Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Baby Signing and the benefits

This week's topic was 'My Furry Friends', all children love to mimic animal sounds, so we sing and sign to 'Old McDonald', 'How much is that Doggy?' and bonded over 'This little piggy..'. It's such a fun session and now that a couple of the older ones are signing along too the parents of younger babies can see the benefits too.

The intellectual benefits of baby signing are:-

1. It increases the speed of the development of verbal language and vocabulary
2. It reinforces the use of verbal language.
3. Promotes language learning through concept.
4. Reinforces a child’s communication attempts.
5. Promotes early literacy.
6. Increases interests in books.
7. Promotes the early use of complex sentences.

Baby sign benefits extend to children over 3 years old also. Older children who used Baby Sign Language as infants and toddlers have better verbal and reading skills. Many parents use books along with teaching sign language. When you point to a picture and then show the sign for the word, both reading and communication skills are improved. Vocabulary is developed earlier and grows faster. The kinesthetic elements of signing reinforce verbal skills.

You can actually teach an infant Baby Sign Language, and it will promote the use of speech sooner rather than later. Language is conceptual. You have to be able to picture an item and relate a word to the picture in your mind. When a child learns how language works by using Baby Sign Language, it is only natural the baby will attempt to use the actual word as soon as possible. The fear that baby signing slows the development of speech is ungrounded. In fact, the opposite is true.

There are many intellectual benefits of using Baby Sign Language. An infant learning baby signing results in the early development of literacy and verbal skills. If you want to teach your infant how to communicate 1-2 years earlier, while developing intellectual abilities, Baby Sign Language is a key tool.
(taken from http://www.babies-and-sign-language.com/baby-signs-intellectual-benefits.html)

If you are sceptical about Baby Signing come along to a class and see the results. You will be amazed! From a personal front, Luke was signing from 5 months, his first signs were dog and milk. He now speaks in full clear sentences and his memory is second to none, he is not quite 3 but everyone comments on how advanced his vocabulary is.
Watch the video of 13 month old Rowan, what a clever girl! I am so proud how many signs she has and how much she can communicate with her parents at such a young age.

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