We’re trying something new at our house. I bought a baby sign language book quite awhile ago, when A was barely even lifting her head yet. And I’ve been studying it here and there, but nothing hardcore. But I think it’s time to start using it.
So here goes: each week I am starting 5 new words.
Unfortunately, what happens with most books is they get put down somewhere, maybe moved to the spare bedroom (which is where I found mine after the holidays…), and forgotten about.
I am a visual learner. I need to SEE things in order to learn them. I was the one, who in nursing school would go to BJs and buy the mega packs of notecards, like THOUSANDS. And I had pretty markers that I wrote with. For some reason seeing things and having colors to associate with words helped. Don’t judge, it got me through nursing school, and I passed with FLYING colors. Get it? Colors?
Anywho. With that being in mind, and me being the one who needs to learn all of this first, I needed to come up with a plan:
This is what I came up with. It is right on the refrigerator, so every time I go for a drink, or a sippy cup or a snack, or to make dinner, etc. I get a view of this. 4 of the above signs were from my super-special baby sign language book. I just photocopied them. The bottom one is pretty universal and I think most people know it, whether or not you KNOW sign language. And I just did a google search for an image of ‘I love you’ in sign language.
Glue all of the above onto a 12 x 12 sheet of scrapbook card stock and you’re done!
Don’t mind the highlighted words. They’re the Spanish translation of the word. I was a little ball-sy at first and thought I would do Sign Language AND Spanish. But… we might have to let Dora and Little Pim teach A Spanish, instead.
As for the sign language. I’ve done a lot of research, even before A was born, about sign language with babies. It takes a LONG time for babies to learn to form words. Not because they’re dumb or anything, it’s just that they have a LOT of other things to learn: crawling, walking, chewing, potty training, cause and effect, expressing emotions, etc. So helping them along by teaching them how to use their hands to tell you what they want is SUPER (in my opinion). Not only does it save both of you frustration in trying to figure out what each other is saying, but it is also good for developing hand eye coordination.
I have however, heard people concerned that their child will never learn how to talk. Which might be true if you NEVER use words when signing to them. But if you use words with your signed words every time, they will eventually pick it up.
I also have heard that once babies/toddlers learn to use their words, they often will drop sign language. Which I am totally fine with, but some people may not be ok with. Just take that into consideration beforehand instead of getting yourself upset in the long run.
So, my suggestion is to start with 5 words you think are most relevant to you right now. In another week, pick 5 more. And keep going as long as you want to keep up with it.
This week we are doing:
‘All done’—examples: when we are done with eating, done with bottles, done with a book
‘Cup’—-I’m using this in place of bottle, so every time A has a bottle or sippy cup, this is what we’re using!
‘Bed’—-good for naps and bedtime
‘Change’—-I’ve heard this is a good all purpose sign, used for changing a diaper, changing clothes.
‘I love you’—- well, duh! I think we say this probably 500 times in our house.
What words will you choose? What do you think is most important for your kiddo based on their age and developmental level?