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Signing With Babies And Children: dancing with your hands...

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

dancing with your hands...

so often, i've heard (and said) that signing is so much more than saying words with your hands.  it's not just about using your hands to label something, whether it be an object, an emotion, or an action.  it's obvious, when you see people signing, that it's not just their hands moving, but their faces, and their bodies.  so much is said beyond the hands. 

for babies, signing is a key to unlocking a world of communication that might not otherwise be opened until many months later.  babies learn the importance of non-verbal communication by cuing into facial expression, body language, and even the feelings that come along with communicating. 

i recently was told an amazing comment after teaching a baby signing class.  this mother explained that learning and using sign language is more than what she expected... that she can actually feel what she is saying... essentially, that signing is emotional.  she compared it to dancing.  she is a dance teacher, and related the movements of dancing to communicating with signs.  it's not just about the movements... it's so much more than that.

(and thank you to that wonderful mommy... you know who you are :)  )


My Baby Details said...

I see what this wonderful mom means!

Thank you for sharing as I think fondly of my 2 and a half year old recently signing "r-e-d" often. She puts her index finger on her chin and as she s-l-o-w-l-y draws it towards her chest, the word "red" is said just as "slowly" as she moves her finger. It's so cute and expressive to me!

SignShine said...

Oh wow... it is so beautiful to compare dancing and signing. i LOVE dancing and i never tought abotu it....
Let the Sign Shine,

Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner

msmara said...

Beautifully stated*. Dance is expression, just like signing. They both communicate in very different ways. With signing, as well as, with dance, people have their own styles. Various emotions are evoked. A prime example is when the mother shared "... that she can actually feel what she is saying..".

It's wonderful to be able to visually communicate through movement. It is also incredibly beneficial, especially for babies and toddlers. For years, I have encouraged parent to sign with their little ones. It is truly a gift to be able to communicate with your child long before s/he can speak. I commend all of the parents that involve their children with SignShine classes, as well as dance classes!