• User AvatarMiriam McKenzie
  • 31 Jul, 2017
  • 50 Secs Read

Meal Time! Talk Time!

We all know that eating a meal together as a family with the telly turned off is incredibly important in terms of healthy eating and connection – but did you know that the simple act of sharing a meal can improve your children’s vocabulary?

Family therapist Anne Fishel says researchers have found that for young kids, conversations at the dinner table boost vocabulary even more than being read to. Researchers counted the number of “rare words” – those not found on a list of 3000 most common words – that the family used during dinnertime chats.

It may seem odd, especially if you feel like the only things you say during dinnertime are, “Sit down!” and “Here comes the plane”, but young children learned a gob-smacking 1000 rare words at the dinner table, compared with only 143 from parents reading aloud from a book.

And why is vocabulary so important? Children who have a large vocabulary read earlier and more easily.

You still need to read The Gruffalo for the millionth time, though. Sorry.