How to enrich a child’s vocabulary, 13 tips

Speech develops throughout our lives. But haste teaches us to speak briefly, in separate words or phrases. And children copy this style. We have chosen a few tips for enriching a child’s vocabulary from the book “Don’t Panic!


  1. Try to use not only definitions familiar to the child like “big,” “small,” “beautiful,” “good,” but also other epithets that will better describe the object (tall, tiny, wonderful, etc.). Words close in meaning make speech more expressive and precise. It is important for children to hear them in an adult’s speech in order to start using them themselves.


  1. When telling a child about something, use at least two adjectives to describe it.


  1. Suggest that the child compare objects. For example: “Is that a big bear or a huge bear, a small ant or a tiny ant?”


  1. Offer several options to choose from. For example: “Is the landscape beautiful or picturesque?”


  1. Ask your child to say differently. For example, he says the shirt is clean. Suggest to think of another version – “snow-white”. Make it a game: agree that you are not allowed to use common words like “big” or “small.”


  1. Multiple Meaning Words. Children from an early age encounter such words and learn their meaning from situations. This, for example, happened to the author’s son. Many educational games she kept in the office transparent folders, and one day asked Luke to remove the pictures in a folder. He laughed and was surprised that Daddy is not only his daddy, but also an object for storing pictures.


  1. At first children take phraseology expressions literally. Thus, once a three-year-old girl in class was talking about the onset of fall and stomping her feet at the same time. In order for a child to learn to understand the meaning of these phrases, they should be used more often in speech. The child will gradually understand the meaning of such constructions by analyzing the situation in which they were used. The transferable meaning of words becomes accessible to a child by the age of 4-5 years, so phraseology phrases begin to be understood at this age. Children with whom the meaning of phraseology expressions is parsed, begin to listen and analyze more meaningfully.


  1. At the age of about 3 years, life situations become insufficient for speech development, and then books begin to play a big role. The child learns a lot of new things from them, expanding the vocabulary. Children love when they are read the same books, memorizing whole passages. This helps them learn correct grammatical constructions and improve cohesion of speech.


When reading a poem to your child, pay attention to those places where he encounters difficult grammatical constructions. Repeat these passages more often – and the child will learn them by heart. 


  1. Children learn a lot from cartoons. Watching a cartoon by itself does not develop speech, but it gives you a reason to discuss what you see (you can discuss with your child the details and actions of the characters, ask him or her to retell the plot), themes for story and role-playing games.


Often parents include children cartoons to free up some time. But it is better to find an opportunity to watch them together, to talk about what is happening on the screen, and then ask your child to retell what he or she saw. 


  1. Try to have your child watch not only cartoons, alternate them with documentaries about nature and human life. These programs broaden the horizons and contribute to the development of speech. Always discuss with your child what you see.


  1. Spend more time with your child doing something useful. For example, cooking together. Children’s cooking classes are popular now, but it is also useful to cook something delicious together at home. You can cook dishes from different countries and discuss their geography, or study the composition and classification of the products that you use, and then mayonnaise will never be in the company of dairy products, and loaf will not grow on the bread tree. Even the fact that it is fried in a frying pan and boiled in a pot becomes a discovery for many children. Therefore, cooking together develops speech, if you talk while doing it.

Joint creativity not only brings together, but also contributes to the enrichment of speech. And the matter here is not in development of fine motor skills which, certainly, are trained, if to cut out, glue, mold, draw… Joint creativity teaches to discuss the plan of action to agree.

12. Offer to play educational games. They do not have to be bought – you can come up with your own or remember the ones you liked as a child. Here are some examples of well-known and beloved children’s activities. 


    Name a feature of the subject and relate a certain object to it. For example: fresh – bread, newspaper, look, huge – skyscraper, elephant, the world, etc. 

    “I know five.” At the preschool age it is important not just to know many words, but also to be able to categorize them. Ask your child to name five vegetables or five types of sea transport. It will probably be difficult to name five hats or five migratory birds at once, but regular play will help put everything in order. 

    Riddles. Good for developing speech and thinking riddles, invented by yourself. Children like to not only guess them, but also puzzles for adults. Such riddles are also small essays-descriptions. For example: “He is small, prickly, lives in the forest.” 

    “Edible – Inedible”.  Agree with your child that you will throw him or her a ball and name a word. If you call something edible, the child catches the ball, if inedible – does not catch. You can make the game a little bit more complicated. For example: now the words are not only you, but the child. You say the word and throw the ball, and the child catches it and throws you, calling his word. In this game, fixes and expands the vocabulary. 

    Writing stories. You start, “In one city lived a boy …”. And the child comes up with a second sentence. Such stories are entertaining, funny and sometimes scary. But they develop speech. 


  1. Don’t forget the polite words: “please,” “thank you,” “bon appetite,” “be well. Don’t rush to demand that your child use them, but make sure they are in your speech, too.