Children learn a lot about language through play. Play helps children think symbolically, so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences. Play also helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words.
|Give your child plenty of playtime. Some of the best kinds of play are unstructured, when children can use their imaginations and create stories about what they’re doing.|
|Encourage dramatic play. When children make up stories using puppets or stuffed animals, they develop important narrative skills. This helps children understand that stories and books have a beginning, middle and end.|
|Pretend to read a book. Have your child tell you a story based on the pictures in a book. Or ask your child to “read” a book you’ve read together many times and tell you the story. This develops vocabulary and other language skills.|
|Silly poems are fun and can teach new vocabulary.|
|Kids love jokes and riddles, which often use a “play on words”. Laugh along as you talk about the answer to the riddle or joke.|
|Having fun with words helps your child become more conscious of words and eager to learn more.|
|Playing word games is another way to become word conscious and increase vocabulary. “I Spy” is a favourite with kids.|