Thursday, October 30, 2008

ASL Signs for Baby and Toddlers at Halloween

Halloween's here, so you've probably realized you need to learn a few knew signs. Sure, you could just sign PUMPKIN (snap your middle finger on the top of your left fist, like thumping a melon), but it's more fun to sign JACK-O-LANTERN. And cuter, too. Just watch this video from Rachel at Signing Time. There aren't any cute songs, but there are plenty of signs to get you through Halloween and Trick-or-Treating: HALLOWEEN, PUMPKIN, JACK-O-LANTERN, GHOST, BLACK CAT, WITCH, and CANDY

Monday, October 27, 2008

What I Miss from the Early Days of Baby Signing

My daughter is 2 1/2 and quickly losing the baby chub and turning into a long-legged girl. Sometimes I still see the baby in her, but not often enough when I'm feeling nostalgic. Like right now.

When we began teaching our daughter sign language, we signed on her body like Signing Smart for Babies and Toddlers recommends. She caught on quickly, and soon she was signing on our faces as well as her own. I loved her soft, pudgy fingers brushing across my cheek to sign CAT. I marveled when she taught a little friend to sign CAT using the same strategy.

Now her fingers are longer. Still soft, but no longer pudgy. And she doesn't sign on our faces anymore.

Update. - After I wrote this post, my daughter signed FARM on my husband's face. Of course, I didn't get to feel her soft fingers, but it was a nice moment to watch.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Winner of the $99 Baby Signing Time Gift Set is Heather!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Baby Signing Time Gift Set Giveaway. I wanted all of you to win and I was really pulling for hollydlr who entered obsessively (exactly what I like in a baby signing fan). Congratulations to Heather @ DIY Life. You are the winner of the BST Gift Set with Baby Signing Time volumes 1-4 and all the BST music CDs. Send me your mailing info at hollytriedit at

Monday, October 13, 2008

Worship Songs in American Sign Language (ASL) on GodTube

Who knew there was a site called GodTube? There is and on it, you'll find videos from a church with ASL translations of their worship music. If you're interested in learning more religious songs in ASL, this is one way to do it. And, these videos don't make me giggle like the "Jesus Loves Me" song I posted earlier.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Will My Child Forget Baby Signs if I Don't Review Them

Holly Tried It reader Kristine (and hopefully now a Smart Baby Sign Language reader) asked:

Are the signs we have taught our daughter going to be something she forgets if we don't go back and keep doing the same signs over and over again?
It's easy to forget that sign language is a real language, just like English or Spanish. When talking to your baby and toddler, you don't worry about repeating all the words you've said to your child. You just talk with them, emphasize important words in conversations, and practice words you think they'll be able to pronounce soon. But yet, your child will say a word three months after you last said it.

In my experience, the same is true for American Sign Language. I taught my daughter the sign for PUZZLE, but she never used it herself...until she saw a puzzle a month or two later. My guess is that your child will retain many of the signs, even without constant review.

The bigger problem will be your own retention of the signs. I have to work hard to keep ahead of my daughter in sign language. I can learn it quickly, but I have to review it to keep it.

I would love to hear other opinions and experiences.

Baby Signing Time Contest Ends Monday, Oct 13

Thank you to everyone who has entered the Baby Signing Time $99 Gift Set. You still have a few days to enter. I will be choosing the winner on Tuesday, Oct. 14. The contest ends Monday, Oct. 13. I will be randomly drawing the winner. You can increase your chances by entering several different ways.

  1. Post the Smart Baby Sign Language Blog on your Blog Roll and then comment on this post with your blog address.
  2. Twitter the address for Smart Baby Sign Language to your friends and add HollyTriedIt to the people you are "following."
  3. Comment on this post with a story about your signing child, or the reason you want to sign with your child.
  4. Comment on this post with a question you have about sign language.
  5. Join the Facebook group by clicking on the Facebook tab at the top of the page.
I hope you win!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jesus Loves Me in Sign Language Ends in Discussion about Omnipresence

My daughter loves to sing and sign "Jesus Loves Me." At bedtime, we start by singing and signing it loudly and then gradually sing in a whisper. The last time we "sing" it, we use sign language only. Sometimes she loves the last verse. Sometimes she hates it. "No, Mommy, no!" Sometimes she giggles and covers her head and peaks out at me from time to time. I wonder what's going through that little head. I know I am the only person who signs more than one word to her without speaking at the same time. But, that's a discussion for another day.

Tonight, when I was signing, she said, "Jesus not here. Jesus not in my house."

I explained, "Jesus is everywhere."

She said, "Jesus like TV..." she mumbled some of this but I got the gist.

I explained, "Jesus is not a TV person. He's not a person like you and me. He's different, and he's special and he's everywhere."

Did she get any of that? I don't know, but knowing my daughter, probably. Would we have had this conversation tonight if we weren't signing? Probably not. She would have been too busy belting out the lyrics to ask any questions.

Now I need to learn some more religious signs.

Oh, and here is a YouTube video of girl signing Jesus Loves Me. It's not high quality, but it'll do. It might even make you giggle. When I find a better one, I'll post it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sign Language and Children with Down Syndrome

I have watched a lot of Signing Time in the past two years. On most of the videos they have a child or two with Down Syndrome showing the signs. Obviously, it was helpful to the child and their families, but I was always curious about it. What were the difficulties that American Sign Language (ASL) helped these children overcome? I stumbled upon this post by a parent of two boys with Down Syndrome. She explains receptive and expressive speech and the reasons her sons struggle with expressive language. She also gives suggestions for improved communication.

She doesn't address this, but I've read about children with Down Syndrome learning to read at a very young age through the use of sign language. The applications of sign language continue to amaze me.

What Can Smart Baby Sign Language Blog do for You?

How can Smart Baby Sign Language help you sign with your baby or child? Feel free to ask me any questions. If I can't find a reliable source, I'll poll those who know. What else would help you: activities to teach sign language, ways to use sign language to teach reading, reviews of sign language products, etc.?

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