Sign language can be a great way to teach babies to communicate before they can effectively verbalize their needs. The use of baby sign language has also been shown to help develop bonds with baby, avoid frustration, and even support cognitive development. We’ve teamed-up with Angela Popalo, WeeHands sign language instructor, to help you begin using sign language with the little ones in your life.
In this video Angela teaches several food signs you can use during mealtime. These are perfect for babies that are just starting to eat solid foods. Specifically, Angela shows us how to make signs for:
Activity: Food can be very motivating. To help practice using the baby sign language we just learned, offer small portions (which you probably do already) and pause in between bites and wait for a reaction. Ask or encourage your baby or charge to sign MORE or MORE JUICE, MORE CEREAL, etc. If they get frustrated…STOP! As a rule it’s good to never pressure the baby. Learning the signs will take some time and should be a fun bonding activity between you and your child or charge.
- It’s ok to move their hands together to sign MORE. Just like you might wave their hand up and down to show them how to say goodbye. This allows babies to be more specific about their wants/needs.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Try signing before, during and after activities when possible.
- Encourage family members to also sign with baby. The more they are signed to, the more likely they will sign back and the sooner you’ll all be communicating using signs!
This is a part of our free online class on the basics of Baby Sign Language produced with our friends at WeeHands.
Angela Popalo is a WeeHands Sign Language Instructor. She holds a degree in Business Management from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA, and began her career as a corporate trainer. After the arrival of her second child, Angela began attending a series of ASL classes with her daughter. After taking sign language classes for nearly two years, she developed a love for the language and was inspired to share the benefits and positive effects it has had on her family with others. Now a proud mother of 3, Angela continues to study ASL, while volunteering much of her time with community groups aimed at helping parents build stronger bonds with their children. For more information please visit Angela’s website, www.weehandswithangela.com and checkout the WeeHands podcast series.