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Parents & Teachers

Photographs in Books

Little Pink BookWhen reading a book to your child, make it a point to talk about the pictures. Explaining the meaning of words helps increase your child’s vocabulary, an important skill your child needs long before he or she begins to learn to read. Books with photographs of real items, like Little Pink Book by Renee Khatami, are great for reinforcing the names of objects that your baby or toddler is learning about.

–Tip by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Liaison

By MPPL on October 2, 2011 Categories: Vocabulary

Butterfly Finger Puppet

Butterfly-Finger-Puppet Make learning new vocabulary words fun by creating finger puppets your child can use with rhymes. Click here to learn how to make a butterfly finger puppet! Then sing this song and make your butterfly flutter to different parts of your or your child's body. You can make the butterfly land on all kinds of things; help your child name them!

Butterfly, Butterfly (tune of Jingle Bells)

Butterfly, butterfly,
Landing on my nose,
Butterfly, butterfly,
Now he’s on my toes.
On my arm, on my leg,
On my elbow,
Butterfly, oh butterfly
He lands, and then he goes.

–Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant

By on July 6, 2011 Categories: Vocabulary

Marvelous Vocabulary

Millie's marvelous hat Talking about the pictures in storybooks with your child, naming things, and telling them something about what is in the pictures will build their vocabulary and help them later as they try to understand what they read. For example, when you read the book Millie’s Marvelous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura, you can point out and name some of the different hats in the park, such as Accordion, Chameleon, Metronome, Trophy, Submarine, etc. Researchers have found that children with a large vocabulary—who have heard a lot of different words—find it easier to read when the time comes.

–Tip by Brad J., Youth Technology Librarian


By on March 8, 2011 Categories: Vocabulary

Action Songs Can Build Vocabulary

If you're happy and you know it- jungle Sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with different actions, such as clap your hands, pat your head, tap your toes, and touch your nose. Make up new verses for other body parts your child is learning to name! This will help add to your child’s ever-growing vocabulary, which is a key part of building reading readiness.

–Tip by Jan P., Preschool/Child Care Liaison

By on November 29, 2010 Categories: Vocabulary

Wordless Books

Red yellow blue hoban


Vocabulary means knowing the names of things and learning new words.  Wordless books with pictures can help you talk about new objects or even concepts with your baby.  Try one by Tana Hoban.

–Tip by Michelle T., Youth Outreach Liaison

By on September 20, 2010 Categories: Vocabulary

E X P A N D I N G Your Child’s Vocabulary

Fishing Books are a great way to expand your child’s vocabulary since they use uncommon words in them.  Children’s books have about 31 rare words per 1,000 words—that’s 3 times more than what's used in conversation!  But what happens when you're reading with your child, and you come across a word you don’t know either?  What a great opportunity to show your child what we do when we don’t know something!  There’s the dictionary, of course, but also sometimes there are clues in the book, like pictures and synonyms, that will help you figure out what the word means. The book, A Good Day’s Fishing by James Prosek, describes things on a fishing trip, while introducing lots of new vocabulary.

–Tip by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist


By on July 12, 2010 Categories: Vocabulary

Building Baby’s Vocabulary

If you're happy and you know it Building a strong vocabulary is an important part of early literacy.  With babies and toddlers, almost any word can be a new word for them to learn!  When you sing the song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” with different actions—clap your hands, pat your head, tap your toes, touch your nose—it helps your child practice vocabulary words for types of actions and parts of the body.  Make up new verses with different actions and other body parts that your child is learning to name!

-Tip by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Liaison


By on April 26, 2010 Categories: Vocabulary

Learning Vocabulary with Opposites

What's what The book, What’s What? A Guessing Game by Mary Serfozo, allows you to discuss the concept of opposites with your child.  Use questions like, “What is soft?” and “What is cold?” to ask your child what he or she thinks those words mean.  These conversations help enrich your child’s vocabulary and understanding of what opposites are.  Vocabulary means knowing the names of things, concepts, feelings, etc., and it is one of the six early literacy skills that children need to develop before learning to read.

–Tip by Renee N., Library Assistant


By on February 16, 2010 Categories: Vocabulary