Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Kindergarten Readiness: Vocabulary Development

What Is Vocabulary Development?

The ability to quickly name images in a limited amount of time.

How Can I Teach This At Home?

Playing
1. Describe what your child is doing as they are doing it - especially describing how objects look and how they feel.

2. Use words, not pronouns, to describe objects and actions (even it it is repetitive - that is helpful!).

3. Add less familiar words to a child's playtime.

Reading
1. Choose diverse books with new and different words. While repetition will help children learn the vocabulary, hearing new words will help them associate them if they have similar sounds or meanings.

2. Encourage children to read books they have not previously read. This will help them see and learn new words!

3. Ask children to identify images in books or magazine by asking, "What's in that picture?".

4. Point to pictures instead of saying the words while you're reading and have your child "fill in the blank".

Singing
1. Sing new songs to them with unfamiliar words.

2. Sing many different songs to your child - this will increase their vocabulary with every new song you add to the collection!

Talking
1. Have conversations with your child before and after reading or activities. This will build on what they say during the reading or activity time!

2. Explain the meanings of words as you use them or use synonyms when talking.

3. Explain differences in words with similar meanings.


Writing
1. Encourage children to use less familiar words.

2. Have conversations with children before and after you read or do activities with them - you can build on what they say by adding new and unfamiliar words.

3. Use synonyms when talking with your child.

Skills Checklist

Where Do I Start?

Need More?

The catalog for the Waco-McLennan County Library is available here!

If you want to search for more resources in our catalog in this subject, we suggest you search for the following subject headings:

For resources at the Waco-McLennan County Library available in Spanish, we suggest you search our catalog for the following subject headings:

For more assistance with searching and locating items held by the Waco-McLennan County Library, use our Ask a Librarian feature available on our catalog website or stop in to one of our branches!

The Waco-McLennan County Library provides patrons with access to resources through our Electronic Resources page, which can be found here. Suggested databases are listed below:

Did You Know?

By the time a child heads to kindergarten, their vocabulary will include between 2000-2500 words!

Online Resources

There are many different online resources for early literacy - and we know it can be overwhelming. The following apps, blogs/newsletters, videos, and websites are some of the materials we would recommend to learn more about rapid vocabulary development!