Garanimals Blog

January 22nd, 2013 at 5:01 am

Help Your Bilingual Children Expand Their Vocabulary

Enriching your bilingual children’s vocabulary is important for a variety of reasons. For starters, it will allow them to read and more complicated books. A wide vocabulary will also help them express themselves orally and verbally using a variety of words that more accurately describe what they’re trying to say.

Here are some fun ways to help enrich your bilingual kids’ vocabulary:

Storytime. If they’re not in preschool yet, storytimes are an excellent place to spend some time with your kids. Many libraries now offer bilingual/Spanish storytimes. These are always fun and I always appreciated the variety of topics that were covered in the books read because they introduced my kids to a lot of new vocabulary words.

Music. The repetitiveness of music is a great way for kids to memorize new words. Not to mention that they have a ton of fun listening and dancing to the music. The best part about this is that it doesn’t have to be only children’s music. There are a lot of great pop options that provide wonderful opportunities for your little ones to learn new words in Spanish.

Introduce new words. Try not to use the same simple words every single time. For example, think of the many words you can say big (gigantic, enormous, large) and start using them in your every day conversation. Make sure once you introduce a new word, you use it constantly.

Dictionaries. There are many options in terms of children’s dictionaries and they’re a lot of fun. Buy a couple and teach your children how to use them from the get go. As they get older, if they come across a word they don’t understand, remind them it’s a great idea to look it up in a dictionary.


Photo by Tim Pierce -

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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