How To Increase Your Child’s Vocabulary

Expanding vocabulary is a lifelong process that begins during a child’s earliest months. Long before a child can speak in simple words, phrases, and sentences, the child is forming an extensive vocabulary of words he or she understands. This learning takes place every time you name things for your child, sing a song, talk, recite nursery rhymes, and describe the world as he or she goes through daily activities. A child’s vocabulary grows rapidly to around 2,000 words by his or her fifth birthday. Your child learns that words represent objects and actions.

You can help to expand your child’s vocabulary if you:

  • talk, read, and sing to your child, starting at birth
  • teach the names of everyday objects as you experience daily activities together
  • provide experiences to stimulate new vocabulary – go to the park or zoo, go grocery shopping and talk about what you could make with the items and describe the appearance and taste of foods, have a picnic, take a walk, clean the house together, plant a garden
  • repeat new words until the child uses them
  • play children’s recordings and sing along with your child
  • make a scrapbook of pictures your child likes and write the names of the items pictured
  • teach opposites (push and pull, throw and catch, big and little)

Know the Signs of Speech and Language Disorders in Children

Signs of common speech and language disorders in children between birth to 4 years of age, an important stage in early detection of communication disorders.

Signs of a Language Disorder
Signs of a Speech Sound Disorder
Signs of Stuttering (Disfluency)
Signs of a Voice Disorder
Signs of Hearing Loss