The very best way to develop vocabulary is by talking to children about things they encounter in daily life.
Reading to children and discussing the words, ideas and the children’s opinions is a great way (probably second on the list) to develop vocabulary.
There are other activities that help develop vocabulary. Here are some ideas.
Walking Around the Town
Take a walk, look:
- for things that begin with each letter of the alphabet (apple, bicycle, car)
- at the signs and name all the words that begin with only one letter
- at the signs and name all the words that begin in one colour.
Alphabet Word Game
Start with one person saying “My mother drives a delivery truck and one day she delivered something that begins with an a”. Everyone then has a turn to try and think of something that starts with that letter e.g. apples, aprons, art. After the first letter words are finished, the next person repeats “My mother drives ….begins with a b”, and so on until the alphabet is finished, or the participants are wordless!
One person thinks of a mystery word. The others ask questions to try to figure out the mystery word. The first question is usually “Is your word an animal, vegetable or mineral?” Each question is answered with only a yes or a no but each answer does narrow the possibilities for the next questioner.
There are a few commercial games such as Scrabble, Pictionary or Balderdash. If you play these games make sure the children have the ability to play and/or that someone is available to help them. Children need to be able and to have fun to feel success when playing games like these, otherwise they may lose their confidence.