Sign Language for Babies and Beyond

Read to Your Child With Signs

Reading with your children in SIGN LANGUAGE allows them to "read" along with you.  This is one of my favorite times to sign with my kids.  It is a wonderful learning time and a great bonding
activity too!

Here is an account of my daughter and I reading together even before she could vocalize any words:  "Are you ready for story-time, Janelle?"  Janelle excitedly makes the sign for "book" by opening and closing her hands as if she is opening a book..

"Okay, go get some books!"   Janelle runs over to the drawer where we keep our children's books
and pulls out a few of her favorites.  We settle down on the couch together and begin to read.  I open a book about animals, and she starts making the signs all of the animals.

"Cow!" she signs by bringing her hand in a "Y" hand shape up to the side of her forehead as she voices, "Moo!" 

"That's right - that is a cow!"

She points to the biggest pig on the next page and brings her hand under her chin in the sign for "pig" and then up to her forehead in the sign for "Daddy."   "Pig! Daddy Pig!"

"Oh, is that the Daddy Pig?"

She points to another big pig and a small pig making the signs for:  "Mama pig, baby pig!"

"Yes, it is a whole family of pigs, isn't it?" 

We continue through all of the animals with Janelle initiating all of the signs.   We finish the story and Janelle signs, "more books!"  
"Okay, let's read another one!"

This is the kind of experience we would not have been able to share if Janelle hadn't known sign language.  Sure she could have pointed to the pictures - but that wouldn't have been near as exciting as having her be able to "talk" about what is in the story!   
So, gather your child in your arms and make yourself comfortable as you share one of your greatest gifts with them -- your TIME!!  Don't worry if you only know a few signs.  Use the ones you know and you will learn more as you go.  Your child may remember the signs better than you do! 

To your signing success!

Wendy Jensen