Study Shows Children with Larger Vocabularies by Age 2 Are Better Prepared for Kindergarten

A recent finding from a group of researchers from The Pennsylvania State University, Columbia University, and The University of California as reported by the Society for Research in Child Development has shown that two year old toddlers with a larger vocabulary than other children their age do better in kindergarten, and in turn have an advantage academically as they grow up. This larger oral vocabulary also gives them advantage behaviorally and socially as well.

In the study, 8,650 two year old children were measured for their vocabulary levels by a parent survey. Other factors evaluated along with vocabulary levels were the children’s demographic information, parenting involvement, and birth weight. A few years later, the children’s kindergarten teachers noted the children’s reading and math skills and found that the children who had larger vocabularies as reported by the parental survey performed better in school than their peers with smaller vocabularies at age 2. These children also displayed better behavior and had less anxiety than their peers with smaller vocabularies at age 2.

This study proves the importance of reading and word and letter related play with young children to help develop their vocabularies. Waiting until school time may hinder their achievement in the long run. The study mentions what children who were better prepared come kindergarten were also found to be more likely to attend college, live in higher-income areas, be married, and own homes in the future.

Make sure you read to your toddler from the start. The early information and education can change your child’s life.

How do you help to expand your child’s vocabulary? For more information like this, please visit All My Children.


Society for Research in Child Development

By: Melissa A. Kay


Comments (7)

  • […] have shown that children with larger vocabularies by age 2 are better prepared for kindergarten. This boost in the start of their education can lead […]

  • Dorian Gray May 13, 2016 - 8 years ago

    I can speak from first hand experience and through 2 generations that the statements made in this article are true. Both my children and grandchildren had unusually high vocabularies at the age of 2 and it helped them all the way through school. It is very important to talk to your children from the day they are born using correct terminology for all the things around them. Baby talk is the absolute worst thing you can do to a child’s development.

  • Elizabeth September 1, 2016 - 8 years ago

    I completely agree as well. My daughter, 4 grandkids and 2 great grands (now 2 & 3), all benefited from no baby talk. We always talked to them as if they we’re mini adults. They are all smart as whips. I believe it also helps raise their I. Q’s.

  • Sandy Luna September 21, 2016 - 8 years ago

    I believe this with all my heart. I always read to my 2 kids and I always got compliments about the conversations they were able to have at age 2 and 3. They done well in school and now my grandchild is doing so well she’s one of the smartest kids her age and grade countywide.

  • Ruby November 4, 2016 - 8 years ago

    Agree. Did My Baby Can Read with my grandson when he was about 6 months. He’s very well adjusted, does well in school, is adired by his teachrrs and other adults, well mannered. He has plenty of friends. Daily the neighborhood kids are at my 🏠 or wants him to come over. He also plays sports. He is now 7.
    We aleays talked to him a little person. Never used baby talk.

  • Rony March 17, 2017 - 7 years ago

    Ido not agree. My husband was a late talker and today he owns a home, has a higher income and had been an exceptionally bright kid at school, college and universities. I don’t know what to make of this article!

    • Emily August 18, 2017 - 7 years ago

      The idea of public schooling, where children’s freedom to explore is do limited, and those who please the teachers. Are good at memorizing or focusing on pleasing teacher makes me cringe, imagination is so important, the ability to be creative, ideas of hierarchy of children are so backward. Yes a great vocabulary is wonderful, but just to emerge on top of a competitive heap? The heart intelligence is equally important, the ability to see outside the existing patterns, to imagine, to invest in joy these ring true for connected happiness of all.

  • Conrad September 25, 2017 - 7 years ago

    I don’t really care about the story, I just want to take this opportunity to tell all the readers here that all the children in my family are child-prodigy geniuses. No doubt you want to be just like us!

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