preschooler’s vocabulary and introduce early reading concepts. In fact, you probably do a whole lot of them normally, throughout the course of your day or week without even noticing it.

From reading aloud to your preschooler to simply engaging in conversation, you are helping your little one learn words—how they work, what they mean, how they are the same, how they are different and much more.

Parents can help with language skills even when their child has speech delays.   In fact, the more that parents do to help children overcome challenges, the better prepared the child will be for kindergarten.

Parents of children with disorders such as autism, apraxia of speech, and stuttering issues may want to consult with a speech therapist before getting started.   Often, therapists can recommend effective techniques for building spoken and receptive language skills.

Here are some easy and fun vocabulary-building activities that you can do every day that will help you teach your child new words.

Visit the Library

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

JGI / Tom Grill / Blend Images / Getty Images

If you are looking for a great place to start building your preschooler’s vocabulary and early reading skills, look no further than your local library. Research shows a strong correlation between library use and literacy-building skills in young children.   If you aren’t sure what to do when you get there, ask your librarian for help.

Just being around a place where there are a lot of books and literary references will go a long way to helping your preschooler feel comfortable about reading.

Children’s libraries often have fun and engaging events and activities for young children, which will expose them to new words and give them an opportunity to socialize.

How to increase your child's vocabulary

Does your child’s writing seem uninspired, boring, or repetitive? It could boil down to vocabulary! Give them a boost by helping them improve word choices. Here are some painless ways to increase your child’s vocabulary.

1. Be a Writing Role Model

You’ve heard that if you want your kids to become readers, they need to see you reading. Likewise, to raise writers, make sure they see you writing. When you give your children a writing assignment, why not stop to write alongside them?

  • Draw attention to your writing. Point out times that you use writing to communicate with others.
  • Talk about writing opportunities. Explain the purpose for each kind of writing and the target audience, handwriting vs. computer, etc.
  • Let your child see you prepare for a Bible study, keep a gratitude journal, or take notes during church.
  • Have your child help you write thank-you notes and letters, even such routine ones as ordering items from an advertisement or writing a letter of praise or complaint to a company. This helps the child to see firsthand that writing is important to adults and truly useful.
  • Take time to write in your journals together. If you need inspiration, here are 101 journal-writing ideas to get you started.
  • Become your child’s pen pal!

2. Assign Copywork

Copywork has so many benefits, including providing students with excellent writing models. You can use various copywork passages as opportunities to look up unfamiliar words, which is a great way to naturally expand your children’s vocabulary.

You can purchase a resource specifically intended for the purpose of copying. Or simply encourage copying Bible verses, hymns, favorite poems, passages of literature, or famous quotations.

3. Make Lists

Making lists is an effective writing tool for all ages—and one of the ways to increase your child’s vocabulary. Most kids like to create lists anyway, but writing out lists—from the mundane to the meaningful—also helps them become more organized. Taken a step further, when list-making is used as a brainstorming tool, it can even help them plan the elements of a story or essay. And it’s a great way to build context-specific vocabulary.

  • Show them how you keep a calendar, make grocery lists, write daily to-do lists, add to an ongoing list of projects, etc. Then your kids can make their own lists of schoolwork, dates for soccer practice and games, family birthdays, etc.
  • Ask them to inventory furniture in a room or items in a junk drawer, jewelry box, or medicine cabinet. Talk about different ways to name common objects.
  • Invite them to make lists of their various personal possessions such as baseball cards, stuffed animals, shoes, or CDs. Collections, such as seashells or Matchbox cars, often have specific or specialized names. Learning these helps contribute to vocabulary growth.
  • Help them create word lists. These can be specific (word bank about nature), or general (list of adjectives that add sparkle to dull writing). For example, kids can make a list of texture words such as rough or slippery, or character qualities such as gentle, brave, or faithful. Then, let them use a thesaurus [aff] to lookupsynonyms for that word to expand the list … and grow their writing vocabulary!

Looking for more ways to increase your child’s vocabulary? Try these:

How to increase your child's vocabulary

To succeed in school and beyond, children need to build a robust vocabulary. Kids learn a lot from the adults in their lives and there are many ways you can help your child learn new words. We reached out to University of Michigan Education Professor Nell Duke for some tips you can use at home to expand your child’s vocabulary.

“Goldilocks principle”

Try not to overdo it. Professor Nell Duke recommends applying the “Goldilocks Principle” when trying to teach your child new words: not too many words at one time and not too few. A rule of thumb is to choose five unfamiliar new words for your child to learn each week. See how often everyone in the family can use those words in everyday conversation.

Multiple exposure

Typically, a child needs to hear a new word 4 to 12 times before it is added to his vocabulary. When you introduce your child to a new word, try to keep a mental note of it and work to use it again in your conversations with your child. It is also important to use the word in a variety of different contexts, wherever it applies. Don’t be afraid to throw in a word that you had focused on previously as well. Repeated exposure is one of the best ways to master new vocabulary words.

Not black or white

Many people see learning new vocabulary as a very black or white issue; either you know the word or you don’t. However, expanding one’s vocabulary really exists on a sliding scale. There are words that you have heard before but you don’t actually know the definition. There are words that you understand when other people say them but you would never use yourself in daily conversation. Then there are words that you regularly use in the course of your daily life. Kids go through this as well as they develop their vocabulary. Try not to restrict yourself to only using words that your child knows, and don’t stress if your child doesn’t use the same word you do to refer to an object or item. For example, instead of calling a helmet a “helmet,” your child may call it a “hat.” After a while, though, she will begin to understand the subtle difference between the two and start referring to it as a “helmet.”

Make words concrete

As you are teaching your child new words, it is important to help visualize them. For nouns, show your child a picture of it by searching online, or showing a picture in a book or magazine. If it is an adjective, find things that can be described using the word. For example, if you come across “scratchy,” point out the scratchiness of sand paper or a man’s chin. With verbs, try acting out the word with your child. Children love moving around as you explore the words “prance” or “prowl.”

See it, say it, write it

In order for your child to actually learn a new vocabulary word, he needs to be able to read it, say it, and write it. If your child comes across a word in a book and asks you how to pronounce it, encourage him to repeat the word out loud after you say it. Similarly, if your child hears a new word in the course of conversation that is unfamiliar, spell the word out for him and have him write it down on a piece of paper so that he can see the word.

Read daily

Books are the number one way to expose kids to a richer vocabulary. As often as possible, read books with your child. When she comes to a word that she doesn’t know, give your child a quick kid-friendly definition and continue reading. It’s important not to have a big pause about the fact that she didn’t know the word. When you finish reading the story, go back to the word again and ask her if she remembers how to say it.

Ditch the dictionary

Despite popular belief, dictionaries aren’t that great at helping kids with vocab since some definitions include words that may be unfamiliar to your child. Duke recommends taking the time to figure out the definition with your child by using context clues, or the other words around it. Short on time? Give your child a kid-friendly version of the same word instead of having them look it up in the dictionary.

Show how you learn new words

When you come across a word that you don’t know, point it out to your child. Describe to him how you were able to determine its meaning by using context clues. By explaining this process out loud, you will help show your child what he can do when he comes across an unfamiliar word. Highlight the fact that you still learn new words as well.

New words are everywhere

Help your child build her vocabulary by taking her to new places and exposing her to different ideas. Visit your local zoo or the nearest museum and have your child describe the various animals and exhibits that she sees. Take your child along with you as you run off to the bank, the grocery store, or the post office, and see what new words you can discover.

Words with multiple meanings

Kids are often challenged by words that have multiple meanings. English is full of these types of words, such as “days” and “daze.” It is important for parents to be aware that kids will need help in this area. In fact, you might think that a child understands a joke that relies on word play because of their laughter, but actually most children aren’t able to understand these types of riddles until at least the third grade. To help your child understand the different uses for the same word, ask him to explain the word’s meaning. For example, if he uses the word “bat,” ask if he meant the dark creature that flies at night or the wooden stick used in baseball.

The basis of a lifelong love and talent for learning may very well be a solid vocabulary. A strong vocabulary helps foster understanding, communication, and reading ability. That’s why parents should do what they can to help kids learn new words.

It may seem like common sense, but simple activities that can help your children expand their vocabulary often get pushed aside in day to day life. Consider these oft-overlooked ways to help your child develop an impressive vocabulary for years to come. Like it or not, you’re their teacher for all aspects of life !

How to Teach Young Kids Budgeting Habits Early On

Teaching your kids early to work within a budget pays off big for them down the road. Even when…

Use Grown-Up Words in Normal Conversations

While you want your children to understand you, that doesn’t mean you can’t introduce “big” words into their vocabulary. Pepper your conversations with words your child probably won’t understand, but ones you’d likely use in conversation with an adult. Be sure to encourage your children to ask for clarification when they don’t understand something, and be prepared to pause and explain. By not dumbing-down the way you speak to your kids, they’ll pick up new words as you use them.

Let Your Child Tell the Story

Perhaps you read nightly to your child or take turns doing so. Of course, this is an excellent way to expand reading and vocabulary skills. However, on occasion, feel free to put the book down and ask your child to create a story to tell you. You may want to provide the setting (a pirate ship, for example) and a problem the characters must face (stranded on a haunted island). Then, let your child take the reigns to wherever his or her imagination leads.

Be sure to ask rhetorical questions during the story in order to introduce new words and concepts. If your child says, “The island was really hot,” you could ask, “Was it a tropical island?” Make a point to use new words in regular conversations thereafter. Forcing them to articulate their ideas will have them reaching for new words, and you can also help them along with suggestions.

Converse Regularly

In the same vein as having them tell stories, one way to improve your young child’s vocabulary is by simply talking more. Start conversations frequently. For younger kids like toddlers and babies, you can just give them a play-by-play of your daily activities: “Now I’m putting the cookies in the oven,” or, “I’m getting ready to go to work.”

Kids constantly absorb everything they hear. The more they hear you speak, the more you can teach them. As kids get older, give them a chance to speak more and practice their burgeoning vocabulary on you.

Play Word Games

We all know about Scrabble, but there are a variety of other word games you can play with children. Several old-school favorites are Boggle, Hangman, and Apples to Apples. Further, seize on the value of your smartphone by downloading apps like 7 Little Words, What’s the Word , and Word Stack . Apps like these can turn a few minutes waiting in line or riding in the car into an educational event. No doubt your kids are always trying to get ahold of your phone or tablet to play games, so these sorts of apps offer an opportunity to trick them into learning.

Label Household Items

Using post-it notes to label household items is a fantastic way to introduce young children to an array of words. This is great for youngsters who are still learning simple words. No matter what age they’re at—even if they’re not talking yet—children will learn to associate the written word with the item it’s attached to. Review each item with your child; pronounce the word and ask them (if old enough) to do the same. Lamps, clocks, beds, and kitchen items such as salt and pepper shakers are all items you can label—though anything in your home that your child interacts with works.