Early Childhood Development: The Joy of Teaching Your Child to Sign

After months and months of signing with Logan, he has learned three signs!! He now knows more, all done, and bye-bye! I’m getting such a big kick out of watching him communicate with us. If he wants more food, he let’s us know and it’s the same when he’s all done with something. He cracks me up when he wants to leave and he starts waving bye-bye as if to say, “Hey Mom, I’m ready to go. Come on!”

Back-story: I was in early childhood education for a bit and I started picking up the basic signs from my two year old students. They would sign eat/food, water, more, all done, toy, help, and a few others. I always knew that I wanted to teach my children how to sign when the time came, but it was while I was pregnant with Logan that I saw a YouTube video of a little girl signing to communicate before she was one year old that really sealed the deal for me. It was so incredible to watch such a small child communicate with ease! I decided right then and there that I would sign with Logan from day one in the hopes of him picking it up.
Now that he’s actually begun signing back, I’m most excited about being able to communicate with Logan before he’s verbal. I know he gets frustrated when I can’t understand him, and it’s my hope that sign language will begin to create a bridge for us. Seeing the light in his eyes when he shows me a sign and I respond to his need is wonderful.
This week, I downloaded two Baby ASL apps for my phone, so that I can review basic signs and show them to Logan. He enjoys watching the videos that show a demonstration of the signs and I’m hoping this will be another way to help him pick them up.

Right now, I’m still learning basic sign language, but as Logan learns, I want to become fluent as well. To help us on our journey, we have checked out sign language videos and books from our local library so that we are constantly expanding our vocabulary. My husband, myself, and Logan watch the videos together and then Eric and I practice, so that we can sign whenever we say that particular word to Logan. 

Originally, I was trying to help Logan by moving his hands to form the appropriate sign, but I recently found out that you shouldn’t do that from +Joann Woolley. She shared with me that, “You do not move your child’s hands just like you (parents) do not move your child’s lips to form words.” I love this comparison so much because I had never looked at it that way! Just like your child learning to speak, they will learn to sign in their own time.
Follow Joann-Sign4Baby:
I also subscribe to Sara Bingham, creator of WeeHands, sign of the week poster (pictured below). Subscribe here–it’s completely free, so you can begin to learn sign language right away!

Follow Sara-WeeHands:

Sign Language is now the United State’s third most spoken language, so not only is it a great way to communicate with your child at an earlier age, but it’s a great skill to teach them! It will open up a lot of doors that they otherwise might never have had the chance to walk through.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results immediately–it took Logan quite awhile to start signing back, but he was paying attention. Just like your child learning how to roll over, crawl, or walk, these things take time. If you’re patient, I think you’ll be very pleased with the end result.
Interesting fact: Just like English, Spanish, and French are all different languages, American Sign Language (ASL) is different from the British or French version.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *