This month we participated in the Scholastics Kid’s 20 for 20. We comitted to spend 20 minutes reading to JDub every day for 20 days. He loves it and he is learning tons of new words. We usually spend a lot longer with out nose in the books. We make a weekly trip to the library to stock up and keep it fresh. I can’t wait until JDub gets to go to the Scholastics book fairs at school. They are one of my favorite memories of elementary school.
It is always an exciting time in your children’s lives when they begin to talk. It is just such an awesome experience as a parent to hear that little baby voice speak their first words. Once they begin talking you just want to hear them talk and talk all the time. It is our jobs as parents to help our kids grow each an every day and that includes their speech. There are a ton of really great things and exercises that you can do with your little ones to expand their vocabulary and get them to be a little talking machine.
-Talk to Them: A very simple way to get some new vocab and information into your toddler’s life is to simply talk to them. As you have basic conversations with them on a day to day basis they will hear what you are saying and trust me, they will ask questions about words that they have never heard of. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much they remember.
-Introduce One New Word a Day: A great routine to get into with your child is to introduce one new word for them and focus on that word for the day. They make a ton of great children’s editions of word calendars. Each day has a new word for them to learn the definition of and you can focus on that one word by doing a craft to represent that word, or maybe making up a song all about that word.
-Play Word Games: Another great way to create memories of new words into your children’s lives is to play word games with them. You can get things like flash cards to show them the words and have them define them. You could also use various objects to create a relation between that object and the word.
-Rewards: Finally, rewards are always a great way to encourage your kids to have a wider vocabulary. Praise your child or possibly even reward them with a sticker or a favorite treat when they use a word that they have learned in the past couple of days. This will encourage them to continue using these words until the point that it becomes natural for them.
-Read to Them: Just like talking to them, reading to them helps them hear the words and also associate with pictures. It is recommended to spend 20-30 minutes a day reading with your child. We try to visit our local library at least once a week and chose a new variety of books.