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Signing With Babies And Children: August 2010

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scarlette's Growing Up

Thank you to everyone who posted well wishes for Scarlette's little hands, she is healed perfectly now and thank goodness, she managed to get away without any permanent damage or scarring.

In Australia, Baby Sign Language is not as prevalent as it is in America, Canada and Europe. Toddler Interpreter are doing their bit to raise awareness and momentum is growing, however I wish that it wasn't such a mystery here.

Next week we are sending Scarlette to day care for two days a week to give her some variety.
I know that she will be the first toddler that they have had in their care that knows and uses Baby Sign Language.

She has such a big personality, and for her age, her language skills and comprehension are unbelievable so I am confident that it will take no time at all for her to teach them. As a back up of course we have provided them with a copy of our Baby Sign Language Book and Chart and we will be doing some classes with them as well.

Scarlette is 22 months old and this is the most fabulous age for baby sign language. She uses it daily along with the words, it has been a blessing. Sometimes I just wouldn't be able to understand that her little word that sounds more like 'phfsstd' is actually 'finished' if it weren't for the little hands signing 'finished' that help me work it out.

The most adorable signs are those when we are out and about. Yesterday we were at a friends place who currently has a new litter of kittens and Scarlette knows as soon as we get there and furiously signs for 'pussy cat' while 'meowing' all the way to the front door. I wish I could capture all of these precious moments on film so I could treasure this age for ever.

By far the most useful and most used baby sign is 'more'. Scarlette uses this for everything. We might be playing a game with her and she asks for more, this one she knows both the word and the sign and uses them together. She will often ask for more juice, more milk or more apple too, putting both signs together with the words as best as she can. When we are out playing on the swings, she signs more to ask for us to push her higher...she is a bit of a dare devil.

Come on Australia, join in the baby sign language movement and enjoy these precious times with your little ones, just as we are!

Monday, August 2, 2010

3 Steps to Signing Expectations

Here are three steps that help me sign with my children or children that are in my care^_^. When I am able to sign what is to come next, the child and I are both able to feel more secure in striving for the expectation at hand.

1. List daily routines
2. Choose Three Signs for each routine
3. Don't be afraid to add signs to those routines

While thinking of the routines that occur daily with your child, also think of "what is to be expected." This will help you recognize routines. Then go from there in choosing three signs that correlate with the routine. If another sign comes to mind, welcome it, and keep signing away.

For example, as I watched my 1 year old niece yesterday, I was not sure which signs she has learned over the past six months. I was given the direction to lay her down with a sippy cup to have her drink milk before laying her down to sleep.

I decided to sign three different signs to help her focus on the goal- which was to drink most of her milk before retiring to nap time.

The three signs were "drink, milk, sleep" as I would say, "Drink your milk, then we'll go to sleep." I said this a number of times, and then all of the sudden, she let go of one of the sides of the sipper cup (with the handles) and began signing milk as she observed her own hand opening and closing.

A way that another sign could have been involved is after she drank her milk, I could have encouraged the goal by signing and saying, "You drank your milk, now we're going to go to sleep" and adding "let's go get your blanket," signing blanket.

And if by chance the expectation at hand isn't met, well, you know that at least you met your own expectation of signing with your child.^_^

Written by Shawna Tran