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As children advance in their academic journey, it becomes crucial that they improve their vocabulary not only for academic purposes but also as a life skill. Children often learn from observing the adults around them, and there are several ways through which you can assist them in learning new words.

Here are some activities you can do to help them expand their vocabulary.

1. Expand their vocabulary through the use of synonyms.

While a thesaurus can provide synonyms, it may be more advantageous for your child to hear these words being used in context. For instance, instead of saying “Let’s walk to the park,” you could say “Let’s take a stroll to the park.” Alternatively, you can replicate the function of a thesaurus in your speech. Rather than saying “You are pretty,” you could highlight new words by saying “You are pretty…gorgeous!” By placing emphasis on the new word, your child is more likely to recall it and link it with the word they already know.

2. Story time is an opportunity to learn new words.

During reading sessions with your child, whether you are reading to them or they are reading to you, try pausing at a picture and asking them to provide a description of it in their own words. Questions such as “What is the character doing in this picture?” “How would you describe them?” and “What do you think that character is thinking right now?” can be helpful in this exercise. Besides enhancing vocabulary, this activity has the added advantage of strengthening their comprehension abilities by encouraging them to understand deeply about what they are reading.

3. A Rewards Chart makes learning new words fun and engaging.

Work with your child to create a chart to record the new words they learn each day. The chart should have columns for each day of the week, and every time they fill in a column with new words, they can earn a reward such as a small treat – be it choosing a family dinner or getting sticker points to accumulate towards larger rewards such as selecting a family activity. This will further motivate them to pay closer attention to new words they come across during the day. This chart can also serve as a useful record of all the incredible new words your child learned over the week or month. You can refer back to the chart and deliberately incorporate them into your day-to-day conversations to help your child remember the new words better.

Kumon is a recommended option if you are seeking a learning centre for your child to improve their English language skills. Kumon offers two English programmes: English as a Native Language (EE) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Locate your nearest Kumon centre at and get in touch with our Kumon instructor for more information.