27 March 2009 09:01 AM

Fun Ways to Increase a Child's Vocabulary

by Dr. Rick

When you're trying to increase a youngster's vocabulary, it's always best to inject a little fun into the process -- just like when you're encouraging any kind of learning.  Here are a few suggestions that could help you and may even spark some ideas of your own, just right for your child.

  1. Have a fun and silly signal your child can use every time she hears you or a family member use an unfamiliar word.  Widened eyes and a finger alongside the nose, perhaps.  When she uses the signal, the person who used the word has to define it easily.  Use new words now and then, so she'll have an opportunity to use her signal.  You'll be amazed at how this increases a child's attention.  She’ll be alert to new words because you’ve made it fun.

  2. Write new words in unorthodox ways.  Write them in sand or whipped cream.  Write them with alphabet soup.  Write them with spaghetti.  Write them with clay or Play Doh.

  3. Use letter flashcards to spell new words.  It still amazes me that low-tech is still fun for kids and it works!

  4. Make a "word wall" in his bedroom.  For each new word he masters, write it on a 5x7 card and make a chain that extends around the room.  Give a prize for when it reaches agreed-upon “finish lines” around the room.

  5. When she learns a new word and then sees it in a newspaper or magazine, cut it out and paste it on construction paper.  This shows her that the words she hears in the family are “real” words that others use, too.  When she sees the word in a book that can’t be cut up or somewhere else, like on a billboard or on TV, praise her for noticing and review the word’s meaning.

  6. Make "word art."  Use crayons, water colors, stamp-pad ink.  Make a collage of words and cut-out pictures.  Paste buttons, pasta, sparklies, or flower petals on construction paper in the shape of new words.

  7. Have a "word of the week" journal.  Each member of the family gets to contribute a word for the whole family to learn and use.  The contributing family member writes the word on the top of the page and tells why it's important for everyone to know this word.  First person to use the word in normal family conversation gets a small prize, like the privilege of wearing a winner's "crown," which could be a fun party hat.  Fill up the journal and save it as a family keepsake.

  8. Keep it active.  Teach the spelling of the new words by rhythm.  Jump rope or hop really high as she spells the word, for example.  This technique is really good for those kids who have lots of energy to expend and have a hard time sitting still.

  9. Sing songs.  Make up funny songs about the new words he’s just learned.   We all remember better when we put our new knowledge to music.  (You still sing the alphabet song when you have to look something up.  Admit it.)

Use your creativity and imagination to encourage a child's building up her vocabulary.  Be patient.  Be a good role model by using new and expressive words, by reading to the child, by letting him see you reading for your own pleasure, by pointing out new words you've learned at work or in your readings.  Soon, learning new words will be a normal occurrence.  Maybe not always fun and games, but always practical and confidence-building.


Share your fun ways of increasing children’s vocabulary.  Just click on “comment” below and let the rest of us in on your secrets!


English | Opinion


3/31/2009 8:09:43 AM

I have no children, but it seems to me to achieve the best results, you need to turn the training into the game.


7/31/2009 3:59:19 PM

It is a very informative article. I have a toddler and I am sure that some of these tips are really going to be helpful in vocabulary building at this early stage.

heartland energy Colorado

9/9/2009 5:52:18 PM

I do agree that ways of teaching and making the child vocabulary sharp is very effective. It does catches the child attention and eagerly want to learn.      

rn to bsn online

9/12/2009 2:45:49 PM

Thanks for the post man. Actually, I am currently working in a children home. There are lots of children and we are using various ways to teach them. However, some of your approaches seem to be new to us. I am going to recommend your ways in our children home. Smile

best weight loss pills

9/15/2009 7:11:11 AM

A very valuable tips!! Thanks for sharing.. I always wonder how is the best way to increase a child's vocabulary. And I think it's genius to involve games in the process Smile

Addicting Games

9/16/2009 5:06:14 PM

Cool! I will surely share this link, bookmark it and forward this to a friend. I am a teacher and I am very familiar with this things and it will help me a lot to expand my vocabulary.

eve online isk

9/19/2009 10:18:24 PM

Great article. I really like number 4.  I have a four year old and I will be sure to try some of these out.

International travel insurance

9/26/2009 1:29:30 AM

It has been an outstanding information for the reader if they toddler. through this blog, they can be advised clearly.  

Payday Loans No Teletrack

9/29/2009 12:27:38 AM

Many research had proven that baby talk is not necessary in teaching a child at early age we should talk to them in a normal manner

Cold Sore Remedy

9/30/2009 1:04:38 AM

How take care of your baby it's something very individual ,but give your baby the best that you have it's something that we all can do. You don't have to hold your baby 24/7 ,but been aware of his needs will be enough .Just trying to remember my childhood for me work enough with my parenting .Just go back when you was I child ,remember your feelings then and try to be your best.

weight loss pills

10/1/2009 11:25:43 AM

I was a pre-school teacher for twenty years,and I know that children learn better form singing catchy songs, they learn to say their ABC's from singing the alphabet song

bsn online

10/5/2009 10:20:20 AM

Valuable information...Thanks for sharing


10/7/2009 1:51:35 AM

Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!

Pet insurance Australia

10/11/2009 11:08:13 PM

it also helps when you teach the children on how to recognize sounds its their first learning stage, if they do its easier for them to read and improve their vocabulary.

resume templates

10/14/2009 6:53:27 AM

One more point which I observe with my kid. Encourage them to write the word many times. The learning is a lot faster.

Vocabulary Builder

10/16/2009 1:10:22 AM

This is very funny way toincrease a Child's vocabulary.

All natural waterproof mascara

10/18/2009 10:24:12 PM

There are some herbal products that are believed to help such situation bit  I think the most effective is way is to let your child watch educational show such as Barney, DOra the explorer and a lot more in this way your child can learn new things everyday


10/25/2009 2:10:51 PM

Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!


11/7/2009 6:58:42 AM

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it Smile I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Hurghada holiday

11/10/2009 12:36:37 AM

this is splendid.vocabulary is so important and these are real ways for improved performances.

reception desks

11/11/2009 6:25:40 PM

The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!

watch uk tv abroad

11/13/2009 8:11:57 AM

thanks !! very helpful post!

شمس الحب

11/16/2009 8:48:32 AM

I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

roulette systems

11/16/2009 11:45:57 AM

Well, I just found your blog through search engine. Actually I didn't intend to visit it before, yet after I read your article, I just can say that it's so inspiring. Thanks for making such nice article!

oes tsetnoc

11/18/2009 5:38:40 AM

I have visited this site and I always appreciate how well you have written it. The tips and the information are very helpful to moms like me and to the elementary teachers out there.

Black Friday

11/18/2009 7:27:50 PM

Your tips for increasing the Child's Vocabulary are really great. The one I liked very much is the use of play cards for introducing a new word. Well child needs attention from our side. Thanks for sharing the ways to increase the child's vocabulary.

Black Rock Pilates classes

12/5/2009 6:17:21 AM

This is really helpful. I would have to agree on that, since it's really hard to sustain a child's attention all through the process of teaching.

hoover f5914-900

12/15/2009 12:32:29 AM

Hi. I wanted to drop you a quick note to verbalize my thanks. I've been watching your blog for a month or so and have picked up a heap of good information as well as enjoyed the way you've structured your site. I am undertaking to run my own blog however I think its too general and I would like to focus more on smaller topics.

Gifty Allen

12/15/2009 6:14:25 PM

Very usefull Info Thank You for sharing

Marina Leyrs

12/22/2009 6:59:17 AM

I do wish there were more people like you around on the interwebs. Not many people are careful with their words, including myself sometimes. I have written things I would love to take back but now its not possible.

Skin Today

12/25/2009 3:05:41 PM

amazing posts. Mind Telling how you get the ideas for your posts. What more next to be posted.

roulette system

12/25/2009 3:05:53 PM

superb posts. Mind sharing how you get the ideas for blog posts. What more special to be posted.

roulette system

1/3/2010 7:56:23 AM

I like your style, the fact that your site is a little bit different makes it so interesting, I get fed up of seeing same-old-same-old all of the time.  I've just stumbled this page for you :-D

Power 4 Home

1/3/2010 10:50:24 AM

I like your style, the fact that your site is a little bit different makes it so interesting, I get fed up of seeing same-old-same-old all of the time.  I've just stumbled this page for you :-D

Save Energy

1/15/2010 2:11:15 AM

You gave fantastic honest ideas here. I performed a research on the issue and discovered almost all peoples will agree with your blog.


1/20/2010 11:07:12 AM

i thought that was the case - good point of view

matthew Bronson

1/28/2010 1:56:21 PM

Hi, I applaud your blog for informing people, very interesting article, keep up it coming Smile

skin health

2/5/2010 5:02:53 PM

Great stuff as usual...

Ayanna Mack

2/5/2010 8:22:34 PM

This is an enormously cool article you've posted there.

Laser Hair Removal Cancer

2/12/2010 3:45:54 PM

Thank you so much for that a fantastically awe inspiring article.

buying a car on bruised credit score

2/13/2010 11:41:13 AM

A limited vocabulary is one of the most restricting problems young people can face when entering the competitive world. Fortunately, it can be corrected with some hard work.

Deodorant For Men

2/22/2010 2:55:14 PM

Thanks for the tip, very interesting.

twin mattress

2/23/2010 1:03:00 AM

That is a great way to help kids learn. Not only are they learning but they have fun so they enjoy learning at same time.

lcd tv deals

3/2/2010 1:42:14 AM

Hi.Sorry but my english language isn't nice.however i really wish to tell that i like this article so much. say thank you!

the pacific streaming

3/3/2010 12:54:25 PM

As a stay at home mom who also works as a daycare provider I can really relate. Thnaks for sharing your thoughts!

Dayton Carelton

5/31/2010 12:28:55 PM

I've been searching a good website on this subject and related stuff. Thanks for putting this up.
Take care


5/31/2010 7:17:21 PM

Thanks for that thought.
Makes me want to read more info on this subject


6/3/2010 1:59:27 AM

I read your post . it was amazing.Your thought process is wonderful.The way you tell about things is awesome.

Vektorgrafik erstellen

6/3/2010 5:44:45 AM

I have 2 kids, 1 in school and one about to enter preschool and these tips really work. My youngest one knows a lot of vocabulary for his age which kind of surprises me sometimes.

how to sing well

Add comment

  • Comment
  • Preview

Dr. Rick In The News

WMARabc2news.com - March 2, 2011
Baltimore Celebrates Read Across America

WMARabc2news.com - March 2, 2011
Read Across America Interview

The Friday Flyer - February 18, 2011
Parents can Nurture the Love of Reading

Multiples and More - July 5, 2010
Expert Post: Dr. Rick of Sylvan Learning

Examiner.com - May 15, 2010
Summer Skill Sharpeners

Blog Posting Rules

This blog is for the good of education - for students, for teachers and for parents. I very much value a two-way communication with you and welcome and encourage your comments and feedback. However, to facilitate a constructive conversation that is beneficial to everyone in this online community, I expect the same respect in your comments that I present in my blog.

Read the full Dr. Rick Blog Posting Rules.