Improving Your Kids' Vocabulary Skills

Improving Your Kids' Vocabulary Skills

A child should be able to understand basic words first before learning how to read. / Photo by: Getty Images


Most people eventually disregard the habit of expanding their vocabulary in their native language. Learning new words is often seen as something related to tedious studying, which is why most adults don't actively seek out new words to improve their vocabulary. But in children, developing the habit of expanding their range of vocabulary can be beneficial as much as it can be enjoyed both in academics and other aspects of life.

Before they learn how to read, children should have a good understanding of basic words and the meaning behind them. Although this may sound overwhelming, there are easy ways that parents can do help in developing their child's vocabulary and even introduce early reading concepts.

Expanding the Vocabulary Can Make You Smarter

According to, learning new words can actually increase a person's intelligence. Researchers at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience-National Central University in Taiwan investigated on the effect of learning new vocabulary on various regions of the brain. The found that the correlation between vocabulary, intelligence, and real-world ability exists from an early age and well into adulthood.

It basically expands the working memory and the ability to effectively communicate with one's surroundings, slowly developing perspectives as well as ways to communicate.

The working memory is able to store loads of information so learning new words can actually help in making additional ways to hold and recall information. New words are placed in long-term memory and, although it may seem disadvantageous, it actually aids in connecting more information with each word.

This means that the brain doesn't have to go through and arrive at the information so that people can better express themselves—allowing them to express more easily. The habit of expanding the vocabulary can be put into use to whole spheres of knowledge and even experience. Basically, having a large vocabulary can be a good coping strategy since it can enhance one's overall cognitive ability as well as increase their intelligence.

Developing a Wider Range of Vocabulary

There are a variety of ways that parents can help in helping their child learn new words. In fact, it is normally done throughout the day or week, although it goes unnoticeable. It could be as simple as reading a story aloud or engaging in a conversation—they learn how words work, their meaning, how words can be similar or different, and so much more.

A library is a great place to go when building up a child's vocabulary as well as their early reading skills. Being in a place where there are a lot of reading materials and references can help a child feel more comfortable about reading, according to Very Well Family.

Another easy vocabulary-building activity that can be done every day is for parents to use new words themselves. Children usually learn from the behaviors and actions of the people around them, and this also applies in expanding their vocabulary. Being a walking thesaurus can help their child understand why massive is better than big.


One way of improving the kid's vocabulary is to use new words everyday. / Photo by: Antonio Guillem via 123rf


Using more words is also better when it comes to learning new ones. Parents ought to use descriptive words when speaking with their child. If a child hears more words on a day-to-day basis, the more they will be able to learn, absorb, and use those words themselves. Some words may be hard to understand for children at first but using them in context can help it become more comprehensible.

Moreover, says exposing children to a wide range of language challenges them to appropriately expand their vocabulary. This can be done by reading books, stories and texts used in lessons, and even other reading materials in order subjects. It's best to prepare students in discussing new words as well as give them opportunities to use them either orally or in writing.

When it comes to reading, it is best to allow the child to absorb the material and give them time to explore any unfamiliar vocabulary they encounter. Parents should encourage them to find what those new words mean and an opportunity to experiment on how they are used. With this, children should also be taught how to use dictionaries and thesauruses—helping them practice their dictionary skills as well as deepening the comprehension of their newly-attained vocabulary.

Experimenting with new words can be done by using rhymes, drama, role-playing, or simply engaging in a conversation. Giving a word bank of the new words they learned and listening to see how they use these words accurately is a good way to monitor their progress. Meticulous observation, timely intervention, and encouragements can help children to further develop their vocabulary.

Some children may be fast learners but there are those who may struggle with widening their range of vocabulary. There are those that have speech delays. Regardless, parents can still support them with enhancing their language skills. The more the parents help in overcoming these challenges, the more the child will be prepared when they go to school.