Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Signing Time

This afternoon on the way home from the grocery store, I heard Eva in the back of the car yelling, "Go! Go!" I looked back and saw her emphatically doing the sign for "go" and yelling at the top of her lungs at heaven-knows-what. Someone out the window who she obviously thought needed to go. That got me thinking about how great baby sign language is. I know I have talked about this before, but seriously...I can't recommend it enough. If you know me, you know that I love Signing Time videos above all others. Well, guess what...I got a couple new ones in the mail the other day, and I LOVE them. They will be released in October, and they are Baby Signing Time Volumes 3 and 4. And I can't say it enough to all you mothers of young kids out there: BUY THESE VIDEOS. They will change your life.

I have used Signing Time videos for a while now, but this was my first taste of Baby Signing Time. And I am hooked. There are a couple of differences in these new ones that make them more appropriate for Eva's age (18 months).

1. There is a LOT more music. I love that - it makes the signs easier for her (and me!) to remember, for some reason. The songs are cute and entertaining, and repeat the same words alot to reinforce the sign they are teaching. (Click here and here to watch the preview videos and you'll see what I mean.)

2. There are some new signs on the baby ones that are not included in the normal ones: signs for different foods , such as "carrot" and "pear," and other things that come in handy during everyday life with a toddler, like "outside" and "wait."

3. These new ones are even better at explaning the signs and how to do them in a way that sticks in my mind and helps me remember them. For example, the sign for tree. She tells you that one arm is the ground and the other arm is the tree. Easy!

4. They are so entertaining for Eva to watch. I don't know exactly what it is - maybe the animation, the songs - but she is much more captivated by these videos than any other videos. She has fallen in love with them and asks to watch them several times a day.

If you are a parent who is not a big advocate of TV watching, let me tell you: neither was I. Until I was introduced to these videos. I think they are so educational, and the benefit of Eva watching one every day (or two if she begs) far outweighs any other negative effect they say comes from children watching TV. Here is a good Q&A about the benefits of signing with your child. I can't tell you what a difference it has made for us; signing has saved my sanity many times. Baby sign language is something every parent should use - even if it's just a few words like "please" and "more." If you don't already, try it. You'll be surprised how quickly children pick up on it, and how eager they are to communicate with you. And honestly, there is no more fun and informative way to learn a lot of great signs than to use these videos. They are seriously the best!


Lisa said...

Wow, you must have been inspired to write this! I just showed Clayton the first Baby Signing Time volume yesterday- and he was NOT very interested. I was so disappointed. If I had known a year ago what I know now, I would have started these a LONG time ago. But, I tried it again last night, and he did better watching it. I'm going to stick with it! You make it sound so worth it. It feels strange to want to encourage my kid to watch a video, but I really want him to learn at least a couple of signs- it's supposed to help us both.

AnnEE said...

FYI- I just went and put myself on the library waiting list for these little numbers. We've tried to start this with Hazen (I don't want to go out of control, but just a few), and he already does more. Not so much in context all the time, but we're learning.