Have you ever been at a loss about what your toddler wants, where they are hurt, or why they are having a tantrum? Chances are, your answer is yes. It is almost impossible to tell what your child wants, needs, or feels if they are unable to communicate with you.
Implementing sign language on a consistent basis can help your child learn how to communicate before they are able to talk. You can easily teach your baby simple signs to communicate what they want or need. This can help lessen or even eliminate meltdowns over not being able to communicate.
I know you might be thinking, But I don’t know any sign language! How am I supposed to teach my child? Your knowledge of sign language does not matter. You don’t have to be fluent in ASL to learn the most important signs and teach them to your baby. There are many apps, programs, books, and flashcards out there that can be used to learn and teach one sign at a time.
Where to Start:
Begin by using a few signs daily. Don’t try to learn and teach your baby everything at once. You might start by signing “drink” or “milk” when giving your child a drink. Then show them how to do the sign with their hands. Do this consistently until your child starts to use the sign on their own. Once they have started using that sign, start adding in other signs like, “more” or “all done.”
Again, consistency is key. Many parents use signs inconsistently and then give up all together when their child isn’t showing interest. Your child will begin to pick up signs more quickly when used more often. Do remember it will take time for your child to learn signs. Don’t expect them to pick them up overnight. Continue to teach and one day out of the blue, your child will pick up a sign and begin using it regularly!
Signing Time DVDs: Signing Time is a wonderful resource and fun way for you and your child to learn sign language together. The DVD is simple and straight forward, yet kid and family friendly. There are also many DVDs to choose from based on you and your child. You can find the Baby Signing Time Collection, My First Signs, and if you’re really excited about it, the Signing Time DVD Eco Pack.
Free iPhone Apps:
Signing Time TV by Two Little Hands
Baby Sign Language Dictionary – Lite Edition by Baby Sign and Learn
My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language Dictionary LITE by My Smart Hands
Baby Sign and Learn by Baby Sign and Learn
Baby Sign Language: Learn sign Language, ASL, & Ameslan For Babies Kids & Toddlers! Free by Kinetix
Paid iPhone Apps:
Baby Sign Language Dictionary – ASL Edition by Baby Sign and Learn
Baby Sign and Learn – American Sign Language Pro Edition by Baby Sign and Learn
Baby Sign Language Beginner Signs – 400 ASL Signs by Selectsoft
If you have any questions about using sign language with your child do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have been using sign language my whole life and would love to help you incorporate it into your family’s life.
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