Min'e and Azad signing Cows.
Hello! This week I would like to explain that signing does not stop once your baby starts to talk as we can continue to use the signs we have learned from the baby signing. Whether you wish to use just for fun or as a stepping stone to learn sign language more fully in the future, continuing signing is important.
Here is a picture of my only daughter Min'e (pronounced Miney) and my youngest son Azad’s last summer whilst on Holiday. This holiday I reinforced many signs with my younger son as we did different things.
In this photo they are signing the BSL version for “cow” and you can see the cows in the field. Seeing an object or being in real time is the perfect time to show the sign or reinforce the sign with the children. They are more likely to remember it this way.
We had a lot of opportunities throughout our holiday to sign whilst on the beach, at the Sea Life Centre, seeing ducks, etc.
I am researching right now using signing with older children. I have the book Dancing with Words by Marilyn Daniels which I need to complete reading. I am also going to purchase some signing games as well as make up a memory game to help my youngest with core reading, memory, and to have fun signing. I aim to write a post about that when it happens so watch this space.
Above my son Azad is signing “Sand” whilst at the park which is simply pretending you have sand running through your hands. In the other picture he is singing “Castle” next to a lovely sand castle on our holiday. The picture catches the end of that sign. You see it is as easy as that and when they are small children they can very easily copy you if they have forgotten the sign, but with the visual aid they are more likely to remember and it is also a lot of fun.
My son stopped using signs at 18 months old. He broke my heart (tee hee) as he wanted to talk. The thing is he enjoys it all again now. He is proud mummy teaches TinyTalk and with their being a couple of children at his preschool that need help with signing to help communicate, Azad has been a real help with teaching some signs to the willing teachers. I have found all children to be different. Around the one year mark, they tend to start to use more signs all of a sudden. This is the age where they really want to communicate but because they are unable to speak much yet the signing with attempts of speech really helps. Later they may or may not stop using the signs as they begin to speak more clearly. I have noticed though that those that do stop signing will pick it up later for the fun aspect and use within nursery rhymes, action songs, etc. That is what Azad has done, but also he wants to learn more signs now. I have had to purchase a couple of books just for him.
Azad signing Penguin
We went to the Sea life Centre and in this picture Azad is signing “penguin”. This is a fun sign for them to do and they can exaggerate as well with the wobble. You see where ever you are you can use relative signs with your baby and children. It is never too early to start and they are never too old to continue. A couple of weeks ago I was filming a clip for my BSL NVQ level 3. I did not have any one to watch my children that day so I brought them along with me. When we returned home my daughter was counting all the signs she could remember from my TinyTalk classes and also really wants to go on and learn BSL level 1 someday soon. She is 10 years old, so it is possible. My daughter was inspired because both my teachers are deaf, but one is profoundly deaf and they found it fascinating how well we communicated without our voice. Obviously with the children we talk at the same time, especially the very young children, but for older children you can make it into a game and see if you can be understood with your voice switch off.
I really hope in the near future schools start teaching signing to help with reading, literacy, and phonics. That is my next step to research facts and benefits on these. As I said, I will cover the fun I know we will have as a family with the memory game. I might even record it and learn how to edit the video so that we can have subtitles also.
So don't stop signing with your small ones. I am sure my children that sign will continue to learn as I am learning all the time. They will follow me and one day perhaps they will go on to learn BSL level 1 and beyond and may even be able to communicate with ease to a deaf person. I also believe signing with children is very good for brain development as it works the different parts of the brain and research has proven it to be beneficial.
Thank you for reading and please do leave a comment below.
I am a mother of 4, teach baby signing and also BSL level 2 qualified, love TKD and much more.