Consistency and Repetition
When signing with your little, consistency is more important than anything else. When moms and dads start using baby sign language it may not feel natural. This is very natural as you are learning along with your little.
If you think about it, a new language is easier to pick up if words are being introduced in context as well as being introduced frequently. This is the same for your little as well!
Start with 2-5 signs in the first week. Use these signs consistently! A few examples of common first signs are: milk, more, all-done, mom and dad. In the following weeks, bring even more signs into your activities. You never know what your child wants to communicate!
*Tip from “The Baby Signing Bible” by Laura Berg, Founder of My Smart Hands.
Each Wednesday, we have an ASL sign of the week! What is Mr. E signing?
This sign can be read different ways! The first one is “gentle” and the other is “clean”. Two wonderful signs to start using with your little one!
When your little starts signing they will not always make a sign exactly perfectly. However, watch for actions your child is making with their hands! These are called sign approximations and these are your child communicating with you using ASL signs. When your little signs their approximation remember to keep signing the correct sign rather than copy theirs. In their mind, they are doing the same sign action as you are!
Here is an example of Miss K’s approximation for “All-Done” (watch her left hand), while trying to copy by verbal for the word.
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!
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!
I can’t believe the response we have had this week for our classes! Remember to register soon to avoid disappointment. Also, note that we do require a non-refundable depsoit to secure your family’s space in our exclusive programming.
Here are some pictures of our multi-sensory programming:
Here is our Mid-Winter class schedule. Please note that the My Smart Hands classes are great for babies 4-6 months of age, yet families can enroll in the program right from birth. The sensory classes are meant for older babies and young toddlers (ages 10 months to 2.5 years of age). Please contact Tanya for more information or questions.
Join us for Baby Sign Language (My Smart Hands) & Sensory Based Learning Classes! Registration on for the Mid-Winter classes has just started! Remember you register soon to avoid disappointment.
Each Wednesday we will have a weekly ASL sign for you to learn.
What is Mr E signing?
Baby sign language is a tool of communication that you can give to your pre-verbal baby. Babies begin to gesture at a fairly early age; putting their hands in the air to be picked up, pointing at things they want etc. They quickly learn that these movements will elicit a reaction from his/her parents.
Taking that natural gesturing to the next level, parents have started to teach their children specific signs that they can use to communicate their needs.
Most people use signs taken from a real sign language such as ASL in North America. By using ASL signs with babies you are not teaching them the actual language, you are simply using the exact sign for the exact English word.
Wednesday’s Word this week is “GIRAFFE”. How many of you have Sophie the GIRAFFE or a similar toy in the box in the living room or bedroom.
Take the GIRAFFE toy and hold it up to your child to see if it become interesting to them. Then when your little is watching the toy, move it UP and DOWN. Sign GIRAFFE often as you use the English word as well!