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Baby sign language is a fun, accessible way for babies and adults to communicate. It’s easy to learn and once you start signing with your baby you’ll be hooked. But teaching baby sign language is not just for moms and babies – it’s great fun for the whole family!
4 Tips for Getting the Whole Family Involved
1. Daddies Love Baby Sign Language Too!
Sometimes fathers complain about feeling left out when they are bringing up a young baby. Mom is in charge of feeding and routines and daddy feels surplus requirements! He gets to change the odd diaper, but that’s not much fun! Baby sign language is something that your baby and her daddy can do together, and having daddy signing too will help your baby learn baby sign language a lot quicker.
To get dad involved in teaching sign language, why not ask him to teach the baby the sign for dad? Daddy is often one of the first words a baby says, so it is a great challenge for dads to get there first too. If daddy signs too, it helps with continuity. Teach him the most often-used signs at mealtimes, for example, to give him a head-start.
2. Get the Grandparents Involved in the Signing Fun.
Some grandparents might think sign language for babies is a bit modern, but many others really enjoy signing with their grandkids. Again, a good way to get grandparents involved is to teach your baby or toddler signs for Grandma and Grandpa. Grandparents love having fun with their grandkids, so why not show them ways to sign with your baby while doing the things they enjoy, like working in their garden or pointing out birds and flowers?
3. How to Teach the Extended Family How to Sign.
Baby sign language is so simple to learn, why not get your extended family involved too? The more people you have signing around your baby, the easier it will be for him to learn the signs. You can show your family some of the basic signs yourself, or give them a wall-chart or poster to help them remember.
Baby sign language flash cards are also another great tool for learning signs. Flash cards are similar to pre-school flash cards, but have a picture and name of an object on the front, with instructions on how to sign that object on the back. These are great for the whole family to use when signing with your baby, and are a really useful tool for you when the object you want to sign isn’t present.
4. Make Sure Everyone Knows the Importance of Patience.
The more people using baby sign language basics with your baby, the faster he will learn and the more natural it will seem. Babies who start learning to sign at around six months need at least two months of exposure to, and repetition of, a sign before they can use it. So get the whole family involved but remind them to be patient. Your baby won’t enjoy it if you put him under pressure, and neither will you.
What about YOU? Do you do sign with your baby or child? Does the whole family get involved?