Welcome to our website! Here you will find info on how to enhance the verbal language and musical development of babies through engaging and playful experiences with sign language and song. Baby sign language is the use of sign language in order to communicate with infants and toddlers. Music is also used to facilitate practice of sign vocabulary and playful exchanges between caregiver and child. You will find our recommended books and DVDs to support the process of helping children begin to make meaning of information, ideas and social interactions they experience in their world.
What is baby sign language?
Baby sign language is the use of manual signing in order to communicate with infants and toddlers. A better term may be "baby signing" since they are not using a full sign language, but a limited number of "stand alone" manual signs. While infants and toddlers have a desire to communicate their needs and wishes, they lack the ability to do so clearly because the production of speech lags behind cognitive ability in the first years of life. Proponents of baby sign language say that this gap between the desire to communicate and the ability to do so often leads to frustration and tantrums. However, since hand-eye coordination develops sooner than verbal skills, infants can learn simple signs for common words such as "eat", "sleep", "more", "hug", "play", "cookie", and "teddy bear" before they are able to produce understandable speech. Each individual infant will develop the ability to sign at a slightly different stage in his or her growth. Before the infant is able to sign it is necessary for the infant to be able to focus on hand movement and have the cognitive skill to link a certain gesture to an item. This is why babies will begin signing at various ages.
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Early sign language experience has numerous benefits for babies. Parents and caregivers can sign to babies beginning at birth (using signs for simple ideas like "milk" and "more"). Comprehension on the part of the baby can begin at six months, and the children can begin producing signs themselves around 10 months. Parents and caregivers should be aware that infants will recognize their first sign before producing their own. They should also be patient with their children when they first begin signing to their children because it may take a little while before the baby can understand or even produce signs themselves. Consistency is crucial when teaching your infant how to sign. Infants learn through repetition that is why it is essential for parents and caregivers to repeatedly use signs.Every time an action is performed the caregiver should sign the action to the child. When using a sign the parent should say the word out loud because this will help the baby link the gestures to verbal skill development.
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