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Vocabulary

Don’t wait until they’re older to use the big words. They are ready now. Read on for 3 easy daily habits that you can increase that will multiply your child’s potential vocabulary!


Did you know… there is a link between the number of words heard in the first 5 years of a child’s life AND the academic success a child experiences in primary school?


With this in mind, remember that your 4 year old is not a little 7 year old… We always need to maintain their childhood and select experiences that are age appropriate. What I am writing about today involves you and all the adults in your child’s life talking. Talk, talk and talk some more.


I know as a mum (or dad) that sometimes we need peace and quiet, however, when you are with your child it is always a good opportunity to input new and sophisticated language into their brains.

Imagine a child whose parents, grandparents, childcare educators and older siblings talk to them, all day, every day? Then imagine the little 4 year old who plays alone, sits quietly in the car while mum listens to music, plays alone at home while parents watch tv or are on their phones? Which child do you think will develop a more sophisticated vocabulary?


Let’s keep it simple… this is not rocket science and you do not have to plan any teaching here. Quite simply there are 3 main things I recommend you do to boost your child’s vocabulary (and you may already by acing this one!)


Boosting your child’s potential vocabulary;

1. Talk as you do things with or near your child – some examples of this are; when you are driving talk about where you are going or what you are doing when you get there; while preparing lunches or dinner talk about what you are doing with the ingredients.


2. Use real words for things – argh! Please, please, please no using the word bot bot (bottle) or even encouraging mispronounced words like psgetti (spaghetti)! Use REAL words for things, correct them if they say it wrong and don’t worry about whether it’s too complicated for your child to understand. It’s true that sometimes they don’t understand that word YET! But they will…. When we continue to allow words to be said incorrectly (even if it sounds adorable!) we are not helping our children develop a sophisticated vocabulary.


3. Read regularly to your child – ok so you may already read a book to your child at bedtime, this is amazing, well done to you! This really IS important! You are already exposing your child to possibly thousands of words in a year. Why not also read words or sentences when you are out and about. Words are everywhere, not just in books. Read the name of the cereal on the box when making their breakfast; read the sign on the kindy gate as you head in in the morning; read the letters in their name on the sticker on their drink bottle as you pack it for the day. These are all ways that you can input vocabulary to your child in a way that is contextual and allows them to understand not just the words but when and where they are used in everyday life.


Once your child starts school they are exposed to millions of words – however, you do not want your child hearing most of these words for the first time at school. If your child already has had exposure to a word, they will likely be more able to understand, say and even read said word when they are 7. Remember when your child is 4, they are not a little 7 year old, but we do want them to be successful in reading and writing when they are 7, hence the need to boost their vocabulary with these three suggestions at age 4.


If you would like to know more about how to support your 3-5 year old's development, I have prepared 5 short videos to boost your knowledge of development (without boring you to tears!) AND I have a handy downloadable Practical Guide to help you track your child's progress and give you the tools to help them - whether it is for their social and emotional development or their language and communication skills, it is all there for you! Click here to go directly to these Resources


Happy talking! Happy reading!



1 Comment


Number Two 🙌 couldn't agree more. Great advice.

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Hi! I’m Chalkie.

I want to empower you to feel confident as a parent and to help you gain clarity about your parenting role!

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