A strong vocabulary is rich in words that empower the user. The greater a child’s vocabulary, the better they will be at reading and writing.
They will also be able to communicate much better, and explain their needs or concerns.
While we grandparents don’t have as much access to our grandchildren as their parents do, we can still offer our support and do things that will make a significant impact on their lives.
Build vocabulary with narration
Talk while you work and play, is perhaps a better way to describe narration.
Many of us have witnessed young toddlers who natter all day. While their chatter can be hard to understand it still plays a very important part of their vocabulary development.
Use a wide variety of words
Here are a few tips you can use when you are spending time with your grandchildren:
Talk about what you are doing as it is happening – Let’s look at this example of feeding the cat.
“Oh, feel how light the cat’s bowl is? It’s not heavy at all! And, see the look on her face? That’s her hungry look! Oh, doesn’t the cat food smell funny?”
Can you see how many words are used in this example?
There was light and heavy; observing how the cat looked; and the way cat food smells.
Here’s another example:
Let’s say we are getting ready to go in the car.
“Here are the car keys, they are hard and odd shapes. Let’s put our shoes on – look how much bigger my shoes are to yours! Let’s get our coat – don’t all the coats hanging in the closet feel differently?”
The power of words
These short, simple but powerful narratives help tell a story to our grandchildren. These stories should use a lot of different words so they are exposed to them, and learn to use them in their own language. Young children who can’t read yet, need to constantly be exposed to new words verbally so they can build their vocabulary.