First word books are a perfect companion for any baby or toddler to support their language development. Recently we’ve been enjoying this colourful delight from DK Books – 100 First Words.
Packed full of bright images and bold patterns this book presents recognisable and frequently used words in a stimulating and accessible way for little ones. Pages are themed to support children’s developing knowledge of the world around them with objects like clothes or pets grouped together. As well as these straightforward categories there are also pages showing words and objects that are used at certain times of the day such as bath time and bedtime, great for helping children learn about their routines.
My one-year-old was instantly drawn to this book and it’s easy to see why, with a mixture of colourful illustrations and clear photographs it is instantly engaging. We really like the way the photos and the illustrations overlap and interact with each other in some pictures, the photo of the banana with a cartoon-style bite taken out of it always makes my son giggle.
The design of this book is perfect for toddlers; larger than the average book it’s great for laying out on the floor to look at together and with thick, sturdy pages little ones can practise their fine motor skills as they turn them. Another great feature is the book stays open on your chosen page, it must be so frustrating for little ones who are learning to master turning a page only to have the book work against them!
I always find it so interesting to read and re-read books like this with my children and notice how their language is changing as they grow and develop. From initially looking or pointing to the images and hearing me label them to speaking in four or five word sentences about his own experiences with the things he sees.
As he is getting so good at labelling all the words himself I thought I would set up a game for him with this book, a first word treasure hunt!
This was really so simple to do: as we looked through the book, each time he labelled a word I asked him if he could go and get whatever it was he’d seen. Some of these were easy like toys or his own hands and feet but others were trickier. I could really see him thinking about where to find the different items as he related all his knowledge together – in to the kitchen for a bowl and a spoon, upstairs to his bedroom to find his pyjamas and outside to search for a green leaf. He even used his half eaten banana to match the chomped one in the book!
You could make this activity easier for a younger child by having a few items from a page mixed with some that aren’t there and see if they can pick out the matching ones. For an extra challenge or a slightly older child you could ask them to find objects that match the colours or real items versus toy ones.
What activities do you do to help your little ones learn new words? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Buy 100 First Words from Waterstones.
Many thanks to DK Books for sending a copy of this book for review.
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