Monday, March 26, 2012

What does driving and sign language have in common?

As we drive around with our babies/toddlers in the car. One thing we may not be thinking about are all the symbols around us we take for granted.

  • The double yellow lines keeping up from passing unsafe.
  • The green, yellow, red lights directing us how to proceed.
  • The shapes of rectangle, square, triangle with the colours green, orange, yellow inside.

Everything having a meaning, a purpose, a direction. 

We all follow these with ease and understanding, most of the time.

Let's think now about what symbols mean for our world.

They are everywhere. They are in letters, pictures, reading, chemicals for safety, in games, cards and more.
Messages are everywhere. Even in how we hold our bodies, our face, our gestures.

So now, why would we not choose to give our children an advantage over this fundamental skill by teaching them sign language?

Their first use of symbols. Babies will be signing YES, NO, BYE BYE soon enough. Most babies even add in their own signs, like flapping wings for bird, or pointing up for airplane. If you take this natural, important skill, like symbols and you teach it to your babies, they will be learning their first step to understanding that all symbols have meaning. Soon these symbols mean something, say something and stand for something.

Soon your baby will learn to use signs to

  • Ask for what they want FOOD, DRINK, UP, LOVE
  • Tell you if they are HURT, need HELP, ANGRY, SAD
  • Share with you their world BUBBLES, AIRPLANE, PUPPY
  • Talk about their memories -how falling FLOWERS remind them of BUBBLES or how BERRIES in the store are same at HOME
  • Book read with you and alone reading STARS, MOON, BUNNY
  •  Tell you what they don't like AFRAID, HURT, DOG, PARACHUTE, LOUD NOISE
Don't underestimate what your 9 month old will come up with.

Practice with your little ones at home. Pretend play with them and use simple gestures and signs. You will soon be bonding with your baby and having conversations you never thought possible at such a young age.

Have fun!

By the way baby sign language has many more benefits such as:

  • Reduces tears, tantrums and frustration

  • Makes learning to talk easier

  • Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence

  • Stimulates intellectual development

  • Strengthens the parent-child bond

  for more details.

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