hintsandthings.co.uk »Nursery

Tips on how to increase your childs vocabulary as soon as they start talking.

toddler in nappy, with folded arms and baseball cap turned backwards



Most babies start to say words such as “mum”
and “dad” by their first birthday and by eighteen months will have quite a large
vocabulary of small words. If they do not say the word correctly, which is often the case
to start with, just repeat it to them.  Never reprimand them for getting it wrong
this will only undermine their confidence.

To increase your child’s vocabulary talk slowly and
clearly, looking directly at your child as you speak.  This is best done in a quite
room with no other distractions.  Make it as interesting as possible by changing the
tone and intimation in your voice or making it into a game.  Point to your own nose,
eyes etc. saying the word clearly and ask the child to repeat it back to you.  You
can also hide their own toys behind your back and then name them as they are

In order for your child to hear as many different words
as possible, explain simple everyday tasks as you are doing them in simple language.
  As you go round the supermarket point out the different things and tell the child
their name, colour etc.

It is never to early for books, even six month old
babies can enjoy a brightly coloured book. It is best to start with books which have one
clear picture of an object on each page, the name of which can be told to the child and
then, as the child gets older, the object can be described to the child by colour, shape
etc. bringing more words into their vocabulary.

Use gestures to reinforce any spoken words, such as
waving as you say “Goodbye”, nodding as you say “Yes” etc.

Avoid baby talk, it just has to be learnt twice.  
What they first learn as”Choo-choo” becomes “Train”,
“Woof-Woof” becomes “Dog” etc., all very confusing!

If there is an older child in the family you will often
find they will do the talking for the baby, in view of this, it is a good idea to make a
particular effort to try to talk to the baby when the other child is occupied elsewhere.

As soon as they can tell between cat,
dog, and bird, begin using the correct breed/species names.

Works for all
else, cloud types, flowers [say “rose” and “daisy” not
just “flower”.] Use colors and other adjectives, not just
“pretty” or “nice”.