Nonna's Favorite Quotes:

Nonna's Favorite Quotes: "The best way to make children good is to make them happy." — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Don't Sit On Your Hands...Start Signing
Children love to move. In fact the only time I don't see my grandkids moving is when they're asleep. Children and movement go hand in hand. That's why teaching a young child sign language is so easy. We already put actions to songs and poems, like Itsy Bitsy Spider. (You've been teaching sign language without knowing it!)  So why not combine signs with everyday language too. 

As I have mentioned in previous posts, one of my children is deaf. We've been signing to him since he was a little over a year old. Two years later, I had a second child. I started signing to him shortly after he was born. When he was 10 months old I bought him his first pair of Buster Brown shoes. (Remember those brown leather high tops, grandmas?) After wearing them home from the store, he signed his first complete thought to me. "Shoes off hurt!" I was astounded. He was not saying words yet, but he could sign sentences.

I've since learned that when children learn to speak and sign together they are processing language by using both sides of their brain. Verbal sounds are processed on the left side of the brain and signs (like images) are processed on the right side of the brain. So when children need to recall language, they use both sides together. In short, actions help children remember words. It's also been proven that children retain more of what they learn when they are having fun. Signing is fun.

It is now widely accepted that what is learned during the early years of a child's life can determine how successful that child will be in school. Sign language reinforces the spoken word and can help create a strong foundation on which to build future language skills. 

I encourage you to try signing to your children. To help you get started, I'm including a link to a website called Simple signs are demonstrated with easy to follow directions. Give it a try. I think you'll see it's easy and fun. Your kids will love it!      

Baby Sign Language

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