American Sign Language or ASL is a great way to “talk” to your baby and for baby to talk to you. Babies are able to recognize words and meanings long before they can form words. For instance, they learn to wave bye bye before they can say bye bye. So using sign language to communicate makes a lot of sense.
Did you know that using sign language helps children learn to speak sooner? Sign language jump starts their ability to learn and lets them let you know what they need without tears or tantrums. BabyCenter explains the benefits of signing with your little one.
When is a good time to start? If your child is starting to point at things, brings you toys, waves good-bye and is beginning to take an interest in picture books, they are ready to learn sign language.
Start with a few simple signs such as “eat” or “more.” Always say the word that you are signing. Repeat the word and the sign a few times. And try to make signing a regular part of your day. Baby’s ability to mimic signs may not be perfect but that’s okay. As long as you know what they are trying to say. And most important, make it fun. Signing should reduce frustration not create it. Check out the links provided on Parents.com to get started.
I try to introduce a sign at every story time. What will our next sign be? You’ll find out when I see you in the Story Time Room.