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Signing With Babies And Children: August 2011

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby Sign Language Games: The Snow Globe

Baby Sign Language is a great tool to encourage interaction between children and adults. One of my favorite ways is through making art projects!

How many of you have a snow globe at home? Did you receive it at Christmas from a family member? Did you buy it when you were on vacation? You shake it for a few seconds, get really excited for a few minutes…and then forget about it until next time.

Making homemade snow globes is a fun and simple activity. It requires team work between the child and the adult and allows both of you to spend time together. Your snow globe could be a new ornament to decorate your house or even a present for a family member!

I made it with my kids one afternoon, and it was a great way for my kids to learn new signs and to have a lot of fun too!

If you follow the instructions below, you and your child can easily make a snow globe together. You can put any small toy or figure that your child really likes to sign: a little dog, a boy, or his or her favorite animal.

How to Make a Snow Globe
1 medium-sized clear plastic container or a baby food jar
White glitter (I used gold, and the colored glitter doesn’t work as well)
Glue gun
Small plastic figure of your child’s favorite sign
Cold water

1. Wash container and remove label.
2. Using a glue gun, attach the plastic figure or decorations to the inside of the jar lid.
3. Fill the jar ½ inch from the top with cold water.
4. Add glitter.
5. Screw lid on the jar. Let it set overnight with the lid side up.
The next morning, you and your child will have a wonderful surprise waiting for you! Now that the snow globe is ready, you can have a fun and interactive meaningful playtime. You can even introduce new signs or reinforce existing signs with your child.

First, SHAKE the snowball and sign WAIT.
Wait for the glitter-rain to fall down…sign WAIT again.

Then sign RAIN and SNOW. You can sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider and use the RAIN and SNOW signs. (See our free iPhone / iPad app to learn how to sign along!)

Ask your child WHERE IS _________?

Sign WAIT…and then reveal the little figure! Here it is!

What other signs would you sign in this activity?

Sign  & Shine,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sign Language Aids in the Development of Emotional Intelligence

A mom shared with me the story of being at a restaurant with her six-year old child who has cerebral palsy. A nice woman came over to their table and give her child a balloon. With a huge smile and perfect eye contact, the child signed, 'Thank you'!

Not only is 'thank you' a word that does not represent a concrete object and requires that the child understand the situation and think abstractly; it also is a word that requires the child to think beyond the world of 'self' and to demonstrate feelings toward another person. Sign language allows a young child to develop and better understand the impact he has on others. When you teach a young child manners using ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry, he can begin to see the positive impact he has on others and begin to develop his emotional intelligence. When he hurts others, he realizes that it doesn't feel good, and he says he's 'sorry'; when he gives others a hug, or a ‘thank you’, he knows it makes them feel good and happy. These acts of personal engagement are important aspects of emotional intelligence. People with high emotional intelligence will find themselves at a great advantage in life.