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Signing With Babies And Children: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly... & The Cute!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly... & The Cute!

Join me in my quest to find the most acceptable sign image. I write children's books, curriculum and develop signing materials for the Hands 4 Learning website. Over the past 5 years, I’ve been searching for just the right “look” for static signers. I’ve seen all kinds!

One of the first, literally over 20 years ago, was your standard pencil or line drawings.

It’s clean and easy. Simple enough for an artist (not even a great one) to do rather quickly. I’m no artist – but given enough paper and time… I could produce these, especially after my one-semester Art and Drawing class I took in college.

Next came the “Scary Clip Art” looking adults.

I develop my materials for children, their parents and Educators – kids don’t need fierce scowling grownups looking as if they’re hurling signs (quite possibly gang style) in their direction.

We saw some improvement to the “Line Drawing” style as we moved to a much more artful or even soft cartoon looking child. They did get something write – the kid. But at times I find the fat fingers, short arms and frighteningly large noggins over played. I realize my own infant started her signing process utilizing “Sign Approximation” but do I need to see it on a published level?

Yikes – then we went “SUPERHERO” with the Avatar look. Wouldn’t show this to my 3 year old in a storybook – let alone, see an entire movie of them!

But fear not!!! I think I found what we’ve been looking for! May I present the “The Hands 4 Learning Little Signers”. They are children. They are accurate. They look like my 5 year old’s kindergarten classmates. And these can help Moms and Dads, too.

I’m curious to get your thoughts! What’s your best search on a “static” sign image?


Baby Fingers said...

Kelly, she is adorable. Do you have a boy image as well? I used real life models (babies and toddlers from my program) for my boardbook series Baby Fingers: Teaching Your Baby to Sign. Beautiful, though not always easy getting little ones to sign for the camera! Looking forward to seeing more of your materials. Thanks. Lora,

Kelly - Sign2Connect said...

Lora- THANKS!! We do have boys! I thought about using my 5 year old at the time. But you're right - getting any child to stay still for very long is a challenge. Additionally - I didn't want to be marketing sign approximation in our materials. I wanted the signs to be as acurrate as possible so parents and teachers would produce signs in a correct manner to their children!