Here at Tale Wagger Stories, we have book #2 ready to release in March. Part of the Rascally Pup Learns and Grows series, it is PACKED with funny words that your child probably doesn’t know. And that’s not a mistake. The goal with these stories is of course enjoyment, but also to create curiosity and conversation during storytime.
A few weeks ago, I had posted a question in an author Facebook group and shared the link to our first book, What the Dickens?!?!: The Tale of a Rascally Pup. Someone in the group (fortunately not a children's author) commented and suggested that the word “rascally” was too advanced to use in a book for young children. Wow! I certainly hope not!
Research repeatedly shows that a child’s success in reading and overall learning is strongly influenced by the size of their vocabulary at a young age.
How can you help to grow your child’s vocabulary? Certainly not by avoiding words they’ve never heard.
The simplest approaches have the most impact on children:
- Talk to them! Have meaningful conversations and encourage questions.
- Read stories with rhymes and funny words that they enjoy repeating.
- When they ask to read the same story again…say okay! Repetition helps a child learn.
- Look for books that appeal to their natural interests. This will establish reading as fun.
- Play word games.
- Don’t forget to show how impressed you are about what they know or have learned!
When writing a children’s story, I like to sprinkle in fun, curious words and phrases that I hope will make kids stop and ask, what does that mean? Questions are good, and it’s okay if we don’t have the answers. If we don’t know, we can pull out a dictionary or thesaurus and figure it out together. Another teaching opportunity…how to find the answer yourself…and how to discover even more words!
Questions create exponential learning if we enable it. Challenge your child! Expose them to new words and ideas and encourage them to ask questions. You’ll be expanding their vocabulary and perhaps even more importantly, growing your relationship.
Empower your child. Share a story.
Our new book, Golly-Oodle-Lolly!: One Fine Day with a Rascally Pup, releases on National Puppy Day, March 23, 2022. Don't worry! It comes with a free downloadable What the Dickens Does that Mean?! cheat sheet.