Learning Baby Sign Language Through Colour Sensory Bin – Mom and Baby Classes Saskatoon

colour sensory bin

In Level II, My Smart Hands, we learn about colours and opposites! To assist learning the ASL colour signs we learn through sensory based learning opportunities.
Here is one of our colour and opposites bins. Together, the moms and babies explore the shapes, feelings and colours of the objects. This educational bin promotes: cognitive development, fine motor skills, and language development.

When Can I Start Using Baby Sign Language (ASL signs) with my child?

I am often asked, “When can I start signing with my child?” The answer is never the same for each family, as each parent has their own reasons for using #babysignlanguage  their family.

Based on child development, babies are ready for signing when they start moving their eyes and head to track toys or their parents face. This shows they are interested in learning and ready to start communicating with you! When you start signing, your child may show you many new reactions. This could be a frustrated or confused face, an interested expression, moving their hands in different ways, or smiling. These are all good indications that your child is trying to figure out what you are saying with your hands. Keep using American Sign Language and soon your child will be signing back!

Most baby & toddler sign language instructors recommend waiting until your child is between the ages of 4 to 6 months of age. Children are meeting important milestones during this time including: eye contact, purposeful movement of arms/hands, and beginning to find new ways to engage with their parents such as squealing, smiling, cooing and babbling.

Parents may decide to start signing earlier or later. In fact, we have had children as young as 2 weeks up to 2.5 years of age in her classes. Basically parents can start signing with their baby or toddler when ready!

A key point about signing, is to be consistent! Start signing with 2-5 words, consistently during the day. However, add more ASL in every week as your child is wanting to learn more. Finally, watch your child for signing approximations and when they start signing or moving their hands to approximate a sign, reward them with praise or what they were asking for!

Happy Parenting,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor & Parent Educator

young baby    class 6   young baby1

Wednesday’s Word- September 16th

Wednesday’s word is “TOY”! Remember that children are motivated by specific signs and these will become very important to them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL_Agw1we6gcropped-elijah-and-me-signing-toys-for-global.jpg

Elijah’s second and third signs were “light” and “fan”. As parents, we never know what our child wants to communicate.

In the picture Elijah is signing toy at approximately 15 months of age.

Does Signing with Children Delay Natural Speech and Language?

While at a trade show yesterday I met many families who have used sign language, were interested in taking sign language classes or my past signing families! 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 feedback I received yesterday was how a family can see how their child feels empowered to be able to communicate with her parents!

However, there were parents who expressed 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!

Tanya Myrfield-Wofe – BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Instructor, and Parent Educator

My Smart Hands Saskatoon

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https://mysmarthandssaskatoon.com/

“It is vital when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect their hearts” ~Dalai Lama

Does Baby & Toddler Sign Language Promote Whole Child Development?

My Smart Hands Saskatoon is a program that teaches parents how to communicate with their children by using American Sign Language (ASL) signs. Our classes use ASL signs, as the research studies indicate that using a true language has more benefits that making up signs or gestures. We also, believe that ASL is a true language, and why not borrow this language’s signs to communicate with your child? Technically, you are teaching two languages. How neat is that?

Each week in our classes we cover a new and exciting theme! One of my favorite themes is ‘toys and objects’ as this week we play, explore and play some more. However, in all of the weeks, parents and children will be introduced to child development activities. Whole child development is very important, and is a key focus in our baby sign classes.

The whole child activities that we include in our classes focus on: physical, intellectual, social, emotional and language development. Here are some examples of how we promote child development and whole child wellness while maintaining the premise of ASL signs.

Physical (fine and gross motor skills)

Fine Motor:

In our ‘opposite’ theme we will bring out sensory boards and bins. These boards help children explore their world through various textile items. Parents are encouraged to sign, ‘touch’, ‘feel’, ‘look’, ‘rough’, ‘soft’ and much more.
Gross motor skills:

In our “animal” theme we will be going to the zoo and move as animals. This song and activity is a wonderful way for parents and their babies to move around the room, dance together, act like specific animals, and sign to the sounds each animal makes! Movement and music do promote a special bond.

Social Development:

A child’s social skills are being strengthened and encouraged in our classes. My Smart Hands Saskatoon, has small class sizes which are between 3 to 6 families. We keep our classes small, to ensure families get to know one another and their children recognize familiar faces each week.

All the parents and their children are welcomed to sit together on a shared foam square. Toys and easy to sign books are places in the middle to encourage play and exploration while parents are sharing their stories, asking questions and learning signs to be used in the following activity. We experience many first in our classes- first time a child signs, first crawl, first roll over and even have had our first steps!

Emotional Development:

Babies and toddlers are learning about their emotions and are not able to self-regulate. However, in our classes, we often discuss ways to help a child learn to self-regulate. This is done though song, movement and bouncing activities. Parents will also learn various ’emotion’ signs during our last week together! We sign and sing, “If You are Happy and Know it” as well as “Happy Face Happy Face What Do You See?”.

Intellectual (Cognitive) Development:

Using ASL signs strengths and connects neurological brain connection. This means the activities that we use in our classes, increases and promotes intellectual/cognitive development.

An example of an activity is our ‘shake’ bottles. These bottles are often filled with water, sparkles, soap and water. Together, the parent and their child, shake the bottle and watch the changes. The specific brain development concept that is being learn is called, cause and effect. This activity is completed in our “toy/object” theme.

Social Development:

One main reason we keep our class sizes small, is that the children are able to socialize with the other children. Various child activities, promote social skill development such as movement and music. We sign and sing a version of “open shut them”, when children need to move about, which includes the sign “stop” for the English word freeze. All the parents and children have to “stop” until the music starts again. This song is teaching the social development skill of turn taking!

Language Development:

In short, language development is occurring during all of our baby sign language classes. Research indicates that a child needs to hear a word 200 times before verbally saying the word.

In all of our baby sign language classes, we are promoting the use of two languages! These are our verbal English and American Sign Language signs. Children are able to comprehend a single work though both auditory and visional learning. We never replace our verbal English, rather we support language development though using ASL signs

Please join us for a baby sign language class, and learn many more ways to promote whole child development!

Happy Signing,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe- BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor, & Parent Educator

My Smart Hands Saskatoon

http://www.mysmarthandssaskatoon.com

http://www.facebook.com/MySmartHandsSaskatoonBabySignLanguage

Cell: 306-202-9345

 

“It is vital when educating our children’s brains that we don’t neglect to educate their hearts.” – Dalai Lama

Back From Banff and Ready to Start Teaching!!

We took a quick trip to Banff to cheer on my dad during his first Granfondo. Which is loosely translated to big race! Elijah and I had a great time in the mountains. He even slept all night (which since coming home has changed back to frequent wake up).

I am so very excited at the response to our Fall Class Registration! I cannot wait to reveal my new home studio- My Smart Hands Saskatoon Studio!! This will be completed while final touches will happen until the end of the year.

Contact me if you want more information on Level I classes, Sign & Sing Workshops, Daycare/Preschool programs, pre-natal classes and much more!!

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