Don’t it always seem to go that one day, your little one is struggling to string words together and the next, they are bursting with language? It’s a transition that is both subtle and jarring, all at once. Of course, this doesn’t really happen overnight. Infusing a child’s day with books, conversation, and additional literacy activities sets the foundation for a future of linguistic success!
The next tier of Book Nook Enrichment — our Early Hoots, ranging in age from 2 ½ to 3 ½ — focuses on handwriting and fine motor development but also, maybe most importantly, expanding vocabulary. A strong vocabulary is vital as a child continues throughout their education. It aides in their communication skills, reading abilities, and their general understanding of the world around them. Having the right words and corresponding definitions can make for a more empathetic and compassionate learner — and that is important for all aspects of life.
But what are some ways to enrich a child’s lexis organically and without completely inundating them with too much information? It’s simpler than you think!
Utilize vocabulary exercises in your child’s day to day
Each week at Book Nook, we have a new theme — everything ranging from sea animals to specific holidays. Themes are a great way to implement new words into a child’s day. After all, you have plenty of aquatic life to discuss or different corners of the world to discover. We use a worksheet, manipulatives, and more to talk about our themes. These activities spark questions which lead to longer conversations, allowing us to really delve into things and ensure each child develops a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.
Incorporate pre, during, and post reading discussions to story time
Inviting children to think more critically about books provides the opportunity for deeper consideration of the themes, structure, and more. We know that good readers make good writers, but they also make the best talkers. Language can be developed through taking in the language of others — such as our favorite authors! — and reiterating it in our own way. Asking your child questions about the story — what they think might happen, what is currently happen, and what they took from it as a whole — keeps them on their toes and actively engaged and curious throughout.
And, the most fun of all, play games!
There are so many incredible word-based games that will get your little ones chatting and thinking while also having a great time. Some of our favorites are Boggle, Apples to Apples, and as they get a bit older, Scrabble! These activities also help with phonics and pre-reading. While they’re a bit younger, though, we recommend I Spy. This game requires children to take in their surroundings and notice things they might not have before. In doing so, they may come across an object or situation they don’t recognize and then they’re able to learn about it on the spot! As an added bonus, it’s also a great way to pass the time on long car rides to the beach this summer.
Book Nook Enrichment’s Early Hoots classes begin at 30 months and continue through 42 months. It is the perfect introduction to an educational setting for children just beginning their academic journey, or a great supplement for kids enrolled in preschool. Vocabulary extension is just one of our areas of focus at this level. Interested in learning more? Check out the Early Hoots info page!