Building your toddler’s vocabulary is all about exposure and fun. Try these easy toddler play activities to increase vocabulary!
I find that I always worry about my child’s ability to talk in the early years, and then all of a sudden, it explodes.
Lindsey, of Kiddo Korner, is sharing 6 ways to help increase your child’s vocabulary. More specifically your toddler’s vocabulary, and doing it through play!
That’s what toddlers are best at, right?
6 Ways to Increase Your Toddler’s Vocabulary through Play
1. Use sensory words
Encourage sensory play where you and your tot describe what you see, feel, hear, taste, and smell.
This could be a planned sensory activity, like playing in a sandbox with hidden treasures. But it doesn’t have to be.
Use the sensory words during any type of play to get your tot used to using them.
You’ll love how many sensory words are in your toddler’s vocabulary!
2. Explore a variety of environments together
Everyone loves a little adventure and your tot is the same.
Take him out for a special adventure to explore a wooded area, new park, beach, or riverfront. Look for different types of birds, bugs, and animals.
Talk about what you see, smell, taste, touch, and hear.
These new environments will excite your tot and give him many new things to talk about. Before or after your exploration, pick up a book about the environment to learn more.
This can really be a vocabulary explosion for your tot.
3. Role play ideas from books
Take ideas or scenes from books and act them out. Do this with your tot and soon she will be doing it on her own.
This creates the perfect opportunity for her to use new vocabulary she has learned from the book. The new vocabulary will be integrated into her own spoken vocabulary.
4. Encourage your tot to play with children of different ages
Playing with children of different ages helps your child to try out different roles.
As the older child, your tot may be more of a leader. As the younger child, he gets a chance to learn from the older child.
Peer play is also great for him to practice his language and social skills.
Learning to play with children from different age groups will give your tot a chance to play in different ways.
5. Make a wide variety of toys available that require different types of language
Your toddler probably has a favorite type of toy to play with. Right now, my son loves vehicles and balls.
Even though those are his favorites, I try to have a variety of toys to play with.
Different types of toys require children to use different types of language during play.
Playing with farm toys encourages children to use words like cow, puppy, barn, tractor and so on.
While playing with vehicles may encourage a child to use words such as cement mixer, road, bridge, trailer etc.
Having a variety of toys available helps children to develop specialized language for each toy theme.
6. Give your tot time to play with you and play alone
Playing with your tot gives her a great example of how to play. Plus you can teach many vocabulary words at this time.
It is also important that toddlers have some time to play by themselves.
This gives your toddler a time to practice language on her own and explore different items that seem interesting. This also allows her to explore her own imagination as she directs the play.
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Lindsay Drewes is a former 4th and 5th-grade teacher, current stay-at-home-mom and Mompreneur of www.KiddoKorner.com. Lindsay holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. As founder of KiddoKorner.com, Lindsay followed her passion of mothering to research and offer the best educational, Eco-friendly and innovative products made for babies and toddlers.