The first lexicon a child acquires tends to have favourite words – “mum, biki, park!” This is fairly individual to each child. If we are teaching a new word to a child, we need to take into account the child’s family, environment and daily activities. Most of these words can fit into functional categories. I like to use the OZI (click here ) as a baseline for number/range of words a child has. It’s a great measure of progress too!

Themed vocabulary work is a systematic way of helping a child develop words around topics.  These words should follow a general developmental sequence and cover a range of things in the child’s world. Repetition and interest are both key ingredients in learning.

Click for worksheets, games and other activities in each theme.

Actions / Verbs

Body Parts


Animals – Farm & Other


Garden & Outside


Attributes / Descriptive

Small household objects


Download 3 pages of Word Lists for Early Vocabulary in categories (as above).