Nourish your child's vocabulary

Written by Jo Hood | Published

Nourish your child's vocabulary

Parents know their children need adequate nutrition for little bodies to grow, and grow healthily. Nutrition is good. But there’s another set of inputs that nourish children. Language development.

According to information coming out of New Zealand and Australia, children are arriving at school with the vocabulary traditionally expected of a three-year-old. And this isn’t driven socio economically. The causes are found in the lack of time parents spend, face-to-face with their child; the amount of time the child uses devices; and the amount of time children are in full time day care. As a family who has time to attend mainly music and mainly play, your children are at an advantage. We realise this might not be a popular statement to make and it is, in no way, intended to pass judgement. You can use ideas from here, at home, with your child.


During songs like ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’, sit in a position where your child or baby can observe your face. They’re learning.

At home

Cherish moments when your child wants to chat, even if they’re not ‘chatting’ just yet. Get down on their level, perhaps sitting at their table. They will be learning vocabulary through your discussions with them over play dough or trucks, drawing or blocks, a doll’s house or water play.

Using ‘Our Alphabet’ song

A simple activity for you to enjoy with your child, using the alphabet. The melody is Skip to My Lou and easily sung. Ask your child to point to the pictures and sing to them.

For example,

B for bus, b, b, b
B for butterfly, b, b, b
B for ball, b, b, b
That’s how we sing our alphabet

Change the song to the sound of the letter. B for bus, bee, bee, bee. Tell the children what you’re using. “We’re singing the NAME of the alphabet.” Or, “We’re singing the SOUND of the alphabet.”

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