Paediatric speech therapy activities to boost kids’ vocabulary

Vocabulary – more than just words!

Young children are renowned for being like a ‘sponge’ when it comes to learning new words. They continue to surprise us with their ever-exploding vocabulary. However, vocabulary is about more than just words. To know a word is important, but to know its meaning allows a child to then use that new word in different contexts, for different meanings, as well as to go on to use that word in humour and word play. Our team recommends the following paediatric speech therapy activities to help your child discover meaning.

The English language poses a significant challenge to our kids, as the English language has the largest vocabulary of all other languages with a staggering 650 000 words in current use. Not to mention that many English words have multiple meanings depending on the context.

Vocabulary and word meaning knowledge upon school-entry is a strong predictor of reading ability. Vocabulary has been shown to impact significantly on reading comprehension even in the presence of adequate decoding skills” – (Pullen, Tuckwiller, Konald, Maynard, & Coyne, 2010)

So what can you do to help your child learn not just more words, but word meanings as well?

  • Read age-appropriate story books to your child using lots of voice and facial expression to help them understand the meaning of the words in the story.
  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes to your child using gesture and action to help them understand the meaning of the song or rhyme.
  • Play classification games (e.g., putting all the farm animals in the barn and all the zoo animals in the enclosure), talk about things that go together (similarities) and things that don’t (differences), and ask comparative questions using concepts (e.g., “Is the red ball bigger than the blue ball?”).

Contact us to find out more paediatric speech therapy tips from the team at Cooee Speech Pathology.