Rewind: Baby Sign LanguageMonday, July 15, 2013
There is something about summer that makes schedules and deadlines impossible to keep. So I completely understand when I hear another blogger take a month off during the summer, or post less, or something along those lines. And today I will have to follow suit a little bit. I have decided to share a post from last year that was a huge hit (mostly because I simply didn't have the time to write the post I wanted to for today!).
For those of you who have already read this one, please forgive my repeat. For those of you who are a little newer to Reading List, I hope this oldie is acceptable for today.
Baby Sign Language Basics
By Monta Z. Briant
I'll be honest, baby sign language wasn't really on my radar for a long time. Then I didn't think it was necessary when I had my first (mostly because he was a preemie, and there were a million other things on my mind). However my pediatrician recommended giving it a shot with my second. She said he would probably love it, and it would allow my older son a chance to teach him something. So I headed to the library to look for a simple book. Let me just say there are a ton, and I didn't know where to start...
After asking a librarian for a suggestion I landed on Baby Sign Language Basics. It was a great choice.
We got started right away. Yep just jumped right into the deep end, so to speak. Mostly because at least sixty percent of this book is a picture guide to many baby signs.
Anyway, back to the book. This book was a great introduction book for us. Briant does a great job of getting to the point of each chapter, because really the objective is to start signing with your baby and communicating, which doesn't happen if you are reading and reading and reading (to yourself that is). Briant explains why she decided to teach her babies American Sign Language, and then reassures the reader that you don't have to become fluent in this language to teach your baby. Briant makes the point that as parents teaching our babies sign language we only need to know enough to communicate on the baby's level. So start with just 6 - 10 signs (her suggestion) that you can use daily with the routine you have already established. Then add as you feel comfortable.
The biggest point is to make sure you use sign language as often and regularly as possible. Which makes sense right? The words you speak the most are the most likely to be in your child's vocabulary first. With that in mind I started signing before I finished reading the book! I started with mommy, daddy, eat, more and drink.
We soon added milk, dog, cat, ball, play and dance. I choose these because they are the things my little guy seems most interested, which Briant refers to as motivating signs. She suggests that these signs are the ones that will grab your child's attention and get him (or her) signing quickly.
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