Imagination is both innate and cultivated. What and how you play with your baby will set the stage for success when it comes to their ability to visualize experiences outside their context. As you begin reading to your baby or toddler take the opportunity to foster their imagination by expanding the narrative and including relevant signs and images not normally available in their day-to-day experiences.
Recently we have been reading western stories, so we are learning the signs for cowboy, American Indian and horse:
We are also engaging in role play and including words like monster, fairy and elves. We have included all of these signs in our Dictionary which is available online and as a book in our baby sign language store.
Words that encourage imagination are not a primary need. They are a nice-to-have as your little one develops the ability to recognize make-believe and he or she embraces literature and visual media. Take the time to teach your little one to discern between reality and make-believe. As you do that you may want to teach your baby signs such as “fake”
Through the use of books and movies you will be able to expand your child’s imagination as well as his vocabulary. The earlier you start the better the results. A weekly trip to the library may just be the most precious journey in the adventure of learning and growing up.