What is vocabulary?

Vocabulary consists of all the words we use and understand. It is all the words we use in various situations, subjects, and settings. We continue to learn new vocabulary throughout our lifetimes.

Speech-Language Pathologists often talk about vocabulary in terms of receptive and expressive vocabularies. Receptive vocabulary is what a person understands when someone is speaking. Expressive vocabulary consists of all the words someone uses to speak and express an idea, thought, or opinion.

How can we organize vocabulary?

One way we practice organizing vocabulary is through naming category labels and naming objects in a category. Practice naming objects in your house and naming the category they belong to. This is a great language activity to practice and help with organizing information in your child’s brain!

Below are some categories to get you started:

  • Colors
  • Body Parts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Farm Animals
  • Furniture
  • Things you read
  • Kitchen Objects
  • Hot Things
  • Cold Things
  • Bathroom Objects
  • Pets
  • Ocean Animals
  • Vehicles
  • Sharp Objects
  • Yellow Objects
  • Types of Buildings
  • Toys
  • School Supplies
  • Clothing
  • Loud Things
  • Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Drinks
  • Breakfast foods
  • Sports
  • Musical Instruments
  • Desserts

What other categories can you think of? How many objects can you name for each one? How quickly can you come up with 5? Or even 10?!

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