When my daughter was 8 months old I took her to her first baby sign class. The company we decided to go with is Sing and Sign although there are others available. It was something I wanted to do, as I have always wanted to learn sign language and I thought it would help my daughter to communicate with me. The first time my daughter signed we were on a walk in the park she pointed at the ducks got all excited and signed duck. Her face lit up when I said yes darling duck, that she hasn't stopped signing since. Her speech however at the time was still on the Mama Dada phase. So it goes to show that babies understand more than they can say and are just itching to communicate with us about the outside world.
Since those early days my daughters speech has come on and so has her signing. She loves to sign as it often helps with others understanding her as she learns new words. I think this has helped enormously in reducing tantrums and encouraged her to try to say more complex words. She absolutely adores Mr Tumble on Cbeebies and signs along with him. I will often buy her the 'Something Special' magazine as it has signs in for her to look at and fun things to do.
Today we bought her the magazine and it was a special Christmas edition, with some Christmas style flash cards. She loved these and began copying the Christmas signs. She signed:
Reindeer - Hands like antlers
Star - closed fist then opens out in air
And her favourite although not Christmas but she saw one on TV
Squirrel - Fists under chin
I love that she enjoys trying new words and can sign as well as talk and its something which I encourage her to do. I am hoping that my youngest also picks up sign language as she watches her sister. I always say the word and never sign alone so that she learns the spoken word too.
This day I love baby sign.
For further details on sign and sign class we attend you can use the following links: