Most of the time when kids are driving their parent’s crazy it’s because they’re bored. Their brains lack stimulation and instead of trying to
Read Before Play
My oldest loves to read but hates being made to read. For the summer, I made it a rule that he has to read before he gets to play. That includes playing indoors/outdoors, watching tv, etc. We bought a timer bookmark so he can keep track of how long he’s been reading and when he’s reached his goal time. We make him read an hour a day and that can be all at once or if we have a busy day then we allow him to split it up into 2-3 increments. Once he has finished reading we ask him questions about what he just read to make sure he’s retaining and not just going through the motion.
The secret to expanding his vocabulary is making him read out loud. You may think your child knows all of the words in their books but sometimes they don’t. Listening to them reading out loud gives you the chance to catch any words they may be mispronouncing. Once you catch a word, correct them and see if they know what it means as well. It’s a great learning experience and also prepares them to grow their vocabulary by recognizing the word the next time it shows up.
Finding words in a puzzle is fun at any age but its monumental for your child’s vocabulary. Start off easy and let them get the flow of how to complete a crossword puzzle. Once they get the hang out of it, start giving them progressing harder ones to complete. Every time you bump up a level go over the word. Have them pronounce and explain what It means. If they don’t know the answer, ding ding! Another learning opportunity at their door. Even If they can’t comprehend the meaning of a word, searching for it in a puzzle will help them retain it.
Words with Friends
Whether parents like it or not, technology is and will be a large part of our children’s lives. The best way to handle this is to tackle it head on and make it enjoyable for both of you. Games like Words with Friends are a perfect example of this. If you don’t know what Words with Friends is then let me introduce you to your new favorite game!
Words with Friends is a free app that you can download on Apple and Android devices. I love taking a few minutes to play whenever I’m free. There’s no pressure to start and finish a game in one go. Being able to play with my oldest throughout the day is a great way to stimulate our brains. Not only is it helping with both our vocabularies, it makes us feel smart and empowered when one comes up with a high scoring word. He may be 9 years old, but he can put up a good match when he concentrates and thinks his choices through.
No matter what tactics work for your family, engaging with your little one to stimulate their brain and make it fun is key! From dedicated reading to Words with Friends when you have a free moment, you’ve got this!
Check out Words with Friends here if you want to give it a go. Feel free to challenge me anytime!