Vocabulary Words for Kids: How to Help Children Learn Vocab Words

Kids with a strong vocabulary often possess strong reading comprehension skills and can express themselves clearly. Develop your child's vocabulary throughout his or her education by using the following vocabulary-building techniques.

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Teaching Vocabulary Words to Your Child

Learning vocabulary can be tedious if kids simply look words up in the dictionary and memorize definitions. Some kids can't relate to these kinds of activities and have trouble remembering words when they encounter them again. Beyond rote memorization, try incorporating hands-on activities and games to support your child's education.

Vocabulary Words at School

The vocabulary words that your child is learning depends on your child's age, grade level and reading level. Use your child's vocabulary list from school as a starting point. Ask your child's teacher for lists of vocabulary words and reading materials that your child can use at home. Then, create fun, at-home activities that can complement the school's standards.

Lessons You Can Teach at Home

When teaching vocabulary at home, you can create flashcards, write your own worksheets or even quiz your child over dinner. The key is to practice frequently and consistently. Making vocabulary review part of your routine can also help your child develop study habits.

Teach your child how to use context clues to define an unfamiliar vocabulary word. This strategy often works because your child won't have to remember a long, often uninteresting list of definitions. Instead, he or she can use reading comprehension skills to create a definition.

Another technique is to have your child create a word map for important words in a text. Write the word in the center of a piece of paper and write information about the word around it. Include synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech it applies to and at least one sentence using the word.

Use Websites

Use interactive, hands-on games and activities when teaching vocabulary because kids often respond well when they're engaged in learning. There are a great number of websites offering services such as this, often at no charge. In addition to games, there are sites that provide templates from which you can create your own flashcards for your child. If your child is struggling to learn new words, there are also websites that offer volunteer-provided help. A great number of online tutors can help your child increase his or her vocabulary via instant messaging, e-mail and Web cam.

How Reading Helps

One of the best ways that your child can increase his or her vocabulary is by reading, not only for school, but also for personal pleasure. The more your child reads - or is read to - at home, the more his or her vocabulary is likely to grow. Help your child feel empowered by using one of many age-appropriate reading lists available. Your child can pick out books and other reading materials that pique his or her interest.

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