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Simple Techniques to Teach the Baby Sign Language

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/2/2006 | Parenting

Training institutions for baby signing seem to be mushrooming everywhere these days. There is nothing wrong if some enthusiastic parents want to learn the baby signs in a systematic and educational format. But some parents may want to master the tricks through parent-workshops and to teach their babies useful signs at home. Here are a few simple techniques to help them succeed in their goal of better parenting.

The first rule of thumb is: start simple and go slow

·         You might be too eager in your efforts to forge a friendship with your infant child by creating a channel of communication, but never go too fast in your enthusiasm. Otherwise the whole efforts will be spoiled.

·         Try to teach your child one sign at a time.

·         Segregate the sign dictionary into several groups consisting not more than five words.

·         Once the baby is familiar with the signs corresponding to these words, only then make the move to the group of next five.

·Remember overall, that sign language teaching is a slow and gradual process that calls for much patience on your part.


Consistency is key to the success in sign language teaching

·         Revision and more revision with the group of five words will make your child accustomed to their significance.

·         Suppose you have developed a sign for the word diaper with your baby. Now make it a point to use the sign every time you are changing the diaper.  The same can be repeated with other words like, milk, water, toys and so on.

·         But do not use the sign of diaper, when you are not doing anything relating to diaper. If you only use the sign corresponding to a particular word without any reason, the baby will not understand the link between the sign and the word; it will represent just another kind of action for them.

·         Thus you have to establish a link between the signs and their relation to your everyday life.

·         Try this trick: every time you are changing your babys diaper, make a particular gesture and speak out the word loud. It will develop an automatic reaction in your child.

·         Remember, repetition is the key factor here to make your baby comprehend the link between the item and the sign.

Try to be   contextual

When you are teaching a sign to represent a particular object or concept, keep the live example before the baby. If you are teaching to describe the pet cat, then teach the baby the sign, whenever the cat roams around in front of the baby.

The same way when you are teaching her the sign of some feeling like hot and cold, let the baby feel the sensation on her skin. Press the milk bottle in the cheek of the baby to teach her the sign of the word, hot.  Thus to teach sign language it is important to place the teaching in the proper context.

Train your baby in the stimulating words

There are certain words that may motivate and stimulate up your young one. These are the words that particularly spark off your babys interests. The toys, game, playingall these words generally fall in the categories of stimulating words. The normal words like eat, sleep, drink etc are the mere practical words. When you are creating the groups of words, maintain a good balance between these two types of words.

Just think of your childhood! Could you do all the sums correctly after you father taught them at the home? Similarly, your little child will not be able to sign perfectly at first. But still you need to praise her for all her attempts. Once the child understands that you satisfy her needs immediately as she makes signs for a particular thing, she will get the message and that will speed up the learning process.