We recently received this email and photo from Tamara S. Tamara follows us on Facebook and has a 13 month old baby girl named Roxana.
I started teaching Roxana baby sign language the moment she was born. I really dear friend had given me the Deluxe Baby Sign Language Kit while I was on bed rest due to a difficult pregnancy. By the time Roxana was born my husband and I knew how to sign at least five basic signs. We signed to Roxana all the time but never had formal sessions. All of our signing was contextual. For example: I would sign milk when I was nursing her or daddy when daddy arrived home.
By the time Roxana turned six months old she appeared to recognized several signs and was starting to sign milk. Motivated by the video sign language stories I started setting time aside to teach Roxana more intentionally. We started by using models of animals using small figurines that we borrowed from our older boy. By the time Roxana turned 10 months she knew several animals. For fruits and vegetables I combined the real fruits and vegetables with plastic models I purchased at a craft store. We also taped printed flashcards for food items on our refrigerator.
We feel a very important part of parenting is to make sure Roxana is safe and comfortable, since temperature can be a hazard associated to many things, like food, bath time and even the hot sidewalk we wanted Roxana to be able to grasp the meaning of hot and cold. In the beginning of June we began teaching Roxana temperatures. To help her understand the difference we printed the large version flashcards and placed them under the protective glass on our dining table. Each day at meal time we would bring out two cups one with iced water and the other one with warm water. We would guide Roxana’s fingers to touch both cups at different times and would immediately follow it with the sign. We later replaced the water with frozen blueberries and warm blueberry compote. We continued to rotate the cold and warm items for a period of three weeks. By July 4th Roxana surprised us by touching her bath water and signing hot. Later in the week she tried to take an ice cube from my sweet tea and signed cold immediatly after pulling her hand from my cup!!
This method worked for us and I wanted to share it with other moms & dads. Thank you so much for helping us communicate with our baby.
It is very encouraging for us at babysignlanguage to receive your stories & testimonies. Thank you Tamara for such a wonderful tip!
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