Thursday, March 10, 2022

Early Literacy: Vocabulary

 I obviously am a huge proponent of putting books in kids hands.  It's my go to gift and we live surrounded by books.  We use the heck out of the library but, I do love having books that we can read or look at in our own home.  I also don't like checking out board books at the library cuz I can't even handle thinking about germs on the other books, but baby books I just can't do it.  I was a huge germ avoider pre-covid and it's just gotten worse!

The last few times I've read new books to my two year old I've really been thinking about how vocabularies in kids that are read to are more robust than kids who are not.  In our home, we have two college educated adults, and a ten year old avid reader.  Even with that, and knowing how to include bigger or rare words into conversations to introduce them to our toddler, just by picking up a book, I get new words that aren't spoken on a daily basis.

Take for example while reading Corduroy Lost and Found by B.G. Hennessy based on the character created by Don Freeman I was thinking of words I don't think we've said in our house:

- perked 
- crept

Also in the book When Will it Be Spring? by Catherine Walters I came across:


It may not seem like a lot but try as I might I'm not sure I'd easily work these into every day conversations a lot.  And I try very hard to use unique words and an expansive vocabulary in our house.  Children learn the language spoken in their home and around them most often.  A lot of what we (general we) say is lazy and nicknamy and kids have to decode what you mean, which are also skills to learn, but when learning to read and speak to others an expansive vocabulary helps you get your point across.

The more words kids have the better they can describe what they are feeling, what they need/want, and what they are thinking.

Books are a great way to learn new words, use them in different ways, learn about new places, and have kids use their imagination.  I have to say that sometimes my ten year old busts out with words and descriptions that I know came straight out of a novel because there is no way she heard or learned from any person how to say certain phrases! Love it! Also when she mispronounces things because she's only ever read them! Love the confidence of using new words in sentences.

These are some of my favorite children books for vocabulary:

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Harry Potter series

Fancy Nancy books

Amelia Bedelia books

Anne of Green Gables series

On the Night you were Born by Nancy Tillman

Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy 

Not Your Typical Dragon 

Meet me at the Moon

Little Owl's Night

Dream Big Little one

CeCe Loves Science

ABC What Can She Be?

Reading is such an easy way to introduce so many concepts to small kids and there are so many good ones out there! I have a picture book problem, so I probably have a book for any topic one could dream.

What books do you like to read that have expansive vocabularies?

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