Building language using descriptive words

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Adjectives or describing words are a natural part of our everyday conversations. We often use them when we are making a story interesting, trying to clearly express ourselves or share how we’re feeling. 

Even though we don’t give this much thought when chatting with adults, being aware of introducing descriptive words in your conversations with your little one will help you actively build their vocabulary as well as create foundations for their communication skills later in life. 

Describe what you and your child are doing

You can incorporate adjectives into your daily routine by describing what you and your child are doing as you go about your day. “Wow, This is a crunchy apple”  “Look at that fast bird”  or “These are long socks” By talking and describing what’s happening while it’s happening, you are connecting words with actions or meanings.  

Make it fun and play games

Play a describing game with your child by going for a walk in the garden and pointing out different plants, bugs or birds. Ask your child to describe what they can see, feel or smell. If your child is very young try helping them touch the bark on a tree, you can ask the question “Is it rough, scratchy, smooth, wet, dry or sticky?.....Oooh - It’s very rough and scratchy!” 

Picture books with lots of adjectives to try and use in your conversations: 

  • A is for angry by Sandra Boynton 
  • Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day by Judith Viorst 
  • Old hat, new hat by Stan and Jan Berenstein 
  • The little mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bear by Don Wood 
  • The grouchy ladybug by Eric Carle 

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