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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Signing Time with Elsa


We used baby sign language with Sam and Julia (more, please, all done, sorry, bath....) but not nearly as much as we have with Elsa. With more experience under my belt I knew that this time I wanted to be more proactive in helping Elsa communicate with us. Sam didn't talk until he was two and I wanted to be prepared in case that happened with Elsa too.



A huge reason why she has a 50+ sign vocabulary is the video series called Signing Time that we get from our local library.

There are some libraries in our county that don't carry any of the videos so I feel very fortunate that we only have to travel 5 miles to bring this wonderful teaching tool into our home. We primarily use series 1 videos but Grandma Gayle got Elsa a series 2 one called, My Favorite Seasons. The reviews just weren't good enough for series 2 to justify buying all 14 of the second ones to watch whenever we wanted. After 6 months of watching the first 9 videos they don't hold Elsa's attention as well but they have served their purpose and have helped our whole family learn lots of signs.

Elsa can tell us what she wants.

That is worth repeating.

She can tell us what she wants.

Since her spoken vocabulary of words that she uses without prompting is zero that means without signing we wouldn't have such a mellow little girl. I can only imagine how frustrated she would become and how many outbursts there would be either at home or in public. Being able to tell us what she wants and getting it is two different things so we aren't completely meltdown free, but over all it has been wonderful to have a language we all can speak.

For posterity, here is a list of the words she signs without prompting as of today, her 18 month birthday. There are lots more she is happy to repeat, but we wait until she says them on her own before we add them to the list. One added note: We chose name signs for Sam and Julia, probably not like you are suppose to, but we aren't part of a deaf community where we could duplicate name signs - a huge no-no.


please
Daddy
Sam
Julia
color
cousin
apple
thirsty
nurse
night-night
change
hot
cold
kangaroo
horse
cow
frog
sheep
fish
butterfly
monkey
bird
dirty
help
bath
shoes
hungry
eat
car
penguin
book
pig
bug
cat
dog
banana
chicken
bear
tiger
all done
baby
reindeer
tree
flower
clean up
school
Elsa
crocodile
mouse
baby
donkey
Jesus
wash hands
bubbles
cereal
hat


In the second photo she is signing 'banana' - one of her favorite foods. For those of you who know sign language, you can tell she isn't using the correct finger as the banana but it doesn't matter. Like when a child learns to speak and says a word differently - we as the parent simply repeat it back correctly (the banana is suppose to be the pointer finger) and move on. 

Some of my favorite moments with Elsa in the past six months have been sitting in church signing back and forth what we see and helping her find whatever it is that will help her stay quiet during the sermon. We love visiting the zoo too because she knows so many animal signs.
Books are even more fun to look at because she can sign the things she sees and not just point to them.

It will be interesting to see where the next six months takes us in our signing with Elsa! I know that I am anxiously awaiting for her to figure out how to hold her middle and ring finger down so she can sign "I love you!" back to me.

Do you sign with your little ones? What are some resources that you found helpful?


1 comment:

  1. That Is Cute Carrie. I Wish That I Had Taught Lily How To Sign. Great Job Teaching All Of Your Kids How To Sign. Awesome Job! Auntie Kara

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