Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby Sign Language

When Lil Hoot started showing definite signs of a willful personality and frustration at her inability to be articulate, I thought it was time to look into baby signing. I did a bit of looking and the two most popular books seemed to be Baby Signs and The Baby Signing Book.

I checked out both from the library but I definitely prefer The Baby Signing Book. Perhaps it is just my personality (a touch Type A) but the book is laid out in a very organized fashion. I found the break down by age and the suggestions for how to choose signs very helpful. The dictionary in the back can be a tad confusing but any text that tries to show movement can be confusing. I choose the signs using their dictionary as a guide but then look for videos online if I am confused.

Baby Signs was written in more of a prose style that felt disorganized and meandering to me. I was quite overwhelmed by how to choose signs after reading their chapter for Lil Hoot's age group. I found their shameless promotion of their other products to be off-putting. They also completely dismiss the AAP's recommendation of no television for children under the age of two by saying that the AAP meant non-educational TV, not DVDs like theirs. I have read several books that give a scientific backing on the AAP's recommendation and feel that this dismissal is ill-advised and obviously self-serving.

I received The Baby Signing Book for Christmas and am now trying to add a few signs to my vocabulary each week. I found two handed signs very difficult until Lil Hoot reached the age where she could sit up and be mobile for herself - she is obviously in the mobile stage now! She already recognizes "milk" and "all done". We also consistently use "dog", "water", "bath", "want" and "more". I have added "ball", "block" and "fan" this week.

Did you sign with your kiddos? If so, what signs did you find the most helpful? What signs did your kids like the most? Any tips or tricks for remembering to sign consistently?

1 comment:

  1. I know it's been a little while since you've posted this, but I'm finally finding a bit of time to catch up on some blogs and things. I've kept current with the Hoot's Nest, but am ashamed to say this is my first day here on this blog. Anywho...

    We signed a good bit with Luke. Eat, more, cereal, water and train were ones we used ALL the time. We still use the sign for stop as we find it VERY convenient when say we're at the playplace at the mall and I spot Daisy clear across the play area about to jump off of the 4'tall golf ball igloo, right on top of Luke (just an example, I mean my kids are so well behaved that they would never even THINK about doing something close to that!). Signing was really hard for Boden, hand coordination is something that he still suffers greatly with, so we got really off track from doing it with everyone. But they all still enjoy watching the Signing Time DVD's that I convinced my mom we needed. everytime they watch one they come and show me at leat one new sign that they learned.