I’m passionate about helping as many families as possible benefit from using baby sign language with their children. It is such a simple thing to introduce but has a very powerful effect. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. Or how to keep the ball rolling.
Help me to help you!
What questions come to your mind when you think about signing with your baby?
Is there something that puts you off?
Anything that worries you?
Please complete and share this form with other young families so that everyone can benefit!
For about a year I have been running baby sign language workshops in Delft at the beautiful Womanhood Studio and it’s so much fun! More than that it is a real pleasure to see how it creates a great bond between baby and parents, months before little one can speak.
Are you curious about how it works? Here are some top tips that will help you to introduce some simple signs to your family routine.
First, you need a baby. Preferably older than 6 months and not talking yet (although there are many benefits to starting earlier and teaching signs to older infants).
You don’t actually have to ‘teach’ your baby signs. Does your baby already wave goodbye? Think about how they learned to do that. They copied what they saw you doing. This is baby sign language in its simplest form. So if you want to teach your baby to sign milk, then use the sign every time you talk about milk, look at milk, show them milk and give them milk. They will soon connect the sign with… milk! It’s just like learning to wave, you always wave goodbye to daddy in the morning when he goes to work. Eventually baby does it too. All by themselves.
I’m sure you noticed from the last point that repetition is important! Be patient, babies will understand the meaning of the signs long before they perform them. That is already communication! Most infants will not sign back until they are about 9 months old.
Start with one sign, (milk, bed and eat are good ones) and make it a habit to use it every time you have an opportunity in context. Then add another sign in when you use the previous one as second nature, without thinking about it anymore… It should become a habit.
Get all the family involved, including older siblings, grandparents and carers. This has been a wonderful bridge in our family connecting two sets of grandparents who speak different languages with a few well chosen simple gestures.
I have workshops scheduled every month in the beautiful centre of Delft, Zuid Holland, get in touch by email (info @ englishvoice.nl) for dates and pricing.
Feedback on a recent workshop, from Zuzana, April 2017:
“Baby sign language was nicely inspiring, it was even better than I imagined.
Roya has plenty to show and say. She is doing her best to be of service not only to the babies and the studio (space) is very cosy & homey.
Roya’s manner is open, she is nicely comfortable in her own skin and thoughtful.
I got very inspired to get more creative while spending time with my baby and I´m lucky to introduce all the signs to my partner at home who has also joined practising signing to our 6, 5 months old daughter.
I can’t wait to attend the next baby sign workshop :-)”
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