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.)
As the child gets older, he will understand the dramatic play aspect and will begin to contribute his own ideas. Use the terms bigger, smaller, etc. “This is a nice small rock, can you find one a little bit bigger?”
Identifies the global categories of short and long, and uses comparative terms with two items.
As children begin to see more discrete differences, they add vocabulary to describe what they are seeing. Encourage parents to use comparative terms in their daily routines. For instance, while cooking dinner, say, “Can you find a larger potato for Daddy?”
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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