Hello again, Heather here from TinyTalk baby signing in the UK, I teach babies to sign in Leicester and love every moment of it. I have to remember to keep it simple with the families that come for their first term. You see I love the songs and through the years learned far more signs than that in our curriculum and so get carried away signing far to much, you see baby signing is signing abbreviated sign language to a pre verbal child to aid language development and communication but we will always speak at the same time so as the baby can link the two together and then later the baby will use his or her speech efforts as well as the signing effort to get his or her wants and needs across. So we teach a few signs in a sentence a nd concerntrate on the 50 core signs in the TinyTalk signing pack and also the other 100 as there are 150 in total, but also we are follow our babies lead as well, look to see what they are interested in, see the world from their eyes.
Here is a little girl who has a fascination with spiders, she was told how they spin their webs etc and where the silk comes from which apparently is there bottom. This fascinated the little girl and here is her spider sign, a great song is Incey Wincey spider climbs up the water spout. With a very young baby you can sing this song with you baby lying in front of you and you can tickle your baby slightly as the spider move up the spout, this is a great song for learning the different weather and also talking and signing about it.
So you see the sign we can do is the spider sign and also you can see this little girl is becoming a toddler and was also talking quite well bless her and so she may be interested in other mini beasts which you can talk about, you can learn the signs also which is always a good thing but can you see how her spider sign can also move to talking and signing about other similar things as well as some singing fun,
My sons signs he used to sign often at 11 months old were flower and bird, I would hear him saying birrrrrrr and I would hear him sniffing for the flower and out of the corner of my eye I would see him attempt his bird sign when he said birrrrrrrrr. At that age he would sniff for flower and do this at a tree, I would then explain that it is in fact a tree, signing did this a 11 month little boy getting confused but mummy understood and so was able to explain to him that a tree is a tree with a trunk and roots and branches and leaves just because he signed flower. You might think me mad now but very young children understand so much and just unable to talk properly, things may need repeating but they learn all the time, their little brains are working and processing the neurons are staying alive and working on those being challanged and those not are not needed and so die I think any way tee hee I am sure I read that in the Baby Minds book which really opened my eyes, it also goes on about the importance of signing with your baby.
Any way lets go back to simplicity, for me the flower for my son was one of his signs and Bird, he loved signing and saying birrrrr perhaps because it excited me and I would talk to him about the birds, or when I saw a bird I would ask if he could see it or hear it and he would then sign and say birrrr it was lovely.
Basic needs though are really important so for a tiny baby perhaps mummy, daddy, nappy and milk yes don't forget milk, now even though milk is a very important sign it may not be the first, my son didn't sign it until later when I asked him to, when he wanted his milk he just cam to me and lifted my shirt, Other babies will sign it though and is often a first sign.
For a older baby the signs food or eat and drink would be very useful, also keeping a routine or pattern perhaps such as a bed time game or pattern or dare I say it routine and using simple signs to show your baby what is happening next and also talking and explaining.
You can see how easy it is for me to go of track but also try and keep things simple, go with your baby or child, add some new signs each week but also continue to use the other signs with every day life such as when eating, when going to bed, when changing the nappy.
Enjoy and when your baby gets to the one year mark he or she will be signing a lot all of a sudden, as it is now that they will really want to communicate with you. Have fun.
Heather TinyTalk Leicester
I am a mother of 4, teach baby signing and also BSL level 2 qualified, love TKD and much more.