Following on from part 1 in this series on improving your child’s vocabulary, this part of the series will cover the last couple of ways you can use to help your child:
- Synonyms and antonyms
- Introducing prefix and suffixes
- Rhyming games
- Word wall
Synonyms and Antonyms for Quick Vocabulary Building
To improve your child’s vocabulary, your child should be aware of the different types of words they can use in their speech. Synonyms and antonyms are examples of these types of words.
Synonyms will let your child find different words that mean the same thing so they can start to use a variety of words.
Antonyms will help your child learn the opposite meaning of words, which will help increase their word bank by default.
Understanding Prefixes and Suffixes Broaden Word Bank
Prefixes are words where the first few letters indicate to us the meaning of the word. An example being ‘uncomfortable’. The word on its own is comfortable. However, when we add the prefix ‘un’, the meaning of the original word changes. For your child’s practice, you can tell them to write down a list of words they already know that begin with ‘un’, and they can build on this too.
Suffixes help us to understand a word’s meanings better. An example being “er” or “or” at the end of a word. Say you choose the word to describe someone who trains. They are a trainer. If you choose the word start to describe someone who can start things independently, you’ll end up with the word self-starter. By adding a new suffix word for your child to practice each week, their vocabulary will expand in no time.
Rhyming Games Help With Vocabulary Building
This game is a great one to help your child with their recall and pronunciation of words. The rules are quite simple:
- Start with a chosen word, and your child will need to think of another word that rhymes with the one you chose. Here’s an example. If you start with the word ‘trunk’, your child might choose the word bunk.
- You can continue coming up with different words until your child has run out of words, at which point you can select a new word to start up another round.
Make a Word Wall
If your child is more of a visual learner and does better when they can see the layout of their work or the material they are engaging with, a word wall is a great place to start. You can set up the wall at the start of the year, and as they learn new words throughout the year, they can attach these new words to the wall. Then gradually, they will be able to visualise the words they’ve been learning. You can get your child to create a story writing exercise using selected words from this word wall to build on this.
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