Babies want to communicate! People are born with natural non-verbal communication skills as their first language and therefor, the production of gestures and signs comes naturally for any baby.
Most parents use some non-verbal communication with their babies, even without realizing it. Babies routinely wave bye-bye, nod their heads in a yes or no manner, and lift their arms above their heads when they’d like to be picked up. These actions are universally understood and allow parents to communicate with their babies from a very early age. Simply by observing your baby, you will pick up on the ways that the baby already attempts to communicate with you non-verbally.
From the age of 6 months, babies are ready to communicate, but with speech only developing between 12 and 24 months, baby needs an alternative way to communicate. So by giving him / her a tool in hand (literally!) that is easy enough for little hands to use, a baby will be able to communicate their needs to their parents and others around them.
Infants can learn to use simple signs for common words such as “eat”, “sleep”, “more”, “hug”, “play”, “cookie”, “teddy bear”, etc., even before being able to produce understandable speech. While babies’ articulators (mouth, lips, tongue, teeth) mature slower than their hand-eye co-ordination, babies can be taught signs which help them to be quicker in understanding and communicating with those around them.
Please note that according to studies, signing does not stop or hinder your baby from speaking. It encourages early communication!
Remember, hearing babies use their hearing to develop their first spoken language, so even though Sign Language is taught to your baby, he/she can still hear and therefore the language he/she hears, will be his/her main language of communication. But babies will learn any language that they are exposed to, without it stopping or hindering them from learning the spoken language used within their homes and spoken by their family.
It is important for babies to get as much exposure as possible to the language(s) that they are learning and learning more than one language, even from infant days, can only be to their advantage.
A mom says: “I have been signing with my daughter since she was 6 months old and this has opened her thoughts to me. How wonderful! She would not have been able to share these thoughts until she was much older. Even when we go for walks, she will point out all of the wonderful things she is seeing. The birds, butterflies, trees, flowers etc. And when family visits, they can quickly catch up on Delia’s new signs and communicate with her. This also removed the fear and frustration when she was left with the caregiver. We have taught everyone who enters her life this special language and it has created a unique bond for our entire family.”
Benefits of Teaching Sign Language to Your Baby
Enhances verbal language development
Enables children to communicate their wants and needs much earlier in life
Enhances Language and Listening Skills
Research shows an increase in IQ level
Reduces frustration for babies/toddlers and their caregivers/parents
Parents are provided with a window into the Infants world which again strengthens the bond between parent and child
Fewer tantrums and other problematic behaviours
Encourages an early interest in literature
BABY SIGN LANGUAGE ONLINE TRAINING ON THE MOODLE PLATFORM
EVEN THE COVID19 PANDEMIC HAS NOT ALLOWED US TO HAVE ANY PHYSICAL GROUP TRAINING since 2020, YOU STILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO OUR FULL TRAINING ONLINE THROUGH
- MAKE USE OF OUR ONLINE TRAINING ON THE MOODLE PLATFORM WITH THE OPTION TO ADD MATERIAL OF YOUR CHOICE.
The Baby Training can be done online for your convenience at www.tinyhandz.co.za/moodle/ and you have 30 days to complete the videos and learn from them. You can also request an additional 30 days if you wish (see form).
Ordering the A5 Ring Bound Book is optional but the Hand Guidance is compulsory as you would need this to follow the online training and to receive the necessary information to help you on your journey.
To download the Baby Signing Online Training application form click here.