World of Words

Opportunities for learning words are all around. Learn strategies to grow children's vocabulary through everyday routines.

Everything you do and every place you go with little ones is an opportunity to learn language. Keeping in mind the value of play, consider these games to help kids develop their vocabularies as you go about your day:

  • Name It! During playtime, use a variety of words to describe the same thing, such as “That truck is really big. It’s huge! It’s enormous!” Ask kids to describe another play object use similar words.
  • It’s Alive! When you take a walk, name all the living things you pass (or all the things that are round or small or green), and then ask kids to describe them.
  • What Else Can It Be? When cooking or cleaning up, encourage curiosity and creativity by playing games to find different ways to use common objects. Ask, “What else could this paper-towel roll be? Could it be a telescope?” or “Could we use this pot as a drum?”
  • Bath Babble. During bath time, help kids learn the names and relationships of body parts as they scrub them. Ask, “What’s this?” “Is that your toe? What is it connected to?”