Signs

the sign for
The sign for “Cooper”

Cooper
Cooper

We are teaching Dylan sign language. Yes, like actual real American Sign Language (ASL), not baby sign language. I figured it would be good for him to know real signs, and I wanted to learn them, too. It is a foreign language you know! We have started with the signs for “eat,” “milk,” and “Cooper.” The sign for “Cooper,” which I made up, consists of holding your hands up to your head, palms forward, like a giant pair of Cooper ears (see awesome Photo Booth photo above that I just took of myself after a sweaty walk and with no makeup on). Yes, I checked first to make sure that gesture doesn’t mean anything offensive in ASL. We started about a month ago and I think Dylan signed “eat” the other day during lunch. I expected “eat” to be the first sign he used since it is the simplest and the one we are most consistent with (side note: consistency is hard!). He does seem to understand the signs for “Cooper” and “milk,” though, so hopefully he will demonstrate them soon.

Apparently once the babes get a few signs down and have that lightbulb moment that signing helps them get what they want, they start learning new signs at warp speed. I am very excited about this since Dylan seems to have inherited a bit of my “I want what I want when I want it” personality and I have some concern that he could end up being a tantrumy little guy down the road. He already complains intensely when he doesn’t get his way, so I am hoping that being able to communicate his wants will help cut down on his frustration. Even more than that, though, I am just really looking forward to getting a better idea of what is going in that little head of his. Obviously he has ways to communicate now through facial expressions, noises, laughing, crying, etc., but I just think it’s really cool that I won’t have to assume that a certain cry or gesture means a certain thing since he’ll be able to tell me with ASL exactly what he wants.

3 Comments

  • This is awesome! I taught both my kiddos sign language and it was wonderful! At first I learned from online resources, then I stumbled on Signing Time videos and fell in love. I didn’t use them until after my son turned one (I had this idea he shouldn’t watch TV until then. That went out the window with my second child). 🙂

    Anyhow, you might want to check out their clips on youtube, they are so fun and educational. I ended up buying all of season 1 and 2. The best age for both my kids to use sign language to communicate was between 18-24 when they were really struggling to get the words out but couldn’t express what they wanted to say. Then they would sign. At about 24 months they were able to speak better and started signing less.

    Of course all the little signs up until that point were great too! 🙂 You are a great mom and are giving your little one an awesome gift by helping him communicate!

  • Ah, that explains the Flickr picture! I think this is so cool. Kate knows, or did know when we first met, a fair amount of sign language.

  • Reading with baby and signing are a great way to practice and to promote literacy. Here are a few book suggestions to sign with:

    1.I Love You Mommy! (A Little Golden Book) signs to use: mommy, cat, dog, ball, hat, eat, hot and more
    2. Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown) A perfect book for bedtime routine and signs to use: bunny, rabbit, mouse, moon, stars, sleep, hush, mittens, kittens, eat and brush
    3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear (Bill Martin, Jr.) signs to use: bear, bird, duck, horse, frog, cat, dog, sheep, fish and children
    Happy Signing!! Visit my site: http://www.babysignlanguageshop.com

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