It’s hard to tell people what you want when you don’t have the words. Sometimes it’s so hard kids resort to crying, hitting and tantrums. One way to lesson these communication problems is to teach your child sign language.
I started doing this with my first son, thinking if he could just learn a few key words like “more” “hungry” and “water” it would make both of our lives better. It took him a while to pick up his first sign (probably because I was so excited to try I started way too young) but once he got that he was very open to learning more. Next thing I know we’re signing “airplane” and “car” and more.
My second son picked up signing as well, and it was amazing to see him sign “sleep” – okay, let’s take a nap! It worked well for me to learn a handful of signs and use them while I was saying the word. Like “more” “eat” “hungry” “water” and “sleep.” I also purchased the first three Signing Times videos. With the combination of the videos and me consistently using the signs it didn’t take too long before they were signing to me.
Here are some resources to get started signing (you don’t need to spend a lot of money to do this):
- Sign With Me online video dictionary, free
- Signing Time series of videos
- Baby Sign Language top 10 signs, free
- Baby Sign Language iPhone app, free
There is also a Memphis Deaf Community website where classes are listed if you want to investigate taking a class.
Six months seems to be a good age to start, but don’t expect them to start signing that young. And if they can’t get the sign exactly right don’t worry about it, adapt to whatever they can do. What other resources do you recommend for baby sign language?