Grow Your Toddler's Vocabulary

Grow Your Toddler's Vocabulary

Wendy Smith

My best friend is a mom of five fantastic kids. She has this parenting theory I’ve decided to adopt. We use lots of adult words around our kids that they don’t understand from a young age. We talk about being kind with our 1-year-olds when they throw tantrums, and I tell my two-year-old to be respectful when she yells. Why? Well, because we think if our babies hear those words they’ll learn them eventually and start to be able to understand big concepts like kindness and respect. I also apply this theory to the books we read. I try to stretch my toddler’s attention span and her comprehension level with the books I choose to read. Knowing that she won’t understand it all, but soon enough, the new words and phrases we use will seem normal to her. Eventually she’ll be on to bigger challenges.

I felt really encouraged when I did a little research on building vocabulary in toddlers. I found this book, Thirty Million Words written by a surgeon who works installing cochlear implants in children. I found a lot of debate about the study that this book was written about, but I didn’t find anyone debating the concept of using a large vocabulary around your toddlers.

“By the end of age three, the human brain, including its one hundred billion neurons, has completed about 85 percent of its physical growth, a significant part of the foundation for all thinking and learning. The development of that brain, science shows us, is absolutely related to the language environment of the young child.” {Suskind, page 5, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain}.

I’ve been working a lot with Baby University books, and it’s really cool to talk about neutrons and chemical bonds.





I went to MMB the other day I saw these awesome Babylit Storybooks! There are a few different ones to choose from.

When your little one is ready for alittle more meat to their classic tales than the
board books can provide, I hink these are a great next stage in growing your toddler’s vocabulary words. I plan to add a couple to our Easter basket!


We’re also stalled in the potty training realm, so I’ll be breaking out Potty Palooza, MMB’s most popular book! If you don’t have a copy, it’s a must-own for all parents of toddlers!

For your younger littles, I always feel like a snuggly JellyCat and book combination is a great way to add some new reading material to your home. I find a stuffed buddy with a story is a more loved friend.

Toddlers learn words when they are exposed to them. Talk to your little ones often, and read to them as much as you can!

Jenny Ditch and her husband raises a toddler in Illinois hoping she turns out to be a verbose little nerd.

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