Teaching Parents Baby Signing
Teaching parents the skills to communicate with their baby or toddler is a wonderful thing. Not only do you see the joy on a parents face when they tell you with excitement about the first time their child used a sign to communicate their needs, but you are also able to witness this first hand in your Baby Signing classes, as the toddler signs to tell you what they are thinking, or to express their needs.
“...Baby Signing. It can reduce frustration, tantrums and misery, and – best of all- it can help you gain an insight into your baby’s world long before speech begins” (Dr Joseph Garcia 2005)
Imagine being able to give parents the skills, confidence and opportunity to communicate with their baby? This can all be achieved by teaching Baby Signing.
Working with parents and their baby or toddler is a joy. It’s wonderful being able to help parents to communicate with their child through sign language. Teaching Baby Signing can be fantastic fun, with singing, instruments, bubbles, toys, props, lots of interaction and of course signing. Using signs that are particularly relevant to their daily routines gives the classes more meaning and encourages babies and toddlers to use the signs that can help them communicate their needs.
Parents and children are also learning a new skill, by teaching them signs from British Sign Language (which is now recognised by the government as a language in its own right). It’s also lovely watching both babies and parents alike socialising and forming new friendships.
Babies and toddlers understand a lot more than we give them credit for, but they are often held back by their physical inability to talk. However their ability to use their hands and fingers to gesture or form signs, can enable them to communicate much sooner.
"Remember that babies understand much more than they are able to say. Speaking is difficult. It requires the development of dozens of muscles in the face, mouth and tongue and coordination of these muscles with the flow of the breath over the vocal folds in the larynx. From a purely developmental point of view, babies achieve the ability to construct language with their hands at least six to twelve months earlier than they do with their vocal apparatus".
"Dancing with Words" by Dr. Marlilyn Daniels
As a Baby Signing Teacher, it still amazes me when I see a baby or toddler use a sign in my class for the first time. One little girl (aged 12 months) was regularly signing 3-4 words after just 3 classes. Her mum was delighted that her daughter was starting to communicate with her. I thoroughly enjoy teaching the classes, the babies and toddlers are a delight to work with and the parents are eager to start bridging the communication gap through the use of Baby Sign Language.
© Jo Briley
Baby Signing Teacher and Trainer
2-Day Course: Baby Signing Teacher Programme
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Touch-Learn International Ltd.