Thursday, March 15, 2012
Two Gorillas: One Gigantic and the Other "Teensy Tiny"
While I'm not sure you'll find teensy tiny in the dictionary, per se, I am sure that my daughter is ready for words other than big and little, and chances are, so is yours! Instead of using the same words over and over again to describe the size of things, try expanding your child's vocabulary with synonyms. For instance, you could say, "Wow, Katie! That Grandpa gorilla is so big. He is gigantic." I know Katie already knows that "big" means, so using it in context, along with having the giant gorilla right there helps her figure out that "gigantic" means "extremely big". Contrast it with, "Look, Katie, that baby gorilla is so little next to his Grandpa. He is tiny/small/teeny/miniature." Kids will have a blast using the new words, and because it is such a natural integration into their vocabulary, it doesn't feel forced or stressful.
Now, of course, you don't have to be at the zoo to introduce new words to your kids. You could just as easily use a "gigantic bus" and a "tiny ant". Try using words like "gorgeous" instead of "pretty", and "delicious" instead of "good" (when describing food). For older kids, see if they can come up with their own synonyms for familiar and overused words.