Sunday, December 7, 2008

What Would Motivate a Baby to Sign?

Excellent video for teaching baby to sign.

There are many reasons why a hearing baby would want to sign. While a child is still preverbal, if he knows the signs for the things he wants, likes or needs, he will be eager to use the signs to help fulfill his needs. If he wants his favorite truck, for example, but can’t say the word yet, he will use the sign in order to get his truck!

Infants are born imitators, and quickly learn that pleasing the adults brings them extra love and attention. When baby perceives that Mommy wants her to sign, she will sign as early as she can in order to get that hug and kiss and hear Mommy’s delighted praise.

Sign should be used as a normal part of daily activities, and ideally, it should be started when the baby is very young. For example, when feeding or giving the baby his bottle of milk, sign “milk” several times without expecting a response. Be sure the baby sees the bottle, then sees and hears you speak the word and make the sign. Be ready to do a lot of repetition without expecting baby to sign back to you at first. This is a lot of information for an infant to assimilate!

When she has been exposed to many signs over a period of weeks or months, gradually the child will come to understand that the hand motions have meaning, and with consistent exposure she will learn that the sign, the object and the spoken word are all connected. This is the basis of “language” – understanding the connection between the abstract word or sign, and the physical object.

Use this technique with other everyday objects and people: Mommy, Daddy, dog, cat, ball, toy, cookie, bed. If necessary, make a list of the everyday items baby encounters, and have the signs ready so you do not have to interrupt normal activities to look up the sign. Anticipate signs for words that might excite your baby: Grandma, bird, swing, car. If you are planning a trip to the zoo, plan ahead with sign too, and have ready some animal signs: monkey, giraffe, bear, bird, and others.

Be patient when teaching sign to your baby. Before you know it, those little hands will sign back to you. It may take some learning on your part to recognize your baby’s version of a sign, but what a thrill it will be when the two of you start to communicate in sign!

Video to help you teach your baby to sign
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Monday, November 17, 2008

How Will Signing with My Baby Be Beneficial?

Welcome to my second blog post on signing with babies! Today I'd like to outline the many benefits of using sign language with your baby.

Here is some video on babies learning to sign.

As your child learns signs and is able to communicate with you, the rest of the family and other adults, they will experience an increase in self confidence that will stay with them for life. Your child’s reading and spelling ability will accelerate. Through focused play, they learn to identify hundreds of objects and emotions.

Children who sign often experience increased interest in reading and books because they understand concepts so much better.With all the demands placed on everyone’s time today, children are getting less attention than ever before, sometimes to the point they are relying on video games and other “distractions” to influence them. Signing with your baby will allow you to connect with your child and make YOU their center of attention! It takes very little additional time, and adds plenty of fun into family time, too. All you need do is look up signs for the words commonly used with a baby: eat, milk, bear, love, sleep, etc.

Your child’s life will be infinitely easier. Signing with your baby stimulates brain activity and engages the visual cortex. This use of the visual modality, in addition to the auditory modality, enables your child to comprehend a lot faster than anyone else. That means your child will get a “head start” in life! Using sign language helps open additional and separate memory storage for cognitive development. By using visual, audio, and sensory stimulation, these multiple forms of learning allow for all types of learners to absorb information in a unique and global way. Your child’s verbal ability will increase. Studies show that children who use baby sign language can be months and even up to a full year ahead of children who did not sign.

Click here to learn more!

In my next post I will explore what might motivate a baby to use signs. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Babies Can "Talk" At Ten Months Or Earlier?

Babies Can “Talk” At Ten Months Or Earlier?

Babies are smarter than most people think. Many babies can “talk” at ten months or earlier. Rather than coming into the world as a blank slate as many people may believe, babies come equipped with a readiness for language hard-wired into their brain.

On average, a baby with normal hearing will speak his or her first words at the age of about twelve months. Hearing babies who are taught sign language usually sign earlier than they begin speaking – sometimes by a margin of several months. A child can get immediate benefits from learning to sign: family members will be able to understand the child’s desires earlier, thereby causing less frustration for the child. This happy interaction between a baby and the family can lead to better bonding and greater confidence in the child, and help cut down on tantrums. Wouldn’t most families love to have a better-behaved baby and a happier home environment?

The benefits of signing with your baby can be far-reaching: Babies who sign often do much better socially, emotionally and in school.

Adults can sign to their baby from the very first day. A baby’s motor control is not fully developed, so a baby’s signing will look different than an adult’s signing. The child’s signs might be called “baby signs.” That’s fine, though – since there have been babies, mothers have gotten accustomed to their child’s “baby talk,” and a baby’s version of signing is really no different than “baby talk.” If the child continues to sign after learning to speak, the signing abilities will mature just like all his or her other abilities.

Interested in finding out how to get all these benefits? Click here!