Any time you are talking or interacting with your baby, there is probably an opportunity to use sign language to increase the frequency with which your little one experiences this extra element of communication, and therefore the rate at which he or she will learn to use it increases too. Signing can easily become an integrated part of your baby’s world and the new discoveries he or she is making every day.
Don’t worry if you don’t know many, or any, signs yet; even a few signs can be used in lots of different circumstances and once your baby gets the idea of communicating with sign language, you can increase your vocabulary of signs little by little. Some of these signs can be done in passing as you go through the day, and for others you might want to make more of a game of them and take a few minutes to enjoy the time together. Here are a few ideas, but use your imagination and your baby’s interests to come up with lots more!
Whenever you are cleaning or washing anything, or when it is time to tidy up, you can use the sign for 'CLEAN'. (shown above)
'HELP' can be a useful sign to help your child transition between play time and a different activity by signing 'CLEAN' and 'HELP' and making a game of tidying their toys away. Sign and maybe sing a clean-up song like the “I love to play with all my toys” song we use at Tots Play (download it HERE ), as you go round the room picking things up, showing your little one where they go and encouraging him or her to help you put them away.
Sign 'WASH' as you put the washing in the machine, and then take a minute to watch as the washing goes round.
Sign 'EAT' when you are cooking or preparing food, either for your little one or for anyone in the family. Perhaps your toddler can 'HELP' when you are cooking by putting things on the table when you are getting ready to eat.
The sign for 'MORE' can be used both at meal times and with any other activity you do through the day. If you are giving your little one cuddles or tickles, pause after a moment, ask your child if they would like 'more', using the sign as you say the word, then continue with your cuddles, tickles or whatever else you were doing.
Sign 'UP' and 'DOWN' (simply by pointing your index finger up or down) just before or while you go up or down the stairs.
Take a look at our Songs for Signing Guide,m http://totsplay.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-baby-signing
for more fun ways to practice what you learn at class and bring Signing into your everyday life, and you will soon start to experience the benefits that signing can bring to you and your family.
Click HERE to Subscribe to our Blog for regular updates and activity ideas.