Positional Words: We
may not realize that we learned all words that we use to talk. Our children learn positional words by
hearing us use them. These words
include: under, over, beside, around, in
front, behind, between, etc. This skill also
helps with following directions, too.
Play “Find it.” Using a small object,
hide the object under a chair or on top of the table or next to the lamp. Use these positional words to describe where
your child can find the object. Your
child can then hide the object and describe where you can find it. Keep this skill in mind throughout the
day. There are many ways to practice
using positional words when cleaning up toys or getting a snack from a pantry.
Talking about words, their meaning and relationships helps your child
build a strong vocabulary that he will use when speaking, reading and
writing. Talk with your child about
words that mean the same and words that have opposite meanings. You can also expose your child to new, more
complex words through these conversations.
For example good and bad have opposite meanings, while words like good,
great, fantastic, superb are all fancy ways to say the same thing.
to expose your child to new words with familiar meanings whenever you can. When you go in or out of a store use the
words enter and exit. As you get a cart,
ask your child if he wants to be a passenger (ride in the cart) or pedestrian
(walk). Be sure to explain new words to
your child using familiar talk and use new words often to help make them a part
of your child’s vocabulary.
You can help your child build and organize her vocabulary by thinking of
how we can “collect” words. When you
talk about words, try to group them into categories or tie them to familiar
concepts. This will help your child to
know how to group words in her brain and this will make it easier for her to
retrieve these new words when speaking.
Click here for some samples of everyday word collections. Use this to help you come up with types of
word collections that can help your child to understand new words.
Curiosity comes naturally to kids, but they often need help knowing how
to ask questions and verbalize their wonderings. Model “I wonder” statements often. While reading, model how you wonder what will
happen next in the story. When taking a
walk, model how you wonder about the seasonal changes occurring.
When your child is building with blocks, model how to ask questions
about what he is building. When reading
and watching TV, model how to question to understand what is happening or
predict what might happen next.
Tell a Story:
Telling a story is not easy for young children. Children need to have the language skills, as
well as, the concept that stories have a beginning, middle and end. Children will pick-up how stories work from
listening to you read to them. You will
want to work with your child on how to tell a story in order.
Make a habit of retelling stories after you
read them. Let your child help you with
this. Your child can also retell a story
you have read to him to someone else. If
the other person can understand the story, then the retelling was good. Once your child is able to retell stories,
challenge your child by helping him make up a new story. Who are our characters going to be? Where will they live? What will the problem be? How will they solve it? Once you have figured out the answers to
these questions, you are ready to tell a story.
Stories usually start with “Once upon a time” or “One day.”