Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baby Signs -- the A,B,C's

I have waited a long time to try Baby Signs. I used to babysit about 8 years ago for two girls who signed all the time as toddlers and I knew it was something I'd like to try with my own child. After we had Owen it seemed like a lifetime to wait until they make their first sign (Owen did "dog" at 11 months). After he got the hang of "dog," he began to sign and sign and sign. He probably has 20 or so signs including: dog, cat, hat, head, milk, flower, bird, cheese, shoes, moon, car, truck, train, helicopter, pig, bunny, light, motorcycle, all done, eat, more, airplane, sleep, hurt, banana, what/where and book.

To begin with your child you just keep modeling the signs when you say objects and eventually they begin to pick them up especially when we read books. He seems to learn a new sign everyday now. I could not image Owen at this age without baby signs. He loves to "talk" about everything he sees. It keeps him way less frustrated and happy and I think he really feels like he's part of our world. He doesn't have any spoken words yet but he does "talk" all the time. His sounds are starting to get more consistent but nothing one can really understand yet.

I highly recommend the book Baby Signs and the Baby Signs program. Tami does a Baby Signs class here in Flagstaff but we cannot get enough participants, so if you are interested, drop her a line. I really wanted Owen to take the class because I thought it would be fun, but we are still waiting. :)

I pulled this from the Baby Signs webpage:
Some parents may worry that encouraging their child to use signs might slow down learning to talk. Actually, the opposite is true! Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn's federally funded research showed that using the Baby Signs® Program actually helps babies learn to talk. They found that 2-year-old Baby Signers had significantly larger verbal vocabularies than their non-signing peers. And by the time they were three years old, the Baby Signers language skills were more like that of 4 years old. Babies gain a lot of language knowledge when they are able to actively engage in communication with signs-knowledge that lays a good foundation for learning to talk. And, just as a child who learns to crawl is more, rather than less, motivated to learn to walk, so also a child who learns to sign is more, rather than less, motivated to learn to talk! More about the benefits here.

I am trying to capture some moment of the Baby Signs, but haven't really taken the assignment seriously. I will try to get a little video together.

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