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Signing With Babies And Children: For children LOVE spelled T-I-M-E!

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

For children LOVE spelled T-I-M-E!

Happy Valentine’s Day! The stores are filled with beautiful displays of chocolate, stuffed animals and love-inspired t-shirts with all kinds of sayings. It’s a fun and meaningful holiday – a time to give just the right present to bring joy and express your love. The gift possibilities are endless, but how do we really express love to our children? Is it by buying the latest and greatest toy? Perhaps another cute outfit with matching socks and shoes? Maybe first row tickets to Hannah Montana’s next show? Don’t get me wrong, special presents are exciting, but what I am trying to say is that TIME is the best and most enduring gift we can give our children. Just plain old time and undivided attention will be remembered long after they outgrow the toys and outfits. It’s free and it’s precious and our kids value it above all else (even if they don’t come out and say it directly).

Last year my daughter and I baked a Valentine’s Day cake using a recipe from a parenting magazine. We went to the market to buy the ingredients and then came home and had a great time baking together. It is one of our favorite memories. In the end, the cake didn’t exactly look like the one promised in the magazine, but it was filled with love and it was so special for both of us. We took pictures to put the great memories in our album.

This Valentine’s Day, spend quality time with your little one. Make a list for daddy (or mommy or other family members) with all the reasons you love them. Prepare a song to perform for the family on Valentine’s Day. Do an arts and crafts project together, like the one below:

How to make I LOVE YOU sign:
- Skin colored construction paper
- Popsicle or doctor’s stick
- Glue
- scissors
- Cut out hearts and other decorations
- Markers or crayons

Teach your child what the American Sign Language sign for I-Love-You is. Have them practice making the sign. Trace your child’s hand on the construction paper or foam. (Cutting the hand out is too detailed for many preschoolers to do on their own, so let them ‘cut’ one hand while you are cutting the other). When the paper hands are cut out, help them to fold down the two middle fingers. Glue the fingers down to the palm of the hand. Glue the entire hand cutout to a popsicle stick (or even a plastic spoon). Now let the creative fun begin – provide glitter, buttons, stamps, stickers, and other decorations. Encourage your little one to use his or her imagination and decorate the heart in whatever way that they would like to.
Enjoy the time together and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Let the Sign Shine!

Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner

1 comment:

Just His Best said...

I just came across your blog. Love it and will start linking to it!