Adapted from American Sign Language (ASL, the primary form of communication in Deaf communities), baby sign allows children as young as 8-10 months to communicate when they are hungry, thirsty, sleepy, want more of something, are finished with an activity, and much more. Teaching babies to sign can be enjoyable, and presents a chance for adult-child bonding. Best of all, babies who are able to communicate their needs through sign may experience less frustration, which can reduce fussiness. That’s a benefit for everyone!
If you’re interested in exploring sign with your baby, come to the Dimond branch on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 10:00 am for a Baby Sign Language Introductory Workshop. To learn more, call Rebekah Eppley at (510) 482-7844 or click here.
In the meanwhile, visit your local library branch to find these helpful baby sign books:
Baby signs: a baby-sized guide to speaking with sign language / [Joy Allen] ; pictures by Joy Allen
Baby signs for animals / by Linda Acredolo & Susan Goodwyn ; photographs by Penny Gentieu
I want--: teaching your baby to sign / Lora Heller
Let's sign!: every baby's guide to communicating with grownups / written by Kelly Ault ; illustrated by Leo Landry
My first signs / illustrated by Annie Kubler
For Older Children
Preschool and elementary aged kids can study and learn ASL as they would any other language. Some young children are fascinated by the idea of communicating without words, while others think it’s just plain fun! Kids typically have an easier time than adults picking up any language; this is especially true with sign because it taps into the tendency for children to be physical learners. Check out ASLU for online American Sign Language resources, and take a peek at these books and DVDs from your local library for more information:
American Sign Language for kids. Beginner level 1, volume 1 [videorecording]
The handmade alphabet / Laura Rankin
Signing fun : American Sign Language vocabulary, phrases, games & activities / Penny Warner ; illustrations by Paula Gray