Let’s face it; communication at the very core is a social activity. Because of this we are likely to obtain quicker results if we look for ways to make teaching and learning all forms of communication inclusive of baby sign language in a highly social context.
Mom & I
In the first stages of learning when our baby is highly dependent on us social interactions are mostly limited to mom and baby or dad and baby. During this time we can laser focus our teaching to basics that will aid in making babies feel more comfortable and secure. The choice of words and signs that we teach during the first months of our baby’s journey are usually related to needs such as food, warmth, sleep and physiological needs like potty. During this stage engagement is essential. Let’s not rely on visual media like videos. We need to talk to our babies and gift them with direct eye contact.
Time to Expand Our World
As early as six months of age our babies will realize that there are others and quickly thereafter they will want to engage with the world that surrounds them. This is the perfect opportunity to engage in play groups and allow your little one to learn communication skills both through signing and speaking in a setting where engaging with others at the same stage of life will be meaningful and fun.
Finding Other Social Avenues For Early Childhood Learning
As soon as your baby’s motor skills begin to improve and he or she is eager to mimic motion and sound find musically-oriented classes. Teach them about rhythm and seek out signs that are relevant to noises such as learning the association between the sounds of animals and the corresponding sign.
This is the perfect time for engaging in play dynamics using our flashcards or participating in activities like visiting our local zoo or petting farm.
As you embark in the journey of teaching your baby communication skills remember that baby sign language is a tool to get us to the next stage which is verbal communication. Don’t feel obligated to expand their vocabulary once they are verbal and only do so if the child shows interest or if you want to work on their fine motor skills.
We have numerous free resources and wonderfully curated baby sign language kits containing materials from our own collection as well as other treasures from the best professionals in the field such as Baby Signing Times. Go check out our store