Hello again! I have been away in North Wales last week on a lovely holiday with my family. Let me start this blog by telling you about something that is very special for you to do when reading to your baby or child: add some signs. In TinyTalk baby signing classes every 3rd week, we will have a book that we will use and demonstrate how you can sign whilst reading with your baby or toddler to help get them interested in reading books. Another aspect for you to think about is that you don't have to sign all of the words with hearing children, although with a Deaf child that would be a good thing to do. You can look at the illustrations and see what is there. Let your child point and then show them the sign. Don’t worry if you do not know the sign as you can find out for another time.
I also like to have fun with my now 4 year old and sometimes we will chat during the story and talk about what he sees, but also taking care not to interrupt the flow of the story too much. I have read two books called Baby Minds and also Baby signs by Linda Accedolo and Susan Goodwyn. What struck me was that they did many years of research and included in that was two groups of babies around 14 months old. Both sets had parents who read to them and spent time. Now one group was to carry on as they have been doing and the other was asked to add some signs as they read the books with their children. To cut a long story short, the group of babies that had the signed stories went on to develop at a faster pace and also went on to do well in their future tests in school. So the signing benefited them for longer than just communicating before speech. My son dropped his signs at around 18 months old as he wanted to talk instead. This is very normal. Now he enjoys showing his teachers how to sign in school as a couple of children have trouble being understood and so signing is helping. My son is now enjoying learning the signs all over again and I as his mother would like him to go on and learn more, but I also understand that with him it will need to be in a fun relaxed way. Now I include signs when reading to my little boy and many times I have to put the book down as he likes to lie down. Just lately I have persuaded him to sit up and help me with the pages.
I hope you enjoy this clip. It was much fun making it. I even put a tad of foundation on and brushed my hair. I am not wearing my uniform though as I am next door at my neighbor's home. Enjoy!
I’d like to now share some suggestions on how to sign with your baby or child. Children are never too young to be read to so make an effort early on to read with your baby. This will help them with their language development. If your child is deaf try and include as many signs as you can and add body language too so the story can be understood. Use the pictures and point to the flower and do the sign and say flower and point to the birds, etc. Don't worry if you do not know all of the signs for the words with the hearing child as long as you have fun and again you can use the pictures as most books will have a tree, moon, sun, flower, butterfly in the picture too. Have fun and keep it relaxed also.
Do leave a comment about how you sign with your little one when you read books and share with us please as it’s all jolly good fun knowing how others do things too.
I am a mother of 4, teach baby signing and also BSL level 2 qualified, love TKD and much more.