During the holidays, children are off of school, families are spending time together, the weather is changing, and everyone is eating delicious food! Parents can use this time off as the perfect time to do vocabulary building activities.
5 Fun Vocabulary Building Activities:
- Make Lists: Creating a list of items can help increase your child’s vocabulary. If you create lists with your child of grocery items, gifts needed, or even locations, it can help to promote language development and thought organization. Children can begin to associate new words (e.g., stuffing, cranberries, gravy) with the holidays and may be more likely to use these words appropriately.
- Words in Context: Targeting and explaining new winter words in context can help to improve your child’s vocabulary. Saying things like, “look at the snowman,” “the icicle is hanging from the tree,” or “look at those children sledding,” will reinforce the new words and encourage usage. When children use new words appropriately praise them, and if necessary model a different use.
- Read Aloud: Reading aloud to your child is extremely beneficial for vocabulary building. When reading stories, emphasizing and reinforcing new words will enhance vocabulary skills, and asking questions while reading encourages understanding (e.g., what did the Polar Bear see?). If age appropriate, ask your child to retell the story (or part of the story). This will allow him or her to use new vocabulary words in context.
- Stress: Exaggerating words or concepts can help children identify information that may be new or unknown. By putting stress on new vocabulary words, children will learn appropriate times to use these important new words. When emphasizing, try changing volume (louder/softer) or even try singing to make word learning more fun!
- Get Crafty: Making decorations for your house around the holidays can be a great way to target vocabulary. Your children practice new words with a practical application by making turkey decorations, carving pumpkins, coloring a menorah, making ornaments, or even popsicle picture frames. Hanging and displaying your child’s artwork will not only give them a sense of accomplishment, but will also reinforce new vocabulary words!