I used some basic baby sign with my daughter when she was an infant as a bridge between her cognitive ability to understand what she wanted to express and gaining the verbal ability to articulate it. She started speaking and communicating at a rather early age so we used it less and less as I could understand what she was trying to express most of the time. She still used some signs like “more” while speaking the words, but I didn’t even think to continue signs with her.
When I had the opportunity to review the first 2 DVDs in this series I figured it would be like giving my daughter the opportunity to learn a second language, but have been surprised how it has also helped her communicate more effectively. Although she is a chatterbox at 18 months, she still uses words that sounds similar to each other and the addition of signs with her words has helped our communication grow even further. My sign vocabulary was also pretty limited and we had only used half a dozen signs prior to this series, so I have fun learning new signs with her!
In addition to giving signs to accompany familiar words your child may also have the opportunity to expand their vocabulary by learning new words and signs. One of the words my daughter has learned is the word “hurt” and she signs it whenever she or anyone else has a boo-boo, real or imagined. My daughter and I also had been working on “please”, “thank you” and “sorry” prior to receiving these videos and the second DVD’s “Please, Thank You, Sorry” song could not have come at a more fitting time. Using the signs myself are a subtle way in which I can remind her of when to say her pleases and thank yous.
I highly recommend this series for older infants, toddlers, preschoolers and special needs children as a way to communicate more effectively or to essentially learn a second language, without it actually being a second language from a verbal standpoint. As human beings gestures are so natural and second nature that sign is a perfect medium to help children articulate what they are trying to express. These DVDs allow children to see the signs repeated, but along to music, which creates a fun and catchy medium to learn these signs.
The animations are colorful and engaging and my daughter loves watching the children on the DVDs signing the various words. All of the songs are original and co-written by Rachel and her sister and the songs also break the video into different segments or chapters. My daughter frequently asks for “Baby Time” while signing “baby” and I really believe that it has given her even more confidence in communicating with my husbands and I.
And I have to add my two cents that the purpose of the DVDs shouldn’t be to sit you child in front of it over and over again for them to learn them alone, however, should be an activity done together in moderation. As parents or guardians learn the signs you will be able to reinforce them throughout the day during your activities and reduce TV exposure especially for infants and toddlers. Their coordinating CDs are perfect for this as you can play the familiar tunes and sign the key words together as you sign along.