June 15, 2024

How to Teach Children to Use a Dictionary

This is our experience on introducing a dictionary for our kid. It was a great experience and we can see how he improves his vocabulary together with writing and reading skills.

How to Teach Children to Use a Dictionary

I hope you like to read our story and experience teaching him on reading the dictionary. In case if you are wondering about how to teach children to use a dictionary, this guide may help you. English dictionary is a helpful resource for any child. Not only at the school, but even with English tutoring, a good dictionary will be a good resource to improve the vocabulary.

Introducing a Dictionary for the kid (The story behind)

My kid is going to be 6 years old and now he is with both reading and writing skills for his age. A few months ago when he started writing sentences alone, he wanted to know the spelling.

What happened then? He always asked me ‘how to spell this, how to spell that? Etc. 🙂

It was fun and admirable at the beginning. But later it was not easy as he started asking a lot of words and I didn’t know how to help him in writing alone without disturbing his interest in writing.

It was the right time I talked with his class teacher during the parent-teacher meeting. The teacher has found the same experience with my kid and some other kids in the classroom.

As per her, some of the kids have started showing their skills on composing a sentence. But they do not have enough vocabulary. The result was asking the spelling from the teacher.

And, the teacher found a solution. She asked me to buy a dictionary for him. She further asked to buy an age appropriated illustrated dictionary for kids.

After checking in local bookstores and online stores finally I found this children’s illustrated dictionary for him.You can buy it here if necessary.

The DK Children's Illustrated Dictionary
The DK Children’s Illustrated Dictionary

Buying this dictionary is one of the best things we did for our kid. He loves his dictionary and he writes more now.

He improves his skills daily. This is how to teach children to use a dictionary based on our experience with our kid.

How we introduced the dictionary?

Below are some of the tips we used when we introduced the dictionary for the kid. Now he uses his dictionary by himself without much support from us.

Therefore I thought of sharing these tips thinking these can be useful for other parents who look for introducing a dictionary for their kids.

Here is what we did when we teach the kid to use his dictionary.

Find a children’s dictionary

How to Teach Children to Use a Dictionary

Before introducing a dictionary to your kid, find an age appropriate dictionary. It is not easy and even not suitable to introduce an adult dictionary for the young kids straightaway.

If the children’s dictionary you choose is with illustrations with little big and easy to read fonts, it will be easier for the kid to refer the dictionary.

For our kid we bought the Children’s illustrated dictionary published by DK. It is with clear pictures, fonts and descriptions which a kid can easily understand the meaning of any word.

Explore the dictionary with the kid

How to Teach Children to Use a Dictionary

We did this when we bought the dictionary. I read the dictionary with the kid. We checked words together and it was a good bonding activity for both of us. When the kid asks for the spelling or meaning of any word, I simply ask him to check the dictionary to find what it says.

Explain the kid how to use the dictionary

My kid was excited to receive a new illustrated dictionary for him. I explained him what a dictionary is and how to use a dictionary to find a word. This explanation was helpful for him to identify the words.

When we read books together if we find any difficult word then we started checking it in the dictionary to find the meaning. In this way kid started to use the dictionary.

Explain the kid on how the words flow in a dictionary

When we started exploring the dictionary, the first thing I explained to him was the order of words in a dictionary. Dictionary flows by the alphabet. Therefore the kid can easily follow the alphabet to find words. When he understands this concept, my kid started exploring new words until he is familiar with the new dictionary.

Try it with your kid. They will learn with fun!

introduce kid a Dictionary

Read the definitions

Whenever my kid asks the meaning of words I ask him to refer to the dictionary and let me know what it says. Kid started doing so. Later he found these definitions are worth understanding new words.

He picked new words through exploring the dictionary. Now he refers the dictionary by himself when he finds a new word or when he wants to find spelling for new words.

Introducing a dictionary for the kid was a valuable thing we did for our kid at his right age. I should thank for his teacher for introducing this idea.

Check the details of this Children’s illustrated Dictionary here including product details price and how to order.

Have you bought a dictionary for your kids? How to teach children to use a dictionary as per your experience? Or do you have ideas to share on how to introduce a dictionary for kids? If so, please share as a comment.I would love to know more ideas.

Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi

Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog. She shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences of raising a child in Singapore.

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