30 November 2010

We actually managed to capture one of Hazel's first sign language successes with Ryan's iPhone last night. It is, of course, a sort of loose interpretation of a technical "more", but as the tired parents of a baby who mostly just shouts to get what she wants, this was cause for much celebration!

When I mentioned last week that we were attempting to teach her sign language a few of you asked if there were any books on the subject that I'd recommend. We don't use any big thick adult books, but we did enjoy reading My First Signs with Oliver when he was a little guy. Before he could enjoy the book himself (when he was Hazey's age), we used it as a reference for the basic signs we wanted to teach him.

Once he was a bit older, we loved the Signing Time dvd series. (It actually made an appearance in my "Favorite Things of 2008" post). We borrowed them from the library and he learned so many signs by watching those videos. We'd be talking about lizards and he'd bust out an L-shaped lizard and have it skitter up his arm (the sign for lizard) out of no where. We were duly impressed.

Really though, those videos are for kids who are already communicating anyhow. We like to use sign language with our kids when they're tiny so that they can communicate with us before they have it together verbally.

And to anticipate the question I expect might follow: No, we didn't notice any lag in Oliver's verbal skills because he used sign language as a baby. Though we did notice that he used his hands a lot when he talked once he learned real words. :)

Do any of y'all use sign language with your kiddos? Any books you can recommend for kids or adults?


Sarah Robbins said...

I am a former elementary school teacher, and I LOVE sign language for kids. I have done a great deal of research, and all of the respected research points to the opposite of your worries. Children who use sign language have an enhanced vocabulary and language skills. Most statements to the contrary are backed only with anecdotal evidence, but there has yet to be a comprehensive study that has probed a link between using sign language and delayed verbal skills. (Just so you know.)

Brittany said...

oh my goodness! Go Hazel!! :) She is so adorable! I'm super proud of her!!
Thanks for the links to the book and DVD! I will def check them out!

Michelle said...

Great job Hazel!

I love sign language for babies. I have seen it work wonders with several children I know. I have signed with the twins I nanny for since they were 6 months old and now at 16 months old they know and use several different signs that I use with them most often.

I like the baby signs series. There is a book for adults which is helpful to read when you start. There are board books and DVD at the library, just ask the librarian to help you. I do agree the signing time series is more geared for 18 months and up. There is at least 1 good Baby Enstein DVD as well as a few others. I just try the ones at the library and if they are no good I just return them.

Kameron said...

I've taught my daughter "more" and thank you so far and she's 12 months. My son was so verbal it was crazy. He already had about 50 words (that I could understand even if they weren't perfect) byt the time he was 1 so I didn't really try with him. My daughter still screetches like mad, something my son never really did. I don't know why girls are so much screetchier! lol

Amy said...

Sign language is great! I didn't do it with my first but for my second one we did and I was amazed at how quickly my Big and my Little picked up on it! We rented simple word books from the library and then borrowed a video from one of my friends...it was a lady who did it and the kids were instantly entertained by her and picked up on the words quickly.
Totally off the subject but is that Ryan and you holding hands on mckmama's blog? If so..Super Cute! And where did you find your outfit? Totally love it..esp. the pants and dress.

Raechel said...

Amy: Yep, that's us! She did such a great job! I've gotten to see a few others and it just makes me wriggly to get the disk of all of the pics. Maybe I'll post some more on here when it arrives.

I got the skinny jeans and cardigan (which I feel like I happen to be wearing in just about every photo of me!) from J.Crew and the dress and shoes are actually from Target. You can't tell the colors by the b/w photo, but the dress is a darkish grey color. I wore it a few times this summer, but didn't want to put it away for the winter so I added jeans and made it work for fall :) Thanks for the compliment!

The Bell Family said...

Go Hazel! I am using sign also with my little boy..... but he would rather just yell and try and get what he wants! HA Silly Boy! So I usually just take his hands and d the sign and repeat it and then give it to him : ) Oh and I have to agree that i LOVE the pic of you and Ran holding hands on Mckmamas blog!! I just love the look that you are giving him! It is super cute : ) Where in ATL did yall take those??

Raechel said...

Ms. Bell :)
We took the photos in Grant Park downtown. We had the 4:00 time slot which was just golden for lighting. It was a cold day, but it was warmest then and worth feeling a big chilly for some good photos. I wish I'd taken Hazel's coat off for more of them, but I just worried about her being too cold. Always a mama...

Anonymous said...

Hazel's eyes in this video tell she's thinking about doing what she sees you all doing and how to do it herself. She's very smart!
Grandma (Mom)

Bethany said...

I used to be fluent in sign language...our church had a large deaf ministry growing up and we also had deaf exchange students with us for 2 years from Central America. Anyhow, because I know sign language it was just natural for me to teach my son - so I don't have any books to really recommend. But I will say it was the best thing being able to communicate with my little guy before he could talk. I'm definitely a fan of teaching it to kids.

Oh, and I also love the pictures on Mckmama's blog of your precious little family. :)

Amy said...

Thanks Raechel! You have inspired my holiday party look...seriously. :) Now off to find cute black skinny jeans!! haha

Tracy said...

I have no idea where we picked up the signs we use. A website maybe? We do:
all done (which he has down if he's doing something he doesn't want to do anymore. i.e. changing a diaper.)
milk (he's good at this one, too.)
thank you

he only really does 3 of those signs right now. But, that's okay. :)

Little Misses Kate said...

I've been considering starting my little one with some signs, but was afraid of stunting his speech - thanks for the reassurance that it's a good idea. :)

Becky said...

So cute!! Also adorable? The great shot of you two on MckMama's blog! (Consistent lurker in both places!)

Meredith said...

I love it! We sign(ed) with our 2 year old for the same reasons, and as of yet, haven't seen any delay in speech. He's actually ahead of most of the kids in his classes at church and MOPS.

We used a basic book (Baby Sign Language I think was the title...it came with a DVD that I never watched) before Jonah was born to learn some signs, but I think most of them I just googled and taught him. Probably some MESSED up sign language he uses, but hey, at least we understand him! :)

And in keeping with the trend, totally cute peeks of your pics from mckmama! I'm hoping to snag a Charlotte session in March.

Peggi said...

Here are two free websites that are very good and FREE!!!
This website has free lessons, very good.

http://www.aslpro.com/ also very good, has ASL for babies.

mamaK said...

We did SL with our first born who picked it up right away. He was signing "milk" at 6 months and now at 3 is way more verbal then other kids his age (sometimes too much so! =) We have the same book, which was great for all the basic words you would want to know, and we had a set of flash cards with a picture on the front and the SL on the back, he still loves to look at those cards!

Alyssa said...

We used sign language with our son and it was the BEST thing. It avoided so many meltdowns because he couldn't communicate. We started when he was around Hazel's age. We didn't use any books, but my mother-in-law had taken a SL course and taught us some handy signs. He didn't start talking, though, until he was 2, but that was due to an ear/hearing issue that had to be corrected. Sign language was a blessing those 2 years!

nic said...

that IS the cause for much celebration! wtg, hazel!!

we did a bit of sign language when our kids were babes, and i think i can safely say it did nothing to dampen their verbal skills.(especially L's.) (yikes.) :)

hope you are well! i need to catch up with your blog. :)

Kristin said...

"more" was the first word my niece learned... and then her first words were mo mo mo... haha