Babies understand so much before they can talk and desperately want to communicate From as early as 6 to 9 months old, babies can begin to tell you what they want and how they feel.
Signing with your baby will develop their natural desire to communicate.
One of the questions that I am asked most often is 'Why should I sign with my baby?' The best thing I can do is share my own experience of using sign language with my children.
I started using signs with my first child when she was around 8 months old, at around 11 months old she did her first sign back to me - Milk. I can not describe the joy and excitement I felt (and exhibited by jumping up and down, clapping and squealing!) at my little girl being able to tell me what she wanted.
The other signs such as eat, drink, more, all gone soon followed, and before we knew it her vocabulary of signs was amazing.
But - probably the most compelling reason I can give, is a little later in to our signing journey I taught her the sign for help. I feel this sign alone had the most significant impact on our ability to communicate with each other.
Gone were the tantrums when she couldn't reach something, climb on something, or do something for herself, as rather than scream and shout, she would simply turn to me and sign help. It was wonderful, a breakthrough time and made her toddler time a much more pleasurable experience for us both.
Communicating using basic sign language with your baby can help you understand their thoughts and needs long before they have developed the ability to speak verbally. This can help reduce tantrums and ease frustrations for both babies and parents.
Using signs together with spoken language establishes two way communication and enhances their early language development. Additionally signing and the early introduction to music have both been linked to greater interest in books and improved reading ability.
What to expect
The course is best suited to babies from 6 months old to around 2 years old.
Come along and join Sidney Signs & his friends for fun - songs, nursery rhymes, percussion instruments, stories, messy play and games are all used to engage babies and parents from the start.
Using songs, music and rhymes enhances the development of language, literacy and numeracy, socialisation as well as being fun for both parents and babies. Research shows that signing babies have a tendency to have a greater interest in books, increased early vocabulary and improved literacy.
The course runs for either 5 or 10 consecutive weeks (excluding the break for ½ term) and includes:
- Introduction to signing with your baby.
- Six stages of signing.
- Interactive play including, songs, rhymes, music, messy play, games and more.
- Comprehensive manual with diagrams of signs.
- CD of the most popular songs used throughout the course.
The course uses British Sign Language signs and is structured to provide a complete guide in how to sign with your baby, ensuring that you understand how and when to use signs to get the best possible results.
Classes will run for approximately one hour, which includes 45 minutes signing, and then time for babies to play and parents to have light refreshments, chat, get to know each other and ask any questions they may have.