Learning vocabulary and maintaining a good level of language is something children need to master if they’re to do well in their 11+ exams. The more words your child knows, the more they understand and the more engaging their conversation will be. A rich vocabulary makes it easier for them to express their own thoughts and ideas, and the more they can interpret the ideas of others. 

But if you want your child to be a successful learner, you need to make learning fun. Whatever method of learning you use, it needs to engage them so they’re enjoying what they’re doing and learning in the process. A child will need repeated exposure to something to understand and learn from it and, when it comes to understanding and successfully using words, the more exposure the better! 

Learning vocabulary: games you can play

This is where vocabulary games come into play. They can promote vocabulary development and reinforce what they’ve already learned. Here are 5 games you can try with your child, to help them when learning vocabulary. They’ve been sourced from a larger list of 23, found over on the Upper Elementary Snapshots website – so do take a look, if you’d like further ideas to try.

#1: Matching words

Simply write a word on one piece of card, and its definition on another. Repeat the process for several different words and when you’ve finished, you’ll have a stack of definitions and a stack of words. Shuffle each pack separately then lay out the definitions in a grid format. Your child can then take the pile of words and, drawing one card at a time, match each card to a definition.

#2: Concentration

Similar to the previous game, you still have a stack of words and definitions but this time you use two different coloured cards/paper. Shuffle the cards together and place them face down on the table. Your child can then select one card of each colour. If they match, they can choose another set of two – if they don’t match, they have to return the cards to their places and try again.

#3: Word of the week

Take it in turns to pick a word of the week. Your challenge is then to use it as often as you can, in regular daily conversations.

#4: Acrostic poem

Write the word you’re learning in capitals, down the left-hand side of the page. It’s then up to your child to write short phrases that relate to the word and start with the capital letter, beside each letter.

#5: Pictionary

This is played like charades, but instead of miming the word, you have to draw an example of it on a piece of paper.

If you want your child to be a successful learner, you need to make learning fun – and that’s it’s no different when it comes to learning vocabulary. The above five games can easily be created and add in an element of fun to learning and understanding new words.

To help make learning vocabulary a little easier, I’ve created a new vocabulary notebook for children to use. It’s a great place for them to write down the new words they learn, along with a brief description, so they’re all in one place for easy revision. You can purchase a vocabulary notebook for your child, here. 

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