Healthy Kids

Baby Sign Language

Penelope is exploding with growth in the Baby Sign Language department these days. It usually just takes me showing her the sign once or twice and she signs it back to me.

I first starting doing sign language with her at about 5 months. It took her about a month to do her first sign; Eat. Then it took her another month to do her next sign; Rain. Oh, how she loved to sign Rain! You can just see her little eyes light up when she realized she was communicating in a more sophisticated way. The words have been coming slowly but surely ever since, until about a month ago and she just took off!

These are the signs she knows:
Eat
Rain
More
Book
Phone
Papa
Hair
Hat
Bird
Elephant
Dog
Cat
Nurse
Milk
Night-Night
Truck
Tree
Wind
Baby
Diaper
Water
Airplane
Potty
Fan
Turtle

She doesn’t do them perfectly, each one is kind of her own little version. For example, the sign for water is your three middle fingers tapping your lips. She just taps one finger and she taps the corner of her mouth. So I have adapted and sign her version of the sign back to her. Not sure if this is what you are “supposed” to be doing, but I thought it would validating to her and be good encouragement that you don’t need to do it perfectly to communicate.

Here is a couple pictures of me teaching Penelope the sign for Flower, which incidentally, is one of the ones I have been doing the longest and she still hasn’t signed it back to me!

You just take your fingers together and tap on either side of your nose, like you are smelling the flower. I usually say the word, and then sign and then say the word again.
Baby Sign Language
Baby Sign Language
Baby Sign Language
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These are some of the books and resources we have used along the way:

This is what I started out with:
A friend gave this to me while pregnant and I really like it because it comes with three little baby board books that are literally Penelope’s favorite books.
It also has a little fridge magnet of lots of signs, so its helpful if you are in the kitchen and forget a sign, you can just reference it very quickly.

Then I won this DVD at raffle:
This link is for the entire kit, so I am not sure on the whole thing, but the DVD is pretty useful, because a live woman is demonstrating the signs. I think some of the picture books can be difficult to interpret and its nice to see someone actually doing the sign.

This is one of our favorite Baby Sign books:
There are so many out on the market, that we are able to pick up a different one at the library each week, but this is a great one.

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  • Carolyn
    December 1, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    We are having a fantastic time with Graham's signing. He's memorized his two books and knows what sign goes with the next page. I guess we should get some more. Today he put two together for the first time. It's so much fun – and so much easier for us – when he can tell us what he's thinking, what he wants. I'm going to buy the kit as shower gifts in the future.

  • Stephanie
    December 2, 2010 at 3:01 AM

    It really is fun! What two books do you guys have?

  • *Autumn Tao*
    December 3, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    I love this post! I'm not a mom, but my husband and I, as high school teachers, have it all planned out for next summer (wish us luck).

    I usually just keep all my blogs on googlereader, but I do love the design of your site and may consider that book conversation. I look forward to coming back to your homepage to check for updates and follow comment conversations.

    Thanks.
    Namaste.

  • Stephanie
    December 3, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Hi Autumn Tao! Congratulations on getting close to starting a family! Be sure to stock up on your nutrients now. I so wish I had started eating healthier and more nutritiously BEFORE I got pregnant. This is a fantastic blog to learn more:
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com. She has a really great pregnancy and baby section.

    So glad you like my blog, thanks for saying so, its nice to get encouragement to keep going!

    Even if you don't have time to join the conversation, it is a must read!!

  • Carolyn
    December 20, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    Stephanie,
    We have the "Favorites" and "Mealtime" books. Graham will dig them out of a pile of books to read them with us. It's fun seeing him start to make two-word sentences. Our latest is bath. It's funny – we started with food when he was 6m old and that's the only one we've consistently worked on that he hasn't picked up. That's an impressive vocabulary – Great job, Penelope! We should get an animal or pet book next.

  • Stephanie
    December 20, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Thanks Carolyn!