Words, Words, Words!

Using specific words with children is important for their vocabulary development. For example, the directive, “Put it over there,” is very unclear. A specific way to give instructions would be to say, “Put the cup on the table.” This utterances labels two objects (nouns), the cup and the table. It also uses the the location word (preposition) on. This could be turned into a fun game of Simon says which would target following directions but also vocabulary. Then reinforcing what the child did with specific vocabulary is also important, “You put the cup on the table!”

Another idea is also model what you do, for example, say, “I put the cup on the table.” Narrating what you are doing or what I also call “thinking out loud” is a great way to provide a language rich environment for children. While cooking dinner, you might say, “Tonight we’re having spaghetti for dinner. First I need a pot. Then I fill the pot up with water and boil it. Next, I put the spaghetti in the pot. It will cook for 8 minutes and then I will drain the spaghetti.”

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com