Two Gorillas: One Gigantic and the Other "Teensy Tiny"

Posted by Ellen on 11/1/2014
We went to the zoo this morning.  It was a blast.  My 2 year old can't get enough of the gorillas, snakes and turtles...but really, we find ourselves back to the gorillas multiple times per visit.  There's more to learn at the zoo than I could possibly begin to share, but I distinctly heard my 2 year old use the word "gigantic" to describe one of the gorillas (the "Grandpa").  She then told me that the baby gorilla is "teensy tiny".

While I'm not sure you'll find teensy tiny in the dictionary, per se, I am sure that my daughter is ready for words other than big and little, and chances are, so is yours!  Instead of using the same words over and over again to describe the size of things, try expanding your child's vocabulary with synonyms.  For instance, you could say, "Wow, Katie! That Grandpa gorilla is so big.  He is gigantic." I know Katie already knows that "big" means, so using it in context, along with having the giant gorilla right there helps her figure out that "gigantic" means "extremely big".  Contrast it with, "Look, Katie, that baby gorilla is so little next to his Grandpa.  He is tiny/small/teeny/miniature."  Kids will have a blast using the new words, and because it is such a natural integration into their vocabulary, it doesn't feel forced or stressful.

Now, of course, you don't have to be at the zoo to introduce new words to your kids.  You could just as easily use a "gigantic bus" and a "tiny ant".  Try using words like "gorgeous" instead of "pretty", and "delicious" instead of "good" (when describing food).  For older kids, see if they can come up with their own synonyms for familiar and overused words.
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