Eat Your Words-How to Feed Your Child's Growing Vocabulary; Part of the 'Bits of Understanding' Campaign for Aloha United Way's Born Learning Campaign

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Children are constantly hungry for sounds and words. Your child’s early coos and babbles are actually an important form of communication. In almost no time, he will speak his first words. Then he’ll master new ones by the handful as he gathers the ingredients he’ll need for a strong start in school and in life.

”Create a taste for language”


Just as you slowly add new tastes and textures to help your baby move from baby food to real meals, you can help him go from babbling to talking by introducing new words and by sharing what they mean and how to use them.

”Recipes for success”

*Talk as you go. Describe actions and objects that are part of your daily activities-as a sports announcer would. “It’s raining today. Let’s use an umbrella. An umbrella keeps us dry when it rains.”

*Mix it up. Use a variety of words each day. Instead of using the word nice, say, “It’s a marvelous day.” Explain the word to your child and use it again in another way.

*Follow your child’s lead. Provide the words to describe his interests. If your child notices a bug, say, “What do you see? A caterpillar? Yes. It’s a caterpillar. A small, fuzzy, brown caterpillar.”

*Be on the look out. Spot interesting pictures and words in your child’s books, in stores, or on street signs. Point to them. Use the new words in sentences again and again.

*Extend the conversation. Even when your child is too little to answer, engage him in conversation. If he says “moo,” you say, “Yes, moo! A cow says moo!”

Wherever you are-the bathtub, the dinner table, or the grocery store-experiment with fun and creative ways to teach your child new words. Simply stir his imagination … and watch his vocabulary grow!

”I Want More”