Here are 10 great ideas you can try out with your preschooler to teach word recognition!
1. Name objects in the home or familiar environment
Whenever possible, name objects found in the familiar environment for the toddler. ” This is a table”, ” That is a soft toy”. Be patient as it takes lots of repetition for the child to process new words. What you are providing is the language input needed for vocabulary building and semantic understanding!
2. Label objects found in the home
You can print or write on index cards names of objects found in your child’s room or home and paste them on the objects (e.g. table, chair, mirror, toys). Consistently reinforce the names of the objects, and the written words helps your child to develop print awareness which is a pre-reading skill.
3. Create a vocabulary book
Recycle your magazine or brochures by asking your child to choose a picture or photo. Tear them out and paste them onto a notebook. Write the names of the objects for the child. You can use this little booklet as a bedtime book to read the names of the objects with your child. Make it enjoyable and fun whenever possible!
4. Go for a learning trip to learn thematic sight words
Choose a theme (e.g. zoo animals, farm animals, plants, airport), and go on a learning trip with your child! Point out the animals or objects you want your child to learn. You can ask your child to snap photos of them with your camera, print out the photos and make your own picture cards! That way learning comes alive and contextualised, and a positive learning experience definitely will motivate your child to learn enthusiastically and faster!
5. Seize teachable moments in your family routines
Family or travel routines are great opportunities to teach your child to pick up new words! They can include meal times, cooking in the kitchen, watering the plants, getting ready for school, going to the zoo, etc. One of my favourite times are bus trips that I take with my daughter. I love pointing out the trees, birds, people, traffic lights, houses, shops, etc to her and ignite a sense of curiosity about them.
6. I spy with my little eye
This is one traditional game that works wonders when it comes to purposeful play. Play the game to inject some fun into the naming and identification of objects. You can take turns with your child, and say, ” I spy with my little eye, something that is red, round and is very crunchy!” This motivates your child to listen attentively for the cues and to look for the object and name it!
7. Mystery Bag
Put several objects into a mystery bag, feel for an object, describe it and ask your child to make a guess what it could be. Or ask your child to reach into the bag and guess what she touched before pulling it out of the bag. Kids love this games the same way babies love playing peekaboo!
8. Fishing Game
Make a fishing rod with a magnet at the end of the string. Then attach some paper clips to the sight words, read out a word and ask your child to fish for the correct word. This again makes word recognition fun and engaging for your child!
Create a hopscotch in the walkway with chalk, and write some sight words in each box. As the child steps into each box, ask the child to name the words! A very kinesthetic learning activity!
10. Scavenger Hunt
Read out the sight words and ask your child to go on a Scavenger Hunt for the objects (e.g. soft toy, bowl, spoon, pencil, crayon). Then ask her to match the objects to the words. Your child will be elated to start looking for the objects!
Hope this list tickles your mind to think of fun-filled activities for your child to learn naming and word recognition! Feel free to share any other great idea that works! 🙂