Sara Bingham, Founder of Wee Hands, and author of The Baby Signing Book was a true inspirational energy to bringing American Sign Language (ASL) to our program at PleasanTime Child Care. Communication is completed through words, body language, or cries which is the path of which bonding occurs. The magic of bonding builds relationships and is the foundation of trust. Beginning at birth a new born communicates through crying to get his/her needs met. Babies also communicate through sounds and facial expressions. The challenge is to interpret each sound and meet the need. In her book, Sara explains, “However, learning to sign with your baby will open new awareness of communication, both useful and pleasurable.”
Parents have a crucial role in the communication with their child. How did your child learn to wave “bye-bye”? Practice and participating - by doing “bye-bye” when leaving and sharing excited energy when the gesture is completed.
Baby sign language expands on the ability to use gestures to communicate before the verbal language is learned and reduces the frustration of understanding between child and parent. Since incorporating the material from Baby Signing & Wee Hands, our infant and toddler program has experienced a calmer environment. The children learn to sign with practice and modeling from the teachers and the amount of crying and screaming has decreased dramatically. We encourage signing and the verbal words accompany signing which inspire and model the language development when the child is ready. Check out weehands.com for more resources.
Here is a sample of one of the instructional and fun videos Sara has created: