Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baby Sign Language

While I was pregnant with the gremlins, I did my share of reading, like I'm sure so many of us did, and one thing that I read that stayed with me the MOST was about babies and communication.  I figured that with two on the way, communication MIGHT be a good thing... SO, began my inquiries into baby sign language and the benefits.
I read somewhere (and I would LOVE to have the literature to back me up, but #1 it's been almost 4 yrs and #2 I really don't HAVE the time to search.. but I promise, If I come across it I will DEFINITELY pass it along... ) that the terrible twos were mostly due to the toddler's frustration with lack of communication so, I figured... Baby sign language was worth a shot. My gremlins just turned 3 last week, and I'm here to tell ya.. The two's were NO where NEAR what I consider terrible, and my gremlins speak English, Spanish AND sign. 

Well, now you can possibly entertain my excitement when I was contacted by Misty Weaver about writing a guest post ... OK... I'm still giddy...  Especially since it REALLY hit the nail on the head...  I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I did....

Written By Misty Weaver

Baby Sign Language Games You Can Play with Twins

Baby Sign Grab Bag:

The more Baby Signs you know, the bigger the bag you’ll need. For each sign you are learning, find two corresponding objects. For example, if you are teaching the sign for banana, you will need two bananas. Teaching book? You’ll need two books. Other signs I’ve taught with this game include: ball, diaper, shoe, blanket, cup, and doll, but you have hundreds of options. For inspiration, go to a Baby Sign Language Dictionary and look for signs that might be fun to teach.

So, once you have your grab bag full of goodies, you ask one of your babies to pull something out of the bag. Be prepared to act ridiculously excited about whatever she pulls out. When she grabs a banana, shriek “Oh my goodness, a BANANA!” and make the sign for banana. Encourage her to make the sign along with you. Then get even more excited. Then, show your other baby the contents of the grab bag and ask her to find the other banana. Don’t forget to make the sign every single time you say the corresponding word! With older children, I’ve asked them to reach into the bag without looking and try to identify the banana by touch alone. Their furrowed little brows are so cute!

Sign and Sing (or for the really brave, Sign, Sing and Dance):

The great thing about singing to babies is that they don’t yet know whether or not we can sing. It’s mommy’s big chance to be a star! And the great thing about twins? I have double the screaming, adoring fans! I started off the motherhood journey singing actual songs to my babies, songs that had been written, recorded, and sold by someone far more worthy than myself. But it didn’t take long for me to throw that approach out the window. It was way more fun to just make up my own songs. Hence, the “poopy diaper song” was born. And not long after that, we invented the “poopy diaper dance.” Some people tell me this is an indication that I spend too much time at home with my children, but I find the poopy diaper dance to be great fun. Anyway, it is easy to practice signs with songs if you make up your own. If you are teaching the signs for dog, diaper, and gentle, then you’ll need a song about a gentle dog wearing a diaper. Don’t worry – it doesn’t have to make sense! Babies and toddlers love music, love to sing, and love to clap along. If you throw signing into the mix, they will probably love that too. And remember that research shows that children learn better when they are moving their bodies, so before you laugh off my diaper dance, you might want to give it a try!

Signing Dolls:

Dolls usually pick up sign language fairly quickly, especially when mom helps to manipulate their little hands. (Of course, you’ll need a relatively dexterous doll – Barbie’s rigid plastic hands are lacking in maneuverability.) But seriously, if your twins like to play with dolls, use that to your advantage. You can talk and sign to the dolls, and then you and your kids can “help the dolls sign back.” We have a Raggedy Ann doll who just finds it great fun to call the dog using the sign for dog. The scary part is that the dog actually comes!

~ Thank you sooooo Much Misty, I can not put into words how great your suggestions are.  We have already started on some of these and the Gremlins LOVE them...

For more info please visit Baby Sign language or you can follow her on Facebook.... BOTH great tools offering a wealth of information...


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1 comment:

  1. Great post and guest post! I taught my first to sign when he was 14 months. It was amazing! Now I've started teaching my 9 month old and though he doesn't really sign back yet he loves it when I sign to him. I recently did a research related post on my blog about teaching babies and toddlers to sign


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