Baby Sign Language Promotes Early Language Development

A little needs to hear a word 200 times before verbally expressing the concept. However, when using Baby Sign Language (ASL signs) a child is comprehending a single word using both their visual and auditory ways of learning! Research, over 28 years worth, shows that ASL signs supports verbal English!

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Plus, using Baby Sign Language allows for a child to express themselves much earlier as they can use their signs to communicate. They are feeling less frustrations as they have empowerment over their environment!

Our Winter 2016 classes are now full! Spring 2016 class schedule will be announced next week. Thank you so much for all the support.

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Baby Sign Language Promotes Early Language Skills!

I enjoy hearing stories about how signing has positively impacted a family and how they are able to communicate with their young children. The best complements are when I see signing families in the community and they share how using baby sign language impacted their family is a positive way.

However, there some parents express concern that using ASL signs with their children may delay natural speech and language. The short answer is no! I think the confusion is due to the fact there is often confusion between  speech and language. Here is a great link explaining the difference:

http://www.playingwithwords365.com/2012/01/what-is-the-difference-between-speech-and-language/  (this blogger is a Speech and Language Pathologist).

When a child is using baby sign language (ASL signs) they are using language, and bridging the gap to meaningful communication! How wonderful is is that a non-verbal baby or a late talking toddler is able to use a true language to communicate their needs and have a sense of empowerment over their environment?

The Mayo Clinic promotes the use of Baby Sign Language stating, “Baby sign language — when babies use modified gestures from American Sign Language — can be an effective communication tool. Teaching and practicing baby sign language also can be fun and give you and your child an opportunity to bond.”

To read full article:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/baby-sign-language/faq-20057980

Our classes are also language rich as teach baby sign language through music, signing, movement, sensory activities. we encourage parents to constantly talk with their children while using baby sign language to support and encourage verbal English.

Please feel free to ask me any questions!

Tuesday’s Tip – What are Motivational Signs?

Motivational signs are what is important to your child. As parents, we never know what a child is wanting to say!

Therefore, in my level classes I encourage parents to start with 2-5 signs in the first week. These are usually related to everyday use such as: “more/all-done”, “milk”, “eat/food”, “change diaper” and “mom/dad”. Then the following weeks incorporate more 2-5 ASL signs based on our theme.

Other times parents will start incorporating what their child finds to be interesting! Some children love food, or animals. In fact, E’s second sign was “light” and third sign was “fan”. You just may be amazed at what their first signs may be!

What signs will you be using this week?

Emotional Development and Baby Sign Language

Self regulation or emotional development is learned throughout a person’s life. Babies and toddlers experience these huge emotions in small bodies. They need parents/caregivers to help them identify and regulate their emotions.

Children begin to learn self-regulation through various sensory activities which can include: movement, bouncing activities, song and music.

At My Smart Hands Saskatoon, we provide various activities each week which promote emotional development growth! During our classes, Tanya carefully watches the littles to see if there is over stimulation in the classroom. Once, children are needing a break from an activity or need to regulate their emotions a carefully planned activity will take place. Some weeks this maybe bubbles or others a different type of sensory shaking toys!

Shakers are a wonderful activity. Parents can build these toys out of a plastic bottle and add various activities. This topic will be a blog post in the near future. However, shakers help a child to release their energy, help promote fine motor skills and regulate emotions through the shaking action!

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Mom and Baby Sign Language Classes Promote Physical Development

My Smart Hands Saskatoon’s mom and baby classes are unique as parents and their little learns baby sign language through carefully planned activities that also impact whole child development. For the next five blog posts we will focus on activities that you can bring into your day and how using baby sign language can enhance learning and communication.

The whole child activities that we include in our mom and baby classes focus on:

– Physical

– Intellectual/Cognitive

– Social

– Emotional

– Language Development

This blog post will focus on the little’s physical development.

Physical development includes the fine and gross motor skills! Our baby sign language classes have various activities that promote both the development of both fine and gross motor skills. We use ASL signs to help enhance learning, communication and FUN!

Fine Motor – are developed through using ASL signs as the little is learning to move their fingers! We also bring in various play based learning activities which assist with fine motor skills. Here are a couple examples.

  • Sensory Boards
  • Sensory Bins
  • Shakers

fine motor skills

Gross Motor – are developed in our mom and baby classes through parents moving their little around our class room as well as activities such as bouncing activities. Littles benefit from bouncing activities as they learn balance, movement and strengthen their core, neck, and shoulder muscles.

  • Movement – music
  • Scarves
  • Bubbles
  • Balls
  • Bouncing activities

beach ball fun

Baby Sign Language – Halloween Signs with My Smart Hands Saskatoon

I have very much enjoyed sharing these fun videos with you this week! Happy Halloween.

We will be revealing our new mom and baby winter 2016 classes on November 14th at the Saskatoon Parent Expo. We will be also registering for these upcoming classes. Remember our fun and educationally based classes are small in size and fill up quickly!