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10 Ways to Help Your Child Learn Vocabulary Words, Part IV

Today’s post is the fourth post in a five-part series on how you — as a Missouri public school parent — can help your child expand her vocabulary. 

6. Play Word Games
Summer is the season for family travel, and incorporating learning new vocabulary into car trips is fun and easy. Here are a few of our favorite word games for family travel:
The Alphabet Game
Backseat Scavenger Hunt 
First Letter, Last Letter
Make a Postcard Travelogue

You don’t have to wait until summer vacation to play word games at home. Board games, video games, and traditional word games are great ways to reinforce your child’s vocabulary learning, usage and spelling all year round.

Scrabble: This classic board game has several editions now, including a two-sided Junior Edition that will grow with your kids from preschool through kindergarten.

Boggle: Boggle is recommended for ages 8 and up, but is a fun game for older children and parents to play together. And because each game only takes a few minutes to play, this word game isn’t a big time investment for your family.

Word Games for DS, Wii, and other Game Consoles: If your child loves video games, you can encourage her to play word games on her DS, Wii, or Xbox. Nintendo DS and Wii word games include Scrabble, Words Up, Lola’s Alphabet Train, My Word Coach, and My Reading Tutor. Games of Xbox include Wordament, Text Twist, and Wheel of Fortune.

More Games to Play at Home
Scholastic offers a free flash card maker tool on its website. You can choose between digital (online) or physical (printed) vocabulary flashcards, and because the application allows you to input your own words and definitions, you can customize flash cards for your child’s current vocabulary words.

PBS offers a variety of learning games on their children’s website, including several vocabulary games for third through fifth and sixth through eight grade students. If your child likes computer games, she may enjoy these

The “Take a Walk” game brings your family together for learning and physical activity. Take a walk through your neighborhood — or if the weather’s cold, a shopping mall or museum — and look for things that begin with a certain letter of the alphabet. 

7. Subscribe to a Children’s Magazine
If your child enjoys stories and images, but has a hard time with longer books, a subscription to a children’s magazine can help make reading more enjoyable. If your child already loves to read, getting his/her own magazine in the mail each month will be a special treat.

There are many magazines on the market, covering a variety of subjects and written for nearly every age reader. Many children’s magazines offer a free trial issue so that you and your child can decide together whether the magazine is one that she’ll enjoy reading.

A few popular kids magazines include American Girl, Appleseeds, Boys Life, Odyssey Magazine, Cricket, Hopscotch for Girls, Highlights, National Geographic Kids, and Sports Illustrated Kids.

To see what magazines other parents recommend, visit The Parent’s Choice Winners list for magazines.

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