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Signing With Babies And Children: January 2012

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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