Second, parents should start reading to their kids as early as they can. The benefits of reading are enormous, improving both quantitative and qualitative aspects of vocabulary development. Book reading sessions are found to produce the highest number of vocabulary words compared to other interactive activities like playtime and mealtime (Weizman and Snow, 2006). Reading informative books, in particular, generate a high word density in a relatively short period of time (Weizman and Snow, 2006). The frequency of object labels and of explicit labeling (e.g., "This is a tiger.") is also greater during book reading than toy-play interactions (Choi, 2000 and Ho?, 2003c in Hoff, 2006). Further, maternal speech during book reading is structurally more complex and uses a larger vocabulary compared to other activities (Weizman & Snow, 2001; Ho?-Ginsberg, 1991; Jones & Adamson, 1987; Goddard, Durkin, & Rutter, 1985; and Snow et al., 1976 in Hoff, 2006).
Finally, parents must take advantage of mealtimes and playtimes as possible vocabulary expanding activities. These activities are shown to generate as much as seven times more spontaneous, sophisticated vocabulary than reading (Weizman and Snow, 2001). Further, because of the informal nature of these activities, the resulting conversations and interactions are also likely to be more engaging and interesting.
In summary, vocabulary development among young children is significantly impacted by the experience that parents provide. Specifically, this experience includes the quantity and quality of vocabulary input, the benefits of which are more pronounced if given in a supportive and engaging setting. Parents can help improve the vocabulary outcomes in their children by reading to them from an early age and using richer, more sophisticated vocabulary during play and mealtime interactions.