Video:Signing with Childrenwith Kathy Moore
Teaching kids basic sign language really helps to reduce frustration and open up their ability to communicate. Learn how to start signing with your children.See Transcript
Transcript:Signing with ChildrenHi I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. This program is about signing with children.
Sign Language and CommunicationAny parent of a young child has struggled at some time to communicate more effectively. We have found that teaching our kids some basic sign language really helps to reduce frustration and open up their ability to communicate. I am not a sign language expert by any means and you don't have to be either to start using sign language with your kids.
Start SigningThere are many books available on signing with children. Most experts agree that you can begin teaching sign language to infants as young as 8 months. Over time, children will learn and imitate the signs you make especially if you repeat them with regularity.
Benefits of Sign LanguageA study funded by the National Institutes of Child Health found that babies who learned sign language had larger vocabularies and showed more interest in books than their non-signing peers. When those same children were studied as 7 and 8 year-olds, they were found to have higher IQ scores than non-signing children in a control group.
Signing During MealsAn easy place to use sign language is around the dinner table. Our kids learned the sign for more first and then quickly began picking up other signs we made like milk, mother, eat, and drink. It is never too early to start teaching good manners. The signs for please and thank you are easy to learn and kids are very quick to offer them.
Learning a New LanguageIf you are considering teaching your kids sign language, I would urge you to look for books that use ASL or American Sign Language. There are other methods available that use signs made up just for kids but teaching standardized ASL will allow your kids to communicate with others who know sign language and give them a head start on learning a second language if they stick with signing as they grow.
And you needn't worry that signing with your kids will delay their vocal communication. You can find a wealth of information on sign language basics right here on About.com or check at your local library.
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