Observe the child during outdoor play with an adult. See what terms are used.
The adult can elicit vocabulary by being a player. In dramatic play outdoors, say, “I am making a museum of nature for people to come and see. I need rocks. I need a big one and a little one.” “ I need a heavy one and a light one.” “Okay, now how about a tall stick.” Continue with other characteristics hard, soft, etc. If the child brings many rocks, “Say, I just need one. You pick the one.” (You can also add in counting and say a number that you need).
The child will gleefully find the items to fill the museum. They love to go find things!
Encourage early childhood educators and parents to engage in similar activities. These dramatic play activities enable adult and child to engage in fun interactions as well as practice using increasingly descriptive vocabulary.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.