What brings parents and children from all over the East Valley to Chandler Public Libraries? Storytime! High Five is a great addition to Storytimes at Chandler Public Library, and introduces five key concepts in early literacy: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play. But there's more to say about Early Literacy! Read on to learn fun ways to build your child's vocabulary.
Research shows us that a child’s exposure to more vocabulary in the first 5 years of life increases her success rate when learning to read. How do we increase the number of words a child hears in those formative years? Using flashcards, worksheets and drills? No, no and no! Some of the many ways you can expose your child to new and interesting vocabulary include talking, playing and cuddling up for fun read-a-loud sessions.
Talk to your child all day long. Use lots of descriptive words to describe your everyday routines. “Let’s buy this big orange instead of the little one. The tiny one feels too squishy! Feel it.” Talking with your child through your daily routines not only increases the words he hears in a day but also builds his confidence with using language.
Playing can often feel like a chore. When you’re tired and just need five minutes of down time it’s difficult to get excited about a game of make-believe Dragon and Princess. Playing alone is wonderful and important for a child’s development; however, a grown-up or two playing along adds the opportunity to keep introducing new words - “Wow that is an elegant dress the Princess is wearing, so pretty and fancy.” “The dragon looks hungry. Should we invite him to dine with us?” Be mindful of using new vocabulary and explaining its meaning without ruining play-time. “Actually, the dragon looks like he is famished! That means really, really hungry. We should definitely invite him to eat with us.” Don’t worry if your child doesn’t respond to the word itself. She is hearing it - that’s the important piece.
Reading with your child is an excellent way to introduce new vocabulary. You don’t need to think a lot about it either. Most picture books will have a few words you don’t say in your day to day life, adding to the number of unique words your child hears in a day. Some books, like the Elephant and Piggie series, will clarify those words your child does hear each day, such as MORE, LESS, IN, OUT, etc., building understanding of core vocabulary as well. Which means as long as you are reading to your child every day, you are busy building his vocabulary. Yay you!!
So keep talking, playing and reading with your child, and watch that vocabulary grow, flourish, develop… You get the idea!
Need more book suggestions? Check out our High Five page, or ask your librarian next time you’re in the library!