June 04, 2008

Signing Time

From the time our firstborn was 7 months old, we began working with her to teach her a little sign language. You've probably heard the wisdom in this - that babies can learn simple hand signals before their verbal development allows them to form words. Therefore, if they can communicate with signs, it reduces the fussing and screaming that results from their frustration on not being understood. We have not only found this to be true, but also found that it's enhanced the progress in our girls learning speech and the meaning of words, AND, sign language for them is as much fun as singing songs.

Our sign language journey began with a resource called "Sign With Your Baby" by Joseph Garcia. I recommend the kit, which includes the book, a laminated reference chart of signs, and a DVD. From this, and our persistence, our first child learned to sign "more", "help", "milk", and a few others I can't remember right now.

When she was about two, I discovered Signing Time videos at our local library, and fell in love with them. These are fun videos for children and parents, because they include wonderful original songs that teach and reinforce the signs being taught. The first series has grown into 13 DVDs, each with a set of different signs. If you want something geared specifically towards babies, check out the two volumes of "Baby Signing Time". Last year, PBS began showing Signing Time on Saturday mornings. Now I see the company has recently released series two, which includes 13 new DVDs. Pardon me while I go update my Amazon.com wish list. Never mind. Amazon doesn't carry it yet.

Well, you can go to www.signingtime.com and see all about what they offer, and get a preview of what I'm talking about. My three girls all love the videos we currently own at their ages of 5 1/2, 3, and 1 1/2. So I hope you can find these at your library too, or put them on your wish list and enjoy!

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