Benefits of signing
Ability to communicate with your child before speech
Reduces frustration and tantrums
Strengthens parent/child bond
Builds child’s confidence and self-esteem
Promotes early literacy
Increases child's vocabulary
Helps develop fine motor skills
Benefits of class
Learn signs together in a playful setting
Provides motivation when progress seems slow
Meet other families with common interests in our community
Share your experience and ask questions
Learn valuable signing tips
My child can hear. Why sign?
Most children are not developmentally ready to speak until approximately 2 years of age. Babies are developmentally able to communicate with signs much earlier than that. Some studies indicate children as young as 5 to 6 months of age can communicate with limited signs. The inability to communicate can cause frustration and tantrums for both the parent and the child! Sign language is a wonderful tool that allows even very small children to express themselves. Most parents that sign with their babies talk about an unexplainable bond that is felt when their child communicates so early!
Obviously your child will be fine without learning to sign, but there are so many developmental and social benefits that they will have access to should you choose to do so. Most parents want to give their child every advantage in life possible, and signing is one way to do that.
How early can I start signing with my child?
Start signing now! You can sign “milk” to your newborn when it’s time to nurse or time for a bottle. Sign “sleep” at nap and bedtimes. Take your baby’s hands and help them sign “more” in-between each spoonful. This will help integrate signs into your daily routine. Soon the repetition and reinforcement will occur naturally as your infant grows. Baby sign will also help your infant realize that crying is not the only way of communicating.
How soon will my child start signing back?
There are a few factors to consider: how early you start, how frequently or consistently you use signs, as well as the child’s ability or developmental stage. If you start signing with your newborn, she may not sign back until 8-14 months old. If you start with your 2 year old, he may respond immediately, or it could take a couple of months. Many children have a “signing explosion” around 1-and-a-half to 2 years. You will be amazed at how quickly they pick up signs.
If your child has physical, mental or developmental delays, take that into consideration. Rachel Coleman’s second daughter Lucy had no words and no signs and showed no interest in communication for her first two years. Her doctors did not expect that to change. Rachel and her husband didn’t give up – they continued exposing her to sign and speech, and suddenly she had a language explosion in speech AND sign!
How can signing help reduce tantrums?
Many tantrums and the “Terrible Twos” are directly linked to frustration about communication. There is less frustration when your child can augment their communication skills with signs that both of you can understand.
What do we do in a sign and play class?
Class meets once a week for 1 hour. We learn vocabulary from the Baby Signing Time DVDs as well as colors and numbers.
Each class starts with our welcome song and hand 'warm up'. After we jump into a sign topic (food, family, pets etc) and use a mix of toys, play, memorable songs or a craft to help reinforce them.
At some point we'll stop for bubbles and some open play. Giving everyone the chance to go to the bathroom/change diapers and ask any questions. During this we also use the toys/books to reinforce the signs we've been learning and it gives the children time to socialize and play.
At the end of class we'll do our goodbye song and hand stamp.
Can I bring a grandparent or nanny/Can my child come with a grandparent or nanny?
YES! The more people signing in your child's life the better.