English is one of the most commonly used languages in the world. Childhood is the best age to learn any new language or skill. Gaining mastery of any language involves a lot of effort and practicing right from childhood with ample support and encouragement from parents and teachers. Communication with our kids is one of the most rewarding experiences in parenting. The more interactive conversation and fun play are involved, the more effective learning happens. We are the primary source for them to learn a language so it’s necessary to make some time for them to speak to them often. Take out some time from your busy schedule to read books, narrate bedtime stories, share your likes and interests, or simply talk regarding your favorite cartoon to incorporate new words and build their skills.
How to Build their Vocabulary
The best way to develop your children’s vocabulary is through casual talk and reading books. Reading books or newspapers to your children should be a daily activity. Make some time before sleep to read them any books which interest them or newspapers every day. Every new word they encounter should be explained with meaning. With the word used in sentences, it makes them easy to learn. Another way to develop vocabulary is through engaging in fun games. These simple gestures take only a few minutes of our time which will have a big impact on your child’s overall language development.
Creative Games to Improve Spellings and Vocabulary
Hands-on games are a great way to include new words in our kids language rather usual than repetition or memorization. This is an interesting way to make them learn to spell while having fun
1. Trace, Copy, and Recall
Then fold over the “recall” part so that only the first columns is shown.
How to play
Trace the new word in the first column. As the column says, the column will have the words that need to be learned and practiced. They can even add rhythm for better learning and copy it in the second column. Then flip the paper over and say the word and spell it out without seeing the paper. Now can recall the word and try to write in the third column. This is the best game to memorize, recall and practice a new word.
For pre-schoolers, you can just have a word column and picture column for a hand-drawn picture of the word, to be colored by them. This will increase the fun element and their interest in learning. They can spell each word and recite it.
2. What Is It?
It’s riddle time, learn the words by guessing and playing. It helps them with their comprehension skills. They can guess the words by making use of the clues and information and can solve and make the riddles. This is the best way to practice the words they are already aware of.
How to play
Choose an animal. Describe it in a riddle.
For example: If the word is a shark, describe it as “I think of something that lives in the sea, has sharp teeth, and swims very fast. What is it?”
Once your child has guessed the animal, it is their turn to choose an animal and make up a riddle as they wish to describe it, in English.
You can help them with making sentences. This helps them with the usage of the vocabulary they have learned in sentences. The best way to remember and learn new words is to frame them in sentences.
This game also encourages the creative skill of the kid, as they also have to think and come up with riddles and find interesting ways to explain the animal.
A few themes such as animals, and foods are comfortable for the kids to describe and make up a riddle. Later on, try a different theme such as occupations, tools and etc…
3. Word Bingo
This activity is funny and interesting when it involves quite a bunch of kids involved in it. A little preparation beforehand for this game is well worth it. Create bingo sheets with a 5×5 grid and add words to each square in scrambled in each sheet. Give these out to each one and let kids mark the correct word when you call it out. Form lines when all words are fully stricken out in a line either horizontally or vertically or diagonally. Mark the lines with the alphabet from BINGO in order. The first kid to finish marking the alphabet in BINGO is the winner. The game can continue till everyone has formed “BINGO”. This is the best way to identify the words learned with correct spellings. When many kids are involved it will make them eager and motivate them to identify quickly.
There are some fun variations to Word Bingo!
Picture Bingo: Using pictures on the Bingo card and call out the words that relate. This is for pre-schoolers who aren’t very familiar with spellings and are learning word identification with pictures.
Synonym Bingo: Synonyms of the words and related words can be given and let’s get them thinking.
For example: Take the word Bathing and you can use meaning words like cleaning, scrubbing, washing and etc… and use related words like towels, bathtub, duck, toys, loofah and etc…
Antonym Bingo: A small variation by including the opposites of the given words.
4. Last Man Standing
This is one of the paced games and allows kids to think. It also encourages peer learning, observation, and listening, as kids will acquaint themselves with new words, and they hear others while speaking.
How to play
To start with the game, grab a ball and have all the kids or family members form a circle. Announce a category or theme, such as things found in a kitchen, food, professions, and so on.
Let them start by tossing the ball at each other. That child will shout a word related to the theme and throw the ball at another child. As each person catches the ball, they need to say another word that related to the theme.
You can opt to choose another topic in the middle of the game and throw the ball. This makes the game much more difficult since children cannot think of a word immediately when the theme is changed. This strengthens their thinking pace.
5. Dumb Charades
Acting it out or Dumb charades is one of the great options for kids to improve on their language skills. Introducing your kids to games like this is a great way to use their imagination. It helps in better brain development for their growth.
For younger players who have not been introduced to words yet, picture cards are a good option. Set a timer to act out in a definite amount of time. This is a great team-building game for kids and helps them build cooperation among themselves. Choose topics that are not too difficult and possible to act out. (Verbs are good for acting it out.)
To get started you can pick any idea from categories like movies, animals, books, action words, places, etc. You can change the given ideas according to the age group of your kids and make it more fun and exciting.
Learning activities should not be a pressure but a pleasurable and interesting activity for them. Children learn vocabulary effectively with a combination of games, and activities and when they are having fun. So, bring about a creative way in which your kids would enjoy doing and the same time offers ample opportunity to learn new words should be incorporated. Let’s make learning fun.