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Busy little….fingers!

Sign language is probably the last thing you expected to ever need to learn, if you have a hearing baby. Science however has come up with a new and amazing way to implement sign language as a perfect bridge between the silent world of a yet-to-speak little one, and you.

The facts….

  • Baby signing was developed by a young medical student (Joseph Garcia) who was studying development in deaf children. He noted that deaf babies, although disabled, developed more ’sophisticated play’ at a younger age than hearing children, and had fewer tantrums if their parents could also sign.
  • Acredolo and Goodwyn, psychologists who have produced a popular baby signing book, have noted in their research that babies who start signing early can establish high quality communication with their parents by just eight months old.
  • The simple nature of the signs and their easy implementation into every day life has seen attendance to classes soar across the world.
  • It has been noted (Acredolo and Goodwyn, 2000) that babies who sign actually cry less than non-signing babies who have more trouble expressing their needs.
  • Little signers have been seen to take a greater interest in reading and books than other babies.

….so how can I get involved?

Busylittleones are going to be developing listings of baby signing classes over the coming months, so keep your eyes posted on the site.

Also, the book market is full of great reads on baby signing, including a book by Garcia himself, so if you have time to try at home, and for some extra class revision, then a trip to the book shop is a great idea.

If you want to read some baby signing success stories, and have a really good trawl around to assess whether it actually works, then you could try the busylittleones forum, which has a dedicated section on baby signing. This should give you the measure of the method, and give you some real first hand knowledge.

Once you get up and running you could start teaching your whole family. Baby signing is a great bonding exercise, and not just for mums and babies. Why not use it as a project for a lonesome nana, or a dad who perhaps can’t spend as much time at home as he’d like.

We’ve chosen a few of the basics for you to try at home first, as well. Have fun!.……...

Eat - Take your hand to your mouth as if eating.  Do this before food so baby learns to use it when they are feeling hungry.

Baby Signing Eat

Drink — Make a small ‘c’ shape with your fingers and lift them to your mouth, as if drinking. Again, use this before a drink, so that baby uses it when thirsty.

Baby Signing Drink

Mummy — take the middle 3 fingers of your right hand tucking the thumb and little finger under and tap your left palm twice.

Baby Signing Mummy

Daddy - Form the letter "D" with the thumb and first finger of one hand and the first finger of the other hand.

Baby Signing Daddy

Cat — Trace whiskers on your cheeks when baby plays with the cat.

Baby Signing Cat

Bedtime — Make an imaginary pillow under your with your hands and close your eyes.

Baby Signing Bedtime

Images kindly provided by DEAFSIGN sign graphics from the LET'S SIGN Series

National Grid for Learning approved and Schoolzone 5 Star rated information site for British Sign Language information and resources.

© DEAFSIGN sign graphics from the LET'S SIGN Series  - - 01642 580505

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