At www.babysignlanguage.com we love newly born little people and newly born projects with a heart. This week we want you to join us as we travel around the world with a non-profit partner that loves children.
www.wideawake.org is a very young and very passionate volunteer-ran organization that aims to provide funding to small grassroots projects around the world focused on alleviating the aches caused by poverty and inequality.
www.wideawake.org selects sponsored organizations based on outstanding stewardship and accountability. Many of these organizations do wonders with very little making a huge impact on the poorest communities around the world.
Our favorite www.wideawake.org project is managed by Yamini Foundation in India. This organization cares for mentally delayed children providing them with basic access to education, food and shelter. Yamini is able to provide a daily lunch for a month to a child for $13. What a sweet deal!
A good friend of www.wideawake.org has partnered with us at www.babysignlanguage.comand provided with lovely gifts from around the world to help us create awareness of the various organizations sponsored by this non-profit.
Each day we will host a giveaway featuring an item from far away lands from Argentina to Nepal. To participate in the giveaways all you need to do is help us spread the word about this wonderful organization. You can earn entries by taking the following actions:
Leave an encouraging comment for wideawake.org in their facebook page.
Sponsor a Yamini child for a month for $13 for three entries
Provided www.wideawake.org reaches 1,100 fans a generous partner has provided us with a lovely Ho Noku 14k white gold pendant and earrings plumeria design slipper set valued at $600. We will select a random winner from all the giveaway participants.
Tuesday Prize (1)
Nepalese Teacup & Plate
A “bamboo” handle and leaves entwine this captivating ceramic teacup. Buy a set, and match them with our bamboo motif teapot. Created by artisans of Everest Pottery, a workshop of Sana Hastakala in Nepal.
Create a beautiful Father’s Day Card for the special man in your baby’s life. The baby in this image is signing “Dad” (or even “Grandpa”). This card is very easy to make, for even the non-crafty ladies among us. I purchased all of the materials at my local arts and crafts store (although Target and Wal-Mart should also have everything you need). Use these instructions as a springboard for your creativity! Please post a picture of your creation on our Baby Sign Language facebook page to inspire the rest of us. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
1 sheet of 8.5×11 inch cardstock for the card (Main Color)
1 sheet of 8.5×11 inch cardstock in a Contrast Color
2 sheets of white 8.5×11 cardstock
Pop-Up Foam Squares (for 3D effect, optional)
Black Sharpie Marker
Fine-Tipped Black Sharpie Marker (optional)
Pinking Shears (optional)
Step 1: Print the BSL Image Template. Optional (but highly recommended)… use a black sharpie marker to color over the image of the baby. This will make the image an inky dark black, which will give a more polished look. Tip: carefully trace the outline of the figure first, then fill in.
Step 2: Using rubber cement (which will not buckle), glue the BSL Image Template onto a piece of white cardstock. This will make the image sturdier. (The same method we use to reinforce the printable Baby Sign Language Flash Cards.)
Step 3: Once the rubber cement has dried, cut out the 2 ovals on the template. Be very careful to remove all of the black outline on the small oval containing the baby image, so that it does not show on the final card.
Step 4: We will now create the large oval in your Contrast Color. This will serve as a “frame” behind the smaller oval containing the baby image. Place the large (empty) oval that you just cut out onto the BACK of your Contrast Color cardstock. Using your pencil, trace around the oval. You are tracing onto the back of the cardstock so that no pencil marks show on your finished card.
Step 5: Cut out the large oval on the Contrast Color cardstock.
Step 6: We will now prepare your Main Color cardstock. The cardstock that I bought had some writing along the bottom edge. If yours also has this writing, carefully cut off that bottom strip. Notice if your cardstock has a front and back (there is often texture or sheen on the front side). Fold the cardstock in half with the front side becoming the outside of the card.
Step 7: Time to assemble the cards! I used Pop-Up Foam Squares in my assembly. These are small, thick, double-sided adhesive squares that add a bit of depth to the finished card. You can also use rubber cement to assemble the pieces.
Attach the small BSL Image oval to the large Contrast Color oval. Make sure that the front side of the Contrast Color oval is facing front. Center the BSL Image oval carefully to create a framing effect.
Step 8: Attach the Contrast Color oval (which now is attached to the BSL Image oval) to the front of the folded Main Color card. The oval should be placed in the upper portion of the card, leaving space at the bottom. Refer to the picture of the finished card to see proper placement.
Step 9: Decide what word or phrase you will use on your card. Keep it simple. “Dad” or “Daddy” works best (of course, use whatever name your child uses for the recipient). You can write a longer message on the inside of the card.
Carefully arrange your Alphabet Stickers on the card. Alternatively, you can use stamps, stencils, or freehand to write the name. I prefer Alphabet Stickers because they are very easy to use and produce a lovely finished product.
Step 10: Add Embellishments. Less is usually more, so be sparing. I used stickers as my embellishments because they are so easy to use and look very nice.
Voila! The outside of your card is finished. I bet it looks fantastic!
Inside Panel (optional)
Now we will create an inside panel that will contain messages and/or coloring. When creating my card, I wanted it to look very polished, so I did not enlist the help of my 18 month old daughter. But of course, I want her to make a contribution. My solution… an inside panel.
Step A: Select a piece of white cardstock. Slip the cardstock inside the folded finished card. Now lightly trace the edge of the card onto the piece of white cardstock. Cut along the pencil line. You now have a piece of white cardstock that is the same size as the inside of your finished card.
Step B: Using Pinking Shears (or scissors), carefully cut about a half inch strip off of the white cardstock on all sides. You will now have a smaller rectangle that will eventually be glued to the inside of the card. (Don’t glue it yet!!).
Step C: Using a fine-tipped Sharpie Marker or a black pen that writes nicely, write a message to the recipient of the card. Remember to include the year, as this will likely become a keepsake.
Step D: Select 3 crayons in colors that coordinate nicely with the color scheme of your card. My card is baby blue with royal blue contrasts, so I chose blue, dark blue, and purple crayons.
Step E: Encourage your child (or children) to now “decorate” the white cardstock panel with the 3 crayons. The results will vary greatly depending on the age of your child, but will certainly be treasured by the recipient of the card. My daughter created her signature scribbles!
Note that if you or your child is unhappy with the results, you can easily make a new panel. Since your child is not drawing directly onto the card, there is no risk of your creative masterpiece being destroyed by rough handling or overenthusiastic scribbling.
Step F: Using rubber cement, attach the finished panel to the back inside surface of the finished card. Center carefully.
Now your masterpiece is complete! I hope that you are very happy with the result. I love the cards I created 🙂
Here at baby sign language we encourage baby sign language as a tool of bonding, but most importantly we know signing babies are less frustrated babies because their chore needs are understood and met. Beyond chore needs it is essential that we encourage and train little hands to reach out, serve, love, help and encourage.
When I was a little girl my mom would often sit us around the table and read poetry. Even today, I can recite a poem by Gabriela Mistral a chilean writer who was awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize. The poem is titled “manitas”, “Little hands”.
Little Hands have great potential and I want to encourage you to explore various avenues as you work with your baby to equip them with valuable skills for a happy and productive life.
Little Hands can Give
As soon as your toddler can hold and release take every possible opportunity to teach generosity and charity. From the Salvation Army bucket to the homeless person on the street. Show your child the joy of giving.
Little Hands are Useful
Integrate your toddler to family chores by assigning small tasks. Taking the diaper to the pail or helping load spoons into the dishwasher.
Little Hands Love
Grab every possible chance to teach your child gentle loving touch. From petting a puppy to comforting a sick or injured friend, or family member.
Little Hands Collaborate
Larger tasks are conquered if we work together. Show your toddler the magic of team work by giving him opportunities to use his hands in tasks that are better achieved if we work together. From folding large items to moving things around as a team to finish quicker.
Little Hands Can Encourage
Teach your child the joy of clapping, cheering and celebrating his victories and victories of others.
Here is to the shaping of men and women with honorable hands willing to change the world!
We love books. New books, old books, important books and picture books. In the last few weeks I have read several addressing the benefits of baby sign language and other means of communication during early infancy. I have learned so much and I wanted to share with you a few things I found interesting on the topic of reading to your baby.
Babies are sponges hungry for knowledge. During the first 24 months of life our babies have the capacity learn very quickly and engage with pattern-based visual and verbal queues. While reading your baby will learn to recognize the cadence of your voice, letter patterns and shapes.
Reading places our babies at the center of the Universe it allows us to engage in eye contact and facilitates the learning of body language.
Early reading allows a baby to feel integrated in a task performed by older siblings and adults allowing for enhanced self esteem and effective developmental transitions.
Reading exposes our babies to terms, phrases and emotions that are not normally used in our day-to-day engagement. This type of exposure results in accelerated progression in vocabulary acquisition.
Visual Skills Development
Reading invites our babies to follow imagery make connections and improve the ability to focus.
With over 100,000 baby books listed in Amazon the opportunities are endless. Go ahead, share your favorite book with us and let’s help each other discover the pleasures of reading to our babies.
My husband calls it “toddlerhood”. Others call it the terrible twos and tremendous threes. It is during these years our little ones develop an insatiable curiosity for learning and endless drive to play.
When it comes to baby sign language there are signs we can incorporate with ease on our day-to-day activities. Other signs prove to be difficult in terms of availability in context. Let’s face it; our fruit bowl normally has three staple fruits but we aspire for our little one to sign the whole cornucopia. We want to teach them bugs and animals but we are far from museums and zoological parks.
Daniela, a play therapist by profession and a BSL aficionado shared with us three simple games she uses with her daughter aimed at enriching her BSL vocabulary.
The Lion Roars
For this game you will need an older sibling or friend, good knowledge of onomatopoeic words like “woof” and “oink” and a signing baby.
Have the older child imitate an animal in movement and sound and encourage the younger child to use the proper sign. Reward and celebrate achievement.
We Go Places
For this game you will need toy cars, planes, boats, bikes etc in a really small scale. (think hot wheels). A basket, a bowl and a box.
Place a pile of transportation related toys in front of your toddler. Sign and mimic a type of transportation and ask your toddler to place it in the box, bowl or basket. Reward and celebrate your baby when he identifies the right object and places the object in the proper container.
Pick a variety of cut fruit at your local gourmet supermarket salad bar. Place the little pieces of fruit in small colorful bowls. (I got mine at IKEA). Show your baby the fruit bowl and sign the proper sign. Allow your baby to taste just a bit from each bowl as you repeat and sign the fruit name. Place the bowls slightly out of reach and try to have your baby sign their choice while you ask and present each variety.
Help us out. Tell us about your own games by leaving a comment