August 30, 2010

It Really is that Easy!

Posted by Kristi at 1:42 PM
I recently had a signing experience with a few of my close friends that I can't get out of my mind.

During my workshops and different play classes we often express to parents how easy it is to teach a baby to use sign language. I can not stress enough how natural it is for children to begin signing; many children do it on their own, we just have to keep out eyes open for it.

A perfect example of this was just a few short days ago. My husband's best friend and his wife were in town with their 1 year old daughter. They have not been formally teaching their daughter to use sign, but have witnessed what it has done for our children and have been very open to the concept. Throughout the weekend that they were staying with us I noticed several occasions when Abby would use signs to communicate what she wanted or was interested in.

The first couple of times I didn't say anything, but when I realized that the signs she had "made up" were the exact ones that I teach in my classes I couldn't help but share it with her parents. Of course they were beaming with pride, who wouldn't!

The point of sharing this with all of you is that I want you to see just how natural it really is for kids to begin to sign. We, as parents and caregivers, sign with children all the time, whether we realize it or not. Waving "bye bye" and nodding our heads to say "no" are both common ways we all use sign to communicate.

Children realize at a much earlier age than they begin to speak that there are certain movements they can make with their hands to "talk" to others. The more words or concepts we add to their signing vocabulary, the more they will be able to "talk" with us. Abby and her parents realized this without haveing to be fomally taught...anyone can. The idea is to be open to it and don't feel as though it is something you need to be formally trained on. Follow your child's lead and run with it!!!!


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