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Signing With Babies And Children: 2012

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Animal Signs ~ Make it Fun

Hello my fellow signing friends. It's been a long time, and I miss contributing to this wonderful signing adventure. We are expecting our fifth child, and I hope to continue to contribute ideas that will help engage new ideas in your individual signing journeys with your little ones!

Today, I wanted to write about animal signs and how we can make them fun. There are many animal books out there to read to your little ones. The first one that comes to mind is Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Eric Carle has many other versions of this book, and there are many other animal board books out there that are engaging and fun for your children to learn their animals and their signs.

When learning animal signs, you can help your child remember the word and the sign by creating a fun visual with the sign itself. Here are just a few ideas below.

5 Tickle Animal Signs:
Tiger - tickle across the face
Zebra - tickle across the the tummy
Snake - make sign while going on towards neck or tummy and tickling
Giraffe - tickle the neck while going down
Bear - hug behind their back, crossing arms, tickle up by shoulders (bear hug)

5 Sound Animal Signs:
Cow - bring the sign towards the face and back saying "moo"
Horse - bring the sign up and down saying "nay, nay"
Pig - bring the sign under chin, moving fingers in and out saying "oink, oink"
Cat - bring the sign across the face saying "meow"
Dog - bring the sign on and off from your leg saying "rough, rough"

5 Description Animal Signs:
Bird - form the bird's beak with one finger, open and close
Duck - form a bigger bird beak with two fingers, open and close
Peacock - sign bird and then form feathers of a peacock
Goat - form the goat's beard and then horns
Panda - form a "p" circling around the panda's black fur eye

5 Water Animal Signs:
Fish - sign a fish swimming side to side, moving forward in the water
Dolphin - sign a dolphin coming in and out of the ocean water
Shrimp - sign a little shrimp swimming across the water
Shark - sign the shark's fin on top of the water
Octopus - sign the legs of the octopus moving in the water

Please add any other ideas you have. The options are endless as we can each create our own visual effects and sound effects that help children learn their animal words, signs, and sounds. Make it fun for the both of you!

Oh, and if you get a chance to visit a zoo this summer, have a wonderful time with the world of signs and animals!!

Written by Shawna Tran.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day in Every Language

Baby Sign Language- Mother's Day:

Mommy, Mom, Mother, Mama, Maaaaam....
How does your baby call you?

If we are missing YOUR language, please let us know and comment below, we would love to learn from YOU!

Add a language here or just tell us how your baby/child calls you (variations of mom)--- win FREE Sing & Sign iPod / iPad app!

English -Mother- Mom
Hebrew - Imma אמא
Spanish – Madre – madre
French – Maman - maman
German – Mutter - Mutter
Chinese -母亲 – Moa Chin
Tamil - Amma
Hindi – मां – MatFilipino – Ina - ena
Dutch – Moeder – muuda
Vietnamese - mẹ - Meh
Thai – แม่ – Ma
Korean –엄마 - Omma
Japanese -ママ - MaMa
Russian – мать – Matsh
Polish – matka - Matka

and .... in Baby Sign Language: Click here

There is no job as demanding and as rewarding, as heart warming and as heart wrenching as being a mother.

Happy Mother's Day to all SUPERmamas in the world!

Let's Sign and Shine!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Koko, the Signing Gorilla

Sign language can truly cross barriers, bringing communication across cultures, societies, and even species! Using their hands, humans and gorillas have been able to speak to each other, sharing and expressing their own ideas and feelings. Koko, the gorilla, knows a vocabulary of over one thousand signs in American Sign Language (ASL), which is a considerable amount of words!
Koko is constantly learning new signs, as seen when she approximates “butterfly” for the first time. Even though her fingers do not have the fine motor skill needed for the “butterfly” sign, Koko quickly grasps the sign and signs it back to Penny, her caregiver. The amazing thing is that Koko is able to have back-and-forth conversations with Penny using ASL. When Penny shows her the scarf, Koko says that flowers are “fake,” which demonstrates a true ability to grasp abstract concepts. Koko is so smart and it is wonderful that we are able to communicate with her using sign language.
Sign language and Koko are both amazing! Anyone starting to learn how to sign can watch these great videos and learn how to sign with Koko.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Can Signing Be Taught through Music?

Baby sign language resources are all over the Internet. But how do you know which video or articles or even signing classes to trust? Some signing teachers prefer teaching “baby signs” instead of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, while others prefer a more hands-on teaching technique over books or online articles. You and your friend’s learning styles may vary so it is important to gauge which resources are available and which ones work best for you.
Singing and signing is a great way to learn sign language! Instead of reading dry material and looking at 2D diagrams, babies and parents can watch signing videos of your favorite songs together.
This video of “You are My Sunshine (or SignShine)” perfectly illustrates how singing can be taught through music and song! It starts off with a slow rundown of the different signs, line by line, and is performed to the fullest at the end. Parents can either play the video for their baby or learn how to sign…and sing and sign along to “You are My Sunshine.”
By singing and signing while diapering, at the toilet, or bathing, your little one will learn to associate fun with his or her routines. With continual reinforcement over time, your baby will learn both the signs and the routines in no time!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Does Sign Language Help or Hurt Children with Special Needs?

Children with special needs are each very different and as such, respond to certain teaching methods better than others. Sign language, however, brings many benefits to families with children with special needs, regardless of whether they are hearing or deaf. Sign language brings advantages to all!

Autism, apraxia, or Down Syndrome—these, as well as speech and language delays can all be ameliorated by using sign language in your home or school. Whether your child has difficulty with social situations, speech, or even tantrums, signing can be a great medium to encourage communication and more appropriate social behaviors.

Sign language does NOT hurt children with special needs. Instead, signing has been found to HELP children who have difficulty making requests, expressing themselves, or even verbally speaking. For children with limited motor skills, sign language is still an option! Children with disabilities like cerebral palsy can make approximations of the signs—which still allow both children and parents to communication and understand each other.

If you have a child with special needs, feel free to contact SignShine® for a list of available classes or programs in your area. It is time to introduce signing into your child and your family’s life. SignShine® can show you how to get started!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Keep Sharing

My son's Kindergarten class is going to make a windsock this next week. While volunteering, I was helping cut out the construction paper, and I couldn't help but sing the Signing Time song, "Rainbow Song" in my head as I went along picking out the colors of the rainbow as she had asked.

I asked Mrs. Johnson if she had ever heard of Signing Time. Next thing I find myself at home, gifting the "Rainbow Song" file from iTunes and emailing it to her along with finding the song lyrics on Signing Time's site and sending that too.

We'll see if my son can help her out next week in teaching the Kindergarten kiddos the colors of the rainbow signs. ^^ Never stop sharing the gift of signing with our children!

Written by Shawna Tran.

Singing TIme "Rainbow Song" Lyrics |

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How to Sign St. Patrick's Day ASL Signs?

Learn how to sign St. Patrick's Day Signs with SignShine.
ASL Signs, American Sign Language Signs. 
Fun, interactive and easy to sign with Mara:
  • Happy Saint Patrick's Day
  • Green
  • Rainbow
  • Gold
  • Luck
Happy Saint Patrick's Day from SignShine®!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Age is NOT a Factor in Sign Language

Sign language is a communication tool that is not restricted to deaf individuals—it has such great benefits that using sign language can enhance your daily life. Whether you are 25 years old or 60 years old, it’s never too late to start using your hands to sign. Sign language can be taught to babies who are only a few months old or to your grandmother—there is no limit for learning sign language. Signing is especially useful in accelerating verbal communication, stimulating the brain, and decreasing frustration levels in babies and young children. But in order to start signing with your child, you have to take the initiative and decide to welcome sign language to your family. There are many available resources on the Internet that can help you (and maybe your grandmother) get started on signing today.

Sign language starts with you! Get your family hooked on signing and see what it can do for you!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Watch What You Say!

Babies pay attention and copy what their parents do, in more ways than one! Recent studies have found that 6-month-old babies pay attention to the lips of their parents—even going so far as to watch their mommy’s lips and attempt to form the same shape and sounds. Babies are extremely attentive to the lip movements of other people around them, which has implications for speech development in children.
Thinking about a baby saying “mama” or “dada” makes all of us feel a little warmer inside. Because babies are more likely to pay attention to develop verbal communication after watching the lip movements of adults around them, it is extremely important to engage your child in face-to-face interactions.
We are all very busy and each one of our days is filled with endless to-do lists, but it is imperative to remember to take time for the important things in our lives—the things that make us the happiest. So next time you want to play a baby DVD while you’re multitasking (sound familiar?!), remember to take a break after, and spend some quality one-on-one time with your child. Who know? Your little one could surprise you by saying something! 

Florida scientists discovered that starting around age 6 months, babies begin shifting from the intent eye gaze of early infancy to studying mouths when people talk to them. Slowly gibberish begins to turn into syllables — think repetitive “ba ba ba ba” — and eventually “mama” and “dada”. For more information about the study conducted, check out The Blaze!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Learn Effectively?

What is the most effective way that you learn? Is it by teaching your little one how to sign or by looking at videos teaching signing? Do you remember more if someone speaks to you for a few hours at a sign language conference or when your family discusses why it is important to have routines?
Being aware of how you and your baby prefer to learn new things can create a better learning experience for both of you. The pyramid shows the effectiveness of each method of learning. Most people aren't aware that the most effective way to learn is by teaching others. In order to teach others, you must first learn the material yourself and know enough about the topic to explain to another person. In order to sign   "Happy New Year," you must know each part of the phrase and know that you are able to put it all together to create a different meaning (a celebration of January 1st) than just "happy," "new," and "year" separately.

So make it your New Year's Resolution to teach your little one the signs that you know! Take the time to experiment with which method your child prefers, whether it is by teaching a sibling, discussing the sign, or by practicing the sign repeatedly. Some babies like learning from watching videos on SignShine's app while others prefer learning by demonstrating to their grandparents.

Which section of the learning pyramid you prefer?

Etel Leit, M.S.

Founder & Owner