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How to Start Building Vocabulary in Early Childhood for Your Child

How to Start Building Vocabulary in Early Childhood for Your Child

Vocabulary learning book

Why Building Vocabulary in Early Childhood is Necessary

Vocabulary growth is important for a child’s academic success. The size of their vocabulary in kindergarten predicts their ability to learn to read. This is because reading is simply the process of decoding words that have been previously learned. 

Therefore, if a child has an extensive vocabulary, they can read more complex texts with greater ease. 

Additionally, having a large vocabulary gives children unlimited access to new information and expands their world knowledge.

Teaching children vocabulary at an early age helps them learn new words and express their thoughts better. 

Students can understand and use words more efficiently throughout their school years. Often teachers also use a story map to help their students remember the definitions of essential vocabulary words.

Does Having a Large Vocabulary Guarantee Academic Success?

Children who have a rich vocabulary tend to do better in school. Language is essential for academic success in early childhood and later schooling years. 

The more words children know, the better they understand the academic language used in formal schooling. 

Vocabulary can be introduced through activities and routines in a vocabulary-rich environment. This helps students read related words and understand their meaning.

Vocabulary has a significant connection to academic success. Children with more sophisticated languages can better read and understand texts, leading to higher academic achievement. 

Many factors contribute to vocabulary development, but exposure to different words is one of the most important. Parents can help their children develop strong vocabularies by providing age-appropriate books and educational materials.

Research on Vocabulary Support in Preschool Classrooms

A recent study found that vocabulary support in preschool classrooms happens mainly during teacher-led activities.

Teachers play important roles in providing children with vocabulary support.

Informal activities, like meals, free play, and transitions, are not used to teach vocabulary.

Even though teachers spend a lot of time in informal activities during the day, this time is not spent well-developing vocabulary strategies.

The researchers found many more opportunities to teach vocabulary in preschool classrooms. They looked at how often teachers support new vocabulary and found significant differences.

If one teacher talked about new vocabulary during informal or formal extensive group activities 12 times more, then this would add up to 8,660 instances of vocabulary support over the school year.

You may also like: Does my child have speech impediment?

vocabulary interactive learning

Try These Vocabulary Activities at Home!

Read Aloud Every Day

Books are a great way to improve your vocabulary because the language used in books is more accurate, and formal than what you would encounter in everyday conversations. A great story will provide context and illustrations for learning a new word. Introducing a new comment daily can boost your child’s vocabulary by 365 talks every year.

Bring in the Nonfiction

This is a great way to introduce new words to children and help them explore their meanings.

The glossary offers definitions for each word, which can be read aloud and discussed.

Everybody loves a good story!

Grocery Store Vocabulary

When grocery shopping, it is important to know the vocabulary. This will help you find what you are looking for and understand the signage. 

Look for something above your belly button, below your nose, and on the bottom shelf- these will be the smaller items. 

Then, look for something big, bigger, and biggest- these will be the larger items. Finally, use superlatives to describe size you are looking for something the largest of its kind.

Explore Your World

With your child, you should simply ask them about the things they see around themself. Or you can simply go around with your child and keep telling them what the things are called. This is how they will know what a clock, a photo frame etc.,

Our Community and Construction Busy Book is a great option for 3-8 years olds for explore the outside world with knowledge on construction signs, tools, construction vehicles, and more. This will improve the vocabulary of your child.

Use Rich Language in Conversations With Your Child

Try to use rich, interesting language instead of bland words when speaking with your child. This will help support their oral language development and vocabulary growth. Vivid words are more fun for kids to say and hear, so they’ll be more likely to remember them.

First, Provide a Simple, Kid-Friendly Definition for the New Word

Encourage children to develop their definition of the word and continue to use it in everyday conversations. Definitions: Carpenter is someone who builds things with wood. Introduce words related to themes such as dinosaurs or transportation and encourage parents to use them at home.

Lastly, Keep Your New Words Active Within Your House

Keep your new words active by using Post-It notes to label objects around the house. Add adjectives to the labels and have fun playing with words by riddles.

Last but not least, keep your new words active within your house. Make sure to read them aloud and practice writing them regularly. Pay attention to how your new words are used in everyday life and use them accordingly. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll learn and remember them this way!

Play Word Games

Games are a great way to help your child learn new words. They can make language learning interactive and fun, which allows the information to stick. Some games that can be helpful for this purpose include Spy, Scrabble, and Bananagrams.

Don’t “Dumb-Down.”

Don’t dumb down your language when talking to children. You can use agriculture instead of dumbing it down to saying farmer work. Or telling a skyscraper is massive instead of big. With more different words that you can use, your child would learn more words.

Vocabulary Games for Preschool and Kindergarten Kids

  • Categories
  • What Am I?
  • I Spy
  • Odd One Out
  • A Bird Flies
  • What Is It?
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Keep It Going

Makayla Rao, a licensed Speech Therapist, loves the My Little Farm Busy Book to develop vocabulary.

In her own words:

“Farm’ is a much-loved theme for many little ones in their play and learning. The entire ‘My Little Farm’ Busy Book is an excellent opportunity to create and increase: vocabulary and categorisation (e.g., knowing the subtle differences between farm animals or the differentiating features between farm animals versus jungle animals).

Animal noises are one of the things that we often forget to ‘count as a word’ and part of a child’s vocabulary when they begin to talk.”

Makayla Rao, Speech Therapist

Northern Kids Therapy Service


Suppose you are curious My Little Farm book. It is packed with 21 fun activities focused on farms and farm animals. This BusyBook is suitable for children from 2 -5 years old.


I have outlined that vocabulary growth is essential for a child’s academic success. The size of the child’s vocabulary in kindergarten predicts their ability to learn to read.

This is because reading is simply the process of decoding words that have been previously learned. I hope this blog post has been helpful. If you want to expand your child’s vocabulary or help improve your child’s spelling, buy a copy of our spelling book and start playing spell-a-lot.


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