Bringing Signing Into Your Daily Activities!

My Smart Hands Saskatoon provides tips and ideas in their classes and workshops on how to incorporate signing into your day to day activities. Signing is meant to promote early and effective communication between a child (infant, toddler or preschooler) and their parent and/or caregiver. Baby and toddler sign language is fun, helps with routines and can help your day run more smoothly! Want to know more? We will provide a few ideas on how to bring signing into your day from the moment your little one wakes up to the time they close their eyes for bedtime.

Wake Up With Signing:

A great game to play when you first hear your little one waking up is ‘peak-a-boo’. From the hall way or your bed ask your little one “Where is mom?” Pop in from the hall way or poke your head out of the sheets and say “Here is ‘MOM’!” while signing mom. These small signing games will bring a smile to your little one as they will see you and begin to recognize then sign ‘MOM’ back. Plus, why not start the morning off with a fun game that teaches: words, signing and object permanence!

Signing can be used for your morning wake up routine. You can then decide that it is “Time to ‘CHANGE YOUR DIAPER’ as it is ‘WET”!”. Signing ‘CHANGE DIAPER’ has helped children to stay more still on the change table as they are watching and interacting with you and will try to sign back when ready.

‘BRUSH YOUR TEETH’ ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch, ‘BRUSH YOUR TEETH’. This Raffi song makes brushing teeth so much fun! Together you can ‘BRUSH TEETH’ while signing and bring music into your day.

Signing On The Go:

Stuck in Traffic? Are you hitting every light red? Are you traveling across the city to play group or baby sign class? This is a great time for signing and singing. Our favorite song to sign and sing in the car is the alphabet.  Dream English is a wonderful site that promotes early language development and has simple songs that all children love. Or even bring your exclusive My Smart Hands’ CD to sign and sing about airplanes, old McDonald, twinkle twinkle little star or play it again! What a great bonding experience when you are in a car signing and signing with your child. Make sure your always driving

Are you in the grocery store shopping for the? I love signing with Elijah when we are shopping. Elijah will see and sign to fruit and veggies! We love to combine words to sign such as we see ‘ORANGES’ and will sign ‘ORANGE JUICE’, or asking if he sees the ‘PURPLE GRAPES’. We will often sign what we are looking for such as we are going to look for “BEANS”, oh here is the can of “BEANS”. This provides a visual image, ASL sign and verbal language. Such a wonderful chance for learning and communicating!

 Play Time:

Follow your child’s lead. With which play are they playing? Are they playing with a big and small ball? Watch and start signing! Keep playtime fun with signing. Let your child know that they are playing with a ‘SMALL BLUE BALL’. If they are working with blocks, ask them to stack the ‘PINK BLOCK ON the PURPLE BLOCK’. Let them know that they are driving their ‘ORANGE BIKE FAST’. The signing that you can do during playtime is endless and so much fun!!

Bed Time Routine:

Signing is great to help with transitioning from meal time, to play time and finally bed time. Signing what your routine is every night will help your child to transition from playing to a more calm and relaxed state. We have signed our bedtime routine to Elijah since he was 4.5 months old. We would verbally say and support with signing that we will take a ‘BATH’, ‘BEDTIME SNACK’, ‘CHANGE DIAPER’, ‘MILK’, ‘READ A BOOK’ and ‘SING BEDTIME SONGS’. We have found when Elijah knows what is happening next the transition from one activity to the next is much easier (most nights)! Bring signing and singing into each of these transitions creates a fun and educational bedtime routine. Signing in the bath is so much fun. You can find foam alphabets and numbers, rubber toys and boats to make this time even more enjoyable and promoting learning and exploration. Also, when washing body parts, sign and sing “This is the way we wash your _______”!

We would love to hear from you other ways to bring signing into your day. Join My Smart Hands Saskatoon for a class and learn even more ideas and ways to bring signing into your daily activities. Remember the key is to be able to communicate with your child in meaningful ways!

Happy Signing!

Enjoying Summer as a Signing Family

I just remembered that it has been a very long time since I’ve last blogged. We were away on holidays (which I did remember to blog)! We were at the lake (I think that this is what most people from Saskatchewan say instead of which lake) and had a wonderful time exploring the world with Elijah.

Elijah was one lucky boy this year. He was living in a cabin with his grandparents (Ryan’s parents) while my parents and grandparents camped about 10 minutes away. Everyone loved to watch Elijah learn about nature, bugs, trees, swimming and enjoying sand. There was only 2 hot days that we did get to go into the water.

Ryan’s parents have known that we sign with Elijah. They also know that Elijah has an extensive vocabulary (over 100 words and signs). I remember the first few days that I was being constantly asked “what’s this signs”, “what is Elijah saying?”. After a few days they began to see common signs as well as expanded their signing as well! I can remember Elijah showing “cracker” to his grandpa and ran to grab a cracker held it up for grandpa to see and signed “cracker” again. Elijah was teaching them in an adorable way!

My ramble for today… I want to challenge all signing families to show their parents/grandparents/friends at least 3 signs this week. Help more people to communicate with your child and show off the amazing benefit you are giving your child!!

Happy Saturday!

Happy Signing!

Circle Theme Promoting Language, Signing and Fine Motor Development

This past week I have decided to organize and plan theme activities. My first attempt was pretty successful!  Then I hear the voice of Richard (social work mentor…. what is successful Tanya?). Well, to me successful was that Elijah learned fine motor skills, social skills, space and dimension, colours, signs and words this week! While my theme was circle and we completed activities and crafts related to this theme. Elijah learned the following words/signs: “circle”, “round”, “sleep”, and is now verbally expressing “shoes” and “more” (more is usually signed and verbalized “mor”). Enjoy our pictures below


IMAG1149  IMAG1170

Signing New Words

On Wednesday we were at the mall waiting to teach Shop n’ Stroll class. Elijah was asking me questions “what is that”, “who is that” and then “what is this?” while pointing to his buckle. I said and signed to him that is a “RED” buckle. Elijah signed “BREAD” and looked at me and appeared very confused. I signed that “BREAD” is “FOOD” and “RED” is a “COLOUR”. He then shook his head and signed “EAT” “BREAD” and pointed at the buckle as signed “RED” for the first time. I love love being able to communicate with my 16 month old and truly see the world though his eyes!

Summer Baby and Toddler Sign Language Classes in Saskatoon to Announced Soon!

Nurturing Families and My Smart Hands Saskatoon are teaming up for summer workshops!! I am so excited to announce our great workshops full of Summer Fun!! Watch for updates coming soon.
If you do not know Nurturing Families, click the link to find out more about Laura!

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Baby and Toddler Sign… Anytime Anywhere!

Elijah and I are signing ball! So glad that Paige was able to catch the signing!

Elijah and I are signing ball! So glad that Paige was able to catch the signing!

We had family pictures the other weekend and has such a great time. Here is one of my favorite pictures. Elijah and I are signing ball together… there was a blue ball on the grass with which he wanted to play!


Signing with your child can happen any time, any where. This tool of communication and parenting is so rewarding 🙂


Happy Signing

Make a Commitment to Teach Baby Sign Language (Toddlers too!)

Make a Commitment to Teach Baby Sign Language (Toddlers too!)

Make a commitment to sign with your child. Signing does take work to learn and practice during the day. When I committed to signing with Elijah, I put flash cards around the house to remind myself and Ryan of our commitment to sign every day! Why did you decide to commit to signing with your child?

Signing and Running

Well, I have been missing for a few days. Elijah has been really sick and needed a lot more attention. He is feeling much better and is slowly becoming more active and running around 🙂

On Mother’s Day we went out for breakfast with my parents. We had a great meal at Boffins Club. Elijah did not want to sit still and he wanted to be outside. After breakfast, we decided to walk around the pond and grounds. Elijah began to chase after Papito (Grandpa). Papito was walking ahead of Elijah. So Elijah began to run and started signing “Papito”, “Papito”. “Papito”. Ryan and I were laughing as we called out to my dad saying Elijah is signing for you. This very well is a real challenge of a deaf/hard of hearing person & baby/toddler signer is when someone is not watching… how do you get a person’s attention?!

Happy Signing!!