What is baby signing?
Sharing the signing experience
Baby signing is the use of hand shapes to encourage language and communication skills in babies and toddlers. During conversation many of us use voice intonation, body language and hand gestures to emphasise the meaning of our conversations, often without realising that we’re doing it. Likewise, as babies develop, they adopt their own way of using body language and hand signals; a baby pointing to different objects such as a beaker or bottle if they want a drink or waving the hand for ‘bye bye’. Baby signing introduces more ‘hand signals’ accompanied with the spoken word. Your baby may begin to show an understanding and possibly make their first attempts to sign between 6-9 months.
How can signing help my baby?
Signing encourages the development of fine motor skills (7-9 months), and it can help nurture communication skills, self-esteem and confidence. Babies, toddlers and young children can often experience emotional frustration because of their inability to transmit and exchange their thoughts and needs. This can result with an outpouring of frustration and emotion when they are not understood. Signing can help to ease this frustration and lessen negative emotions by providing an additional communicative channel.
When should I introduce signing?
Communicating and bonding with your baby starts from when they are born. Your baby maybe recognising someone's face and turning towards the sound of a voice. These subtle gestures are indications that your baby is connecting with you. You can begin to sign words alongside what you are saying at any age to promote and support communication.
Why does Chatting Hands use British Sign Language (BSL)?
Chatting Hands follows the BSL signing system because it is the recognised language of the Deaf community used by over 70,000 people as their preferred language. It also underpins other signing systems such as Makaton. You and your child will be learning the basics of a second language; learning which doesn’t have to stop. Signing can be a lifelong skill even when verbal speech becomes a child’s prominent means of communication.
Why not make signing a natural part of your daily communication with your child?
Chatting Hands’ guided programme introduces signs for a variety of daily routines and activities, from getting washed and ready for the day to visiting interesting places.
Interested? Text or call Lizzie on 07984 120244
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