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Top Tips For Helping Your Child With Their Vocabulary

photo of woman and girl talking while lying on bed

Developing a broad vocabulary benefits children in a number of ways. It helps them

communicate more effectively, strengthening social connections and family bonds. It

also helps them learn to read and write, giving them an advantage when they get to

school. Small children understand many words even before they start to talk in full

sentences, and from the moment a baby utters their first word their vocabulary will

begin to expand rapidly. It is important not to underestimate your influence on your

child’s vocabulary as there are many things you can do to help them learn more and

more each day. A nursery school in London has shared their top tips to help you on

your way.

Talk, Talk, Talk

Having sustained conversations with your child is the fastest way to help them

expand their vocabulary. Whether you’re at home or out and about, try to name and

describe the things that you come across to help them understand language in the

context of their surroundings. You could say things such as, “look at that tall tree, can you see how green the leaves are?” or “Shall we take a ride on the red bus this


Don’t Dumb it Down

When talking to children it’s easy to get into the habit of abbreviating words or

exclusively using very simple language. Although it may feel like this is just part of

helping them to learn to talk, in actual fact it could limit their potential for language

acquisition and means that they will have to relearn the correct way of pronouncing

words in the future. Be sure to use some complex vocabulary when talking to your

child, as this will help them to grasp the meaning of longer words at an earlier stage.

Read Together

Reading out loud to your child exposes them to the language they may not yet be able to

read themselves. It’s also a great way of helping them learn the meaning of words

they might not otherwise hear in day-to-day conversations. You don’t have to feel the

need to explain the meaning of every new word you come to, simply hearing them in

the context of the story will help your child develop understanding.

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