Attending Training in Saskatoon

Ah, I just finished a workshop on website development and SEO efficiency. I very much learning new ways I can promote the benefits of baby sign language and sensory based learning to families in and around Saskatoon.

 

training in saskatoon

This training has given me a lot of great ideas and I am quickly working towards a brand new site that provides you with more information on growing together, family bonding. and child development!

I cannot wait to show you what I am working on.

#motivationalmonday Motherhood is a tough job and mom’s you are doing a great job! CONTEST QUESTION day 3: What is one thing that you are doing today with your child?

This can be “reading” a story, “signing” a new “song”, setting up an invitation to “play, or simply a long cuddle.

Remember to register for an upcoming Little Hands and Me Parenting Network and me baby sign language or sensory class. Spaces in Level I and the sensory classes are very limited. Contact Tanya for more information or to register.

Contest Time!

CONTEST TIME!!

I want to celebrate families all week! Each day, on Facebook, I will be posting a picture or quote and asking for your thoughts. Each comment will be entered to WIN a $30 Little Hands and Me Parenting Network gift certificate for an upcoming baby sign or sensory class!

What does the finger spelling say? Would you be my ____? and like this comment. Tag a friend or an additional contest entry!

*Winner must like Little Hands and Me Parenting Network page

When can I Start Signing 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,

Invitation to Play Ideas

This past week’s classes we were discussing the importance of play and exploration. A conversation came up regarding a type of play called invitations to play, or invitations for learning, or play exploration. I thought that this would be a good topic for this week’s blog.

What is an Invitation to Play?

This is an intentional and planned collection of materials that a parent/caregiver prepares and sets up with which a child plays and explores. Invitation to play is an open invitation for a child to use as they desire. This can be a sensory basket, organized colour bins, paint daps, and much more.

block sensory bin

Kaila is exploring sensory balls in a pit. She is learning colours, shapes, patterns and different feels of the objects.

 

How Children Learn?

Children are sensory learners. This means that children learn though: tasting, touching/feeling, seeing, hearing and smelling. Parents can encourage child’s learning by setting up an invitation to play, watch their child explore and then begin to talk and sign with their child.

20 months old

Sorting play. This invitation to play can be used as colour sorting or item sorting based on child’s need to explore and discover

How can you use American Sign Language signs during play?

There are three main ways to learn: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Using sign language with your child allows for all three types of learning. Your child is learning though their visual (sight) by seeing the sign. Auditory learnings see their parents use the American Sign Language signs while saying the English word. Kinesthetic learners move their hands to communicate before they are able to express themselves through language.

16 months old

Colour and shape recognition invitation to play.

If you provide your child with an egg carton filled with 6 different coloured plastic eggs. You many watch your child explore “opening” and “shutting” the container, they may take the eggs “in” and “out”. A child’s learning is supported by their parents/caregivers. When you see a child begin to explore, act like a broadcaster saying what the child is doing while signing key words. For example “Elijah, you took the yellow egg out of the container and put in the blue egg”. (ASL signs that maybe used are in bold).

Another idea is a winter sensory basket. This can filled with “white” cotton balls, “blue” pom poms, snowflakes, snowmen. As a parent, you can have an idea of how your child will play with these times. You may want to have them practice fine motor skills and provide a shovel and pot or have them feel the different textures of the pom poms, cotton balls and the hard plastic snowflakes. An example of signing and talking: “Those soft balls are blue, the white balls feellike fluff. Can you put the ball in the pail? Oh, you took the ball out!

What to Remember About Invitations to Play?

All types of sensory play, invitations to play and play exploration is well supervised time. There can be many choking hazards in this type of play. This does not mean it is not safe, it means that parents have to be engaging in play with the child to ensure safety.

Examples of Invitations to Play!

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14 months

Sensory bin focused on fine motor skills

Photo 5

This invitation to play was set up to show the difference between soft and hard toys. As everyone can see, climbing on the basket was much more fun.

DSCN2650

Playing with hand crafted stones- focused on shape sorting fromhttp://www.artinstones.com/

DSCN2655

New Sensory Toys for Baby Classes in Saskatoon

Miss K was very excited to find bags filled with sensory items that I will be creating for upcoming Level I and the Tiny Tots Sensory classes for babies in Saskatoon and area!

 

kaila.jpg

 

Tonight, I will be making brand new sensory boxes for children in Level I and the Tiny Tots Sensory classes. These sensory boxes will promote fine motor skills, language and cognitive development! I am so excited to bring these into our unique classes!
Remember we just started registration for Mid-Winter 2016 classes. The response has been outstanding and spaces are becoming very limited. Thank you for the continued support.

Mid-Winter Class Registration Starts Tomorrow

Just a reminder to mark your calendars! Tomorrow is the day Mid-Winter Registration begins and space is limited!

midwinter schedule

Follow this link to find to register for your class type and time:
https://mysmarthandssaskatoon.com/class-registration-form/

 

I will send an email within 24 hours with more information such as how to pay for the deposit to confirm your family’s space and the location.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

Exciting Beginnings – Winter Baby Classes in Saskatoon

I am very excited to meet the new families in the My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language and Sensory Play classes!

The room is all set up and awaiting the new little ones and their parents to join in to play, sign and explore their world!

room 1

Little Hands & Me

room

Little Hands & Me

Little Hand and Me?!

Here is a video explaining why I switched our name to Little Hands and Me Parenting Network. Watch the whole video for an awesome bonus just for you and your family!

 

 

Please let me know if there are any questions!

 

Warmly,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor and Baby Wearing Conultatant

Tuesday’s Tip From Little Hands and Me

Each Tuesday we will have a Tuesday’s Tip related to baby sign language!

Did you know that studies show using ASL and English allows little one’s to process language using both sides of their brains? How neat and easy to promote whole child development!

What are two new signs you will be using with your little this week?

signing W

Mr E and I working on finger spelling for the word “Halloween”. I am using the “W” hand in this picture.

Signing with your little one, from infancy through toddler-hood and into preschool age, is a fun, exciting way to increase language skills, pre-literacy, and whole child interaction.