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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Signing With Your Preschooler

Using sign language with babies can help them communicate before they can talk. But the recent trend is to use sign language with older kids too. The new theory is that using sign language with preschool age children will help them with letter recognition and will help them build their vocabulary. Studies have found that preschoolers who are taught to sign do better on vocabulary tests than children who do not sign. 
Sign for "I love you"

Little ones find signing easy and fun. There are lots of easy-to-use websites available that are geared to teaching young children to sign. You can also check out books and DVDs at the library. Try these websites: Baby Sign Language  and  Signing Time

Many of these beginning signs tend to look like the concept they represent (baby, eat, drink, sleep, book) and so they evoke a mental image of the word you are trying to teach. Starting with familiar words (mommy, daddy, yes, no, stop, go, finish) will also help make the connection between the words and their signs. 

At this age, preschoolers are learning to recognize and write the letters of the alphabet. They are also learning to spell their names. Many of the sign language letters resemble the shape of the corresponding written letter, which again will aid in making that connection between the sign and the concept it represents. Children love to learn how to fingerspell their names, so this is a great way to have them practice what they're learning.

Here is a video clip from the Nonna and Me ABCs DVD that demonstrates how to sign the alphabet. This will help you and your child to form the letters.

One of the most important benefits of teaching preschoolers to sign is this: Signing encourages communication. Young children are more comfortable using gestures rather than words. Children with difficulty communicating verbally often act out by hitting or crying because they are frustrated. Sign language gives these children another option to express their feelings. So be sure to teach your child the signs for happy, sad, mad...and don't forget the sign for sorry!

Have fun!

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