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Written by:  Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts
Date: July 1, 2012

The more words your children know, the easier it is if for them to understand what they read. Here are some ways to begin building vocabulary when children are young and continue as they get older.

Talk to young children about what they are seeing and doing and read to them. Talk about various topics as children get older. Regardless of children's ages, visit places such as fish hatcheries, museums, county fairs and state capitols where they will learn new words to describe what they are seeing.

Play word games with school-age children; it helps them develop and maintain an interest in words. Try traditional word games like Boggle and Scrabble, but also make puns with words and to try making palindromes, words that read the same backward or forward. Also involve children in crossword puzzles.

Introduce a new word during dinner or while on a short car trip and brainstorm synonyms and antonyms for the word.

Build new words by having younger children combine two familiar words into a compound word. Older children can make new words from root words, prefixes and suffixes.

Give prizes for the most unusual word found on billboards while traveling. Plus, it's always fun to try to figure out what the letters in personal license plates stand for.



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