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5 Fun Ways to Improve Your Child’s Vocabulary

Aug 28, 2016
It’s no secret that a strong vocabulary helps foster comprehension, reading abilities, and communication skills. Undoubtedly, a solid vocabulary means your child will be better prepared for learning and hopefully develop the confidence that a lifelong love of education can provide. So as a parent, you should make it your responsibility to help your children learn new words.
Incorporating activities throughout the day to help expand their language abilities may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. That’s why Sylvan Learning Center wants to offer you 5 fun ways to improve your child’s vocabulary. So remember parents, you are not just a mommy or daddy. You are also a teacher!
#1 It’s Play Time
“Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”
One of the best ways to help children learn is through play. So whenever you’re able to get some movement and action into the learning process, children will naturally absorb the information a little easier. That’s why helping your child write a play is one of the best (and funniest) vocabulary building activities you can do.
You’ll basically want to find (Google) some excellent age-appropriate words that you can throw into your play’s dialogue. Of course the idea is to utilize the words in the proper context, so make sure to help those little guys (or teenagers) develop the play as needed. Plus, your play can have any number of characters, which means you can get the entire family involved.
Who knows? You might just have little Shakespeare on your hands.
#2 Game Time
There are a variety of board games available out there that will definitely help to improve your kiddos vocabulary and spelling. Two of the most well known are the classic Scrabble and Words With Friends - which are basically the same game albeit miniscule differences. Other old-school favorites are Boggle and Hangman. Plus, with the advent of tablets and smartphones, apps like 7 Little Words can change a quick downtime into an educational experience...just mind those minutes.
#3 Graffiti Vocabulary
Vocabulary words associated with specific concepts are so much easier for children (and adults) to retain. Also, taking into consideration that your child just might be a visual learner, it makes perfect sense to develop a vocabulary graffiti wall in your kid’s bedroom. Drawing once again from your age-appropriate vocabulary list, have you son(s) or daughter(s) draw out the vocabulary word in big bubble letters. Then have them describe the term using their own words. Last, and most importantly, have them draw as many images as possible to help represent that term. Make sure all the space on the sheet is colored in and encourage creative drawings. Think about using crayons, markers, paint, or any medium to get your little Picasso roaring through those vocabulary words.
#4 Tic-Tac-Toe
This offshoot of the traditional tic-tac-toe works better if you have multiple children who can play against each other.
What you’ll want to do as mediator is provide an equally challenging, age appropriate, word for each contestant (a.k.a. the kids). If the child is able to correctly tell you the meaning, then they are able to put down an X or O. Now, just like your old-school tic-tac-toe, the first one to place three in a row is the winner. Though relatively simplistic, the competitive nature of the game will definitely invigorate the youngsters to try their best.
Also, think about providing some small “rewards” for the winners. Gummi bears, tootsie rolls, Goldfish, and even fruit like cherries, can be used to incentivize.
#5 Fun Camps
Take this activity to the next level by having your child enjoy an awesome STEM-related course at one of your local Sylvan Learning Centers of the Rio Grande Valley. Sylvan’s EDGE classes provide children an opportunity to learn a variety of new cutting-edge technical terms when they join programs like Robotics, Engineering, Coding, or Math Essentials. Best of all, they’re amazingly engaging.
Reach your local Sylvan at 956-682-9800 and find out how we can help build your child’s vocabulary!