Handcrafted Felt Board Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers

My Smart Hands Saskatoon is pleased to be selling Handcrafted Felt Board Play for toddlers and preschoolers. Each kit had stories and rhyming ideas to keep this activity full of signing and fun.

Winter felt boards

These are a great way to assist in developing language, increased vocabulary and communication skills! Not to mention another fun way to bring#babysignlanguageinto your day to day activities.

We will have 4 sets for sale at the Expo and also taking orders on line. Contact Tanya at tanyamw@mysmarthands.com to order these hand crafts for Christmas.

Watch for Approximations

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.

The video below is Elijah signing “berries” at 13 months of age! He is using an approximation for berries. However, we clearly knew what he was wanting when he signed “berries”!

It is very important when signing with your little that you do not change the way you sign the word! In their mind, they are signing exactly as you are. If you mirror their sign approximation it will only lead to confusion.


Tanya Mryfield-Wolfe BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor

Christmas Party for Mom and Babies in Saskatoon area!


Join My Smart Hands Saskatoon and Mommy Connections Saskatoon for a Christmas Party on Thursday December 17 from 10am-12pm! We have many activities for mom and babies.


Please remember to register:



Black Friday For Mom and Baby Classes Saskatoon

For today only, we are celebrating Black Friday with a special on our Winter 2016 Saskatoon classes!

When your family completes a new registration you will receive 15% off the class price!

To Register: https://mysmarthandssaskatoon.com/class-registration-form/

We have limited space in our remaining classes. Remember to register today for this Black Friday Special!



Mom and Baby Classes Saskatoon- Level II

These classes are designed for graduates of My Smart Hands™ Level I class or for infants with basic ASL comprehension. In level II you will learn over 120 signs to use with your child. Classes are 6 weeks and 45 minutes in length. We will review signs learned in My Smart Hands™ Level I and continue to build our signing vocabulary. Weekly themes covered in class include: people, food, animals, emotions, opposites, weather and color signs. All of our classes include a full color MSH™ curriculum book. The books have pictures of the signs learned along with descriptions for easy reference long after the class is over!

colour sensory bin


food monster

Level II prices: $75 which includes 6 weeks of 50 minutes classes, weekly enhanced e-mails, support, graduation present. Plus $30 for the coloured Level II curriculum and exclusive 9 song CD. This works out to $11.67/class plus the cost of curriculum. The total amount for the class is $105.

Mom and Baby Class Saskatoon – Level I Baby Sign Language

My Smart Hands™ Level I These classes are 8 weeks in length. You will learn over 100 signs to use with your child. These sessions allow for more review, discussions, songs and practice of signs. Classes are 45 minutes in length and are created for parents/ caregivers and babies. In a playful, educational and language-rich environment, caregivers and children will build their American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary through instruction, interactive games and songs. You will learn recommended first signs; we will discuss the benefits of using ASL with infants and demonstrate easy techniques for successfully integrating signs into everyday life. Some of the ASL vocabulary covered for this age group includes: everyday words, family, food, animals, emotions, opposites, bed time and play signs.




To register: https://mysmarthandssaskatoon.com/class-registration-form/


Mom and Baby Classes in Saskatoon

We have just announced our winter 2016 Mom and Baby Classes in Saskatoon!

new 2016

Remember to register soon as space is limited due to small class sizes!

Please message Tanya with any questions regarding baby & toddler sign language and sensory based learning mom and baby classes in Saskatoon and area.

Invitations to Play for Mom and Baby

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

16 months old

Colour and shape recognition invitation to play.

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.


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


Pattern play with natural rocks from http://www.artinstones.com/

Please let me know your comments and thoughts on invitations to play and signing.

Social Learning in Mom and Baby Sign Language Class

My Smart Hands Saskatoon has small class sizes usually between 4 to 8 families. Larger classes can be over-stimulating for many littles. Smaller class sizes makes for a fun and educational learning environment where both mom and baby feels comfortable. Also, the small class sizes allows Tanya to spend more time with each family where she can learn each family’s reason for signing with their children and spending time focusing on whole child developmental activities.

When starting a class parents and their little 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! Children are learning through social interactions of seeing other moms and littles together in this fun environment.

Each of the weeks, Level I – 8 weeks and Level II – 6 weeks, brings new ASL signs to be learned! Families learn these ASL signs through various child development activities that promote social skills. This can include sensory based play.


Reading together!

Reading together!