Six is an amazing age for your child's language development. At this stage, your child will speak around 2,600 words and will understand around 22,000! In fact, they'll be able to put together sentences of around 9 words, so their ability to converse and express themselves will be better than ever. Take advantage of this fruitful time by encouraging vocabulary development through consistent and intentional activities!
- Read - This should come as no surprise, but reading is one of the best ways to encourage vocabulary development at any age. When you read, you come across words and phrases you may not normally use in your day-to-day life. Plus, these books usually have illustrations to accompany said words, so it makes it much easier for your child to understand and retain.
- Storytelling - Encourage your child to tell stories, both imagined and real-life. When they tell their stories, they'll be encouraged to reach for words that they've learned recently as they try to express themselves. There's many creative ways to get the storytelling going. You could take turns drawing pictures and asking the other to create a story behind the illustration. You could also start a story and have your child continue, going back and forth until you reach the conclusion. This is a fantastic way to make a long car ride go by quickly!
- Sing songs - Studies have shown that singing songs and reciting rhymes with regularity improves language acquisition and communication in children. This is because songs slow down speech and add rhythm and repetition that make processing and retaining words much easier. Plus, since many songs rhyme, your child will be getting an extra lesson in phonemic awareness, one of the pillars of literacy! Need a way for your child to access age-appropriate, educational songs? Storypod has a wonderfully curated collection of Crafties that make a musical experience just a swipe away!
- Play describing games - Any game that requires your child to describe something is a great way to push them to practice exercising their vocabulary. I-Spy is a simple, classic game that can be played anywhere. Your child could also play What am I? Pick a category and have each player think of something within that category. Then take turns describing the item without saying its name and the other players will guess what it is. For example, if the category is animals you could say, "I have two long ears, a fluffy tail, and love to eat carrots."
- Play the alphabet game - Here's another game that's easy to play in the car or while waiting at the doctor's office. Pick letters of the alphabet and simply go back and forth naming words that begin with said letter. It will not only encourage your 6-year-old to think hard about all the words they know, but it's also a great exercise in letter sounds!