Baby Sign Language
Language development does not only refer to verbal language. Typically, children actually reach a number of different milestones when developing communication skills before they speak their first word! Things like eye contact and gestures often emerge prior to spoken language and you can even communicate with your baby this way!
Using gestures and symbolic communication usually emerges around 8 to 10 months and you can encourage your child to do this by using Baby Sign with them at home. Introducing these signs gives young children a concrete way to express themselves before the emergence of verbal language. These signs could be from a formal system like Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN) - this is what Baby Sign Language is derived from - or they could be informal gestures that we use day-to-day.
The research out there indicates that, as Goodwyn et al. (2000) write, “the symbolic gesturing experience seems to ‘jump start’ verbal development.” A 2016 study (Barker, 2016) suggests that this finding applies to children who are developing along a typical progression as well as those with communication delays. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that those children who used more symbolic gestures in communicating had larger vocabularies by 24 months. Not to mention an increase in confidence because they can express their thoughts and feelings!
Due to COVID19, our face to face workshops have been postponed. However, we are running a 6-week online Baby Sign Language Class! This class starts 30 April 2020. Please click here for more information.
Curious Kids runs 1-hour workshops on Baby Sign Language. You will be provided with an introduction to Baby Sign and an initial set of signs to use with your baby. These workshops are baby-friendly (some toys are provided) and are even a great activity to do with a few friends or your Mothers' Group! Get in touch to find out when our next workshop is running or to organise one specifically for your Mothers Group.
We also sell the wonderful Signing Stars Baby Sign Language kits that contain all you need to start signing at home. We offer a 15% discount for those participating in one of our Baby Sign workshops.
Acredolo, L., & Goodwyn, S. (1988). Symbolic Gesturing in Normal Infants. Child Development, 59(2), 450-466.
Goodwyn, S.W., Acredolo, L.P. & Brown, C.A. (2000) Impact of Symbolic Gesturing on Early Language Development. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 24: 81.
Barker, A. F., (2016) The effects of a parent implemented infant signing intervention on communication skills for young hearing children with diagnosed language delays.