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In the Classroom: The Doodlebugs

Beginning to Build Vocabulary

We know that early language and communication skills are important for children’s development. The Doodlebugs are learning new and exciting ways to express themselves with words, gestures, and body movement. 
 
The teachers have been engaging children in play that promotes language development. During conversations with the children, teachers are using more descriptive language to describe what we are doing and the materials we are using. 
 
The children enjoy cuddling with a teacher to read a book. When reading we look at the pictures and talk about what we see. One of our favorite books is I Spy Little Hearts. The children imitate what the words they hear in the story, as well as point at objects they see. 
 
We extend our play by looking around our classroom to find toys that are the same color, size, and shape. These experiences open up new conversations and experiences. 
 
Through music and movement we also expand our vocabulary. When singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, the children imitate the movements and say “eyes” while pointing. 
 
Making eye contact, using gestures such as waving bye-bye, counting items, and making animal sounds all help to build a child's vocabulary. With the younger infants we talk to them while feeding, cuddling, playing peek-a-boo, and during diaper changes.  These are some of the beginning stages of building their interests and vocabulary.
 
You can encourage expression at home through the use of words, gestures, and movement. It is easy and fun for you and baby!