is the key to success with signing as it is for speaking. The more times during
a day you repeat the sign and the word, the sooner your baby will realize the
connection between the sign and the object or action and begin signing back to
you. You may want to make the sign before, during and after a given activity.
"Do you want more cereal?" Make the sign for more.
"Here is more cereal." Make the sign for more and give her more cereal.
"Now you have more cereal." Make the sign for more.
Signing helps your baby identify one word out of a seemingly endless stream of
sounds. By signing with your baby you are clearly marking the word that you are
teaching and helping your baby to separate that one word from all the other
words in the sentence. In addition, you are giving her valuable examples of the
syntax of language by offering and marking the same symbol as it occurs in many
distinct positions in many different sentences representing one unvarying
object or action.
Make signs a part of your daily routine
The more you include signing in your daily routine the sooner your baby will
begin to sign with you. You may want to pick three of your baby's favorite
animals and then place toys and pictures of the animals in places that you
frequent each day.
For example, a rattle with a dog on it at your baby's changing table, a bottle
with a picture of a duck on it, a stuffed animal bear in your baby's crib, a
book about dogs, a rubber duck to play with in the bath tub,
and a bear toy to
entertain your baby while she is eating. In addition, the signs for the words
more, eat and drink, are good signs to use during mealtimes.
You can reinforce the signs for these favorite animals while saying nursery
rhymes or while sings songs. A good song to sing while making your baby's
favorite animal signs is "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." You can also spend time
reading and looking at books that include these same animals. In fact, babies
who talk with their hands at an early age seem to have a greater interest in
books that their non-signing peers.