When Sophie was about three months old, my wife took her to baby signing classes.
I’ve got to admit I was a little bit sceptical. How would our tiny baby, who couldn’t do anything for herself, start using the butterfly sign regularly (hands clasped together in a fluttering motion)? And how often would she need to point out that a Red Admiral was moving in for the kill?!
We did a round of classes and then pulled out. Sophie wasn’t ready for it, but my wife had had lots of fun!
Now though, not only does she combine signs with words in a motley collection of wonderful communication but tonight she even pointed at the TV and asked for her Sing and Sign DVD.
She’s gonna be a talker!
If you’re not familiar with Sing and Sign, it’s a series of DVDs chronicling the classes of Sasha, a Speech and Language specialist in Brighton. It was filmed in the early 2000s so the hairstyles are a bit cringe; however, what it teaches is timeless!
A very good friend of ours introduced Sophie to it and, despite a rocky start when we tried to show her it on a flight back from the Canary Islands – she got a bit angry!- it’s been invaluable for her.
Sophie loves listening to the music and we even caught her singing a couple of the tunes to herself the other day. Stage 1 ran its course – it’s usually used as a way of keeping Sophie awake for a bit longer when she needs to or to calm her down when her emotions are getting the better of her. Now we are watching Stage 2 with its focus on colours, food and scary things for the future like potty training!
It’s a new and slightly worrying development for her to be asking directly for it though like she did tonight.
In classic anorak fashion, we’ve got both DVDs and the accompanying CD for the car which again helps entertain her.
The songs are a tremendous weapon for times like changing nappies as well!
So, from thinking it was a joke, and basing my own personal sign for Daddy on an angry rainforest bird (Ka-Ka!), I’ve come right round to it. Sophie’s language both spoken and physical is thriving and we certainly owe much of that to Baby Signing!
We definitely recommend it.