Friday, August 19, 2011

Guest Post- Baby Sign Language


Baby Sign Language across the ages

Just because it is called “baby” sign language doesn’t mean our little ones have to outgrown it when they are giving up the binky and blankie. Many parents have used a handful of basic BSL signs when their children are between six months to about two years of age, in order to get their point across while allowing babies to also express their opinions. However, it can be taught years longer and the vocabulary stretched even further!

An easy way to extend the length of time that baby signs is by allowing the generations to teach one another. Your ‘baby’ is soon a child and teenager, but he or she can still practice their sign language by helping mommy and daddy teach the newest addition to the family. Incorporate games when possible and then teaching becomes bonding activity and one that is far more fun than work. You can include visual queues such as baby signing flashcards or you can simply use the sign contextually

Incorporating BSL into homeschool curriculum is an excellent educational approach because then the language development and vocabulary benefits are extending right into the other academics. If you are not homeschooling your children there are still plenty of teaching opportunities, such as while reviewing homework or signing during evening storytime.

Baby sign language isn’t just for the classroom and home. BSL it is best taught in context so getting out into the world while teaching and practicing signs is important. It can be as simple as a trip to the grocery store’s produce section to review your vegetable and fruit signs. Or consider planning a trip to the zoo after you’ve taught the animal signs so your child can practice and apply the signs in that environment.

There are plenty of ways to keep the signs growing in number and complexity beyond those essential few, and plenty of opportunities to use signs long after the pre-verbal baby stage is through.

Visit www.babysignlanguage.com to learn more about sign language for babies

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