Bigger words build a bigger world for your children

It takes just a few minutes a day to have a major impact on your children’s literacy and education.

We all want our children to succeed in school. A major and simple way to give them the right start is to help build their vocabulary. A strong vocabulary means an easier path to reading and writing and comprehension. Remember, the more words a child knows, the more they are able to understand the things that go in their world.

How hard is it for us to share a new word with our children once a day? Not very hard at all. New words can be introduced in everyday conversation or by reading/exploring books.

When you come across a new word, try to find a simple definition for it. So for example if a book you are reading says “the plant was small and sturdy,” you can explain that ‘tiny’ is another word for ‘small’, and a fancy word for small is ‘miniscule’. You can also share that ‘tough’ is another word for sturdy.

Then it is important to try and encourage your child to come up with his/her own example by asking simple follow up questions like: What small or sturdy thing can you think of? Can you think of something small that you saw today? And then discuss the answers together. Lastly, it helps if you can keep the new words alive within your house by trying to remember them yourself and use them in regular conversation.

You can also introduce additional new words by talking about opposites for example: Do you know what the opposite of small is? Yes, large! (or big). A fancy way of saying large (big) is enormous. Can you think of another way to say enormous? And the conversation can continue from there, naturally. 

Help your child to take delight in words. Point them out whenever you see them. Celebrate how quickly they grasp the new words in their ever-expanding vocabulary. Make building your child’s vocabulary a priority – you’ll be glad you did.

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  1. I have seen where reading to and with children make their world come alive…
    Where can I volunteer?
    I teach at Clan Carthy High, free until ten Tuesday mornings. I don’t drive

    1. Hi Maureen, suggest that you contact the Ministry of Education who would be best placed to tell you.

    2. I would like you to come to morant bay high school daughter attend there …

  2. Like to know if they is any vacancy available and how to apply

    1. Hi Crystal-Gaye, we did have some vacancies advertised recently. But unfortunately the application deadlines have now passed. Please follows us on social media (@unicefjamaica) where we can update you of any future vacancies.