For infants, toddlers and preschoolers
Benefits of Signing with young children (3mo-18mo)
- Reduces frustration and tantrums
- Enhances relationship with parents, caregivers, educators, volunteers
- Shows respect towards the child, and greater understanding of his/her needs.
- It’s a fun way of learning and exposes the child to more words
- Great as a bridge between two or more languages
- Because it’s a visual language, the child and parents/caregiver will be able to
- Understand easily what is needed
- Understanding emotions
- Signs, nursery rhymes, and songs soothes the child while it’s trying to deal with emotions like sadness, anger, frustration
Four important steps to remember:
- Have FUN
- Repeat, repeat, repeat
- Encourage, keep eye contact and try to read baby’s sign
- Expand your vocabulary
Why Baby Sign Language?
Baby Sign Language gives you the ability to communicate with a pre-verbal baby or toddler before they can speak. It allows a baby to show you some of the things he/she is thinking and let you share some of your thoughts with him/her. Wanting something but not being able to communicate his/her needs to you causes a lot of a pre-verbal baby/toddlers frustration. When a baby can’t communicate, he/she gets frustrated which can often lead to tantrums. This in turn can leave you frustrated, because you want to help but don’t know what to do.
When a baby can tell you when they are hungry, thirsty, need a diaper change, or are hurt, you are able to address their needs immediately. Even when you cannot help them right away, such as a baby’s leg hurting, you can soothe their pain once they’ve shown you. Most babies will invent their own “signs” to get their meaning across.
A baby may learn to wave bye-bye, for example, or point to his or her nose when it needs a wipe. How many of us for years have asked, “How big is baby?” and watched them fling up their arms in glee at the proper moment? These are symbolic gestures that are one form of communication used by pre-verbal infants and toddlers. In addition to pointing and grunting, a baby has the potential use of his hands and body to aid in communicating his thoughts, wants, fears, needs and memories.
Signing with your child eliminates frustration, as she/ he learns how to communicate with you through her/his hands and will be able to express his/ her needs to you. Signing enhances bonding between parents & children as well as sibling relationships. You and your child are participating in an active way of learning though music, visual signs and nursery rhymes. Please note that signing with children can increase self esteem and strengthens cognitive skills.
ASL is a visual language and is proven to help and expand speech/ language development.
About this class
The classes run 8 weeks and each session will be held for 45 minutes.
You will learn about 150 basic ASL signs for every day uses:
- Family signs
- Food signs
- Animal signs (find in books, zoo etc.)
- Emotional signs
- Play and toy signs
- Bedtime signs
Every week we will focus on one subject only to avoid an overwhelming feeling to everyone.
Here is a sample of what it might look like:
- Learn and sing a few songs to sign along with. (ie: twinkle, twinkle little star/ Dreamland)
- Use your own flashcards
- Read a book ( story time)
Sessions: There are 8 weekly sessions that last 60 min. each.
Dates & Times: 8/17, 8/24, 8/31, 9/7, 9/14, 9/21 from 10am to 11am
Cost: $200 (includes flashcards, handouts and art & craft materials)
About the instructor
Emmy-Lou Thomas-Smith: Birth Doula/ Birth Coach, Sign Language Instructor, Infant Massage Instructor, BSW- Psychology.