Teaching infant sign language has been shown to help boost children’s cognitive and language development, increasing their vocabulary significantly. Here is how to help your child learn this valuable skill:
- Start early: Most infants will only start to learn and use signs around the age of seven months however, children begin focusing on their parent’s movements and voice much earlier than that. Try out a few signs and repeat the words you are signing while she is watching your fingers. This is the way to start early learning about communication.
- Start small: Choose five signs your child could use everyday. For example: mom, dad, hungry, tired and play. This will give you and your infant plenty of opportunities to practice making the right signs.
- Speak and sign: When your infant is alert and following your movements, speak the word you want your child to learn while making the sign. Repeat this a few times before moving onto a different activity. This will ensure that your child starts learning verbal as well as preverbal communication effectively, but without becoming bored or overstimulated.
A good activity for physical stimulation is an infant swimming class from Infant Aquatics. Not only does this provide a break from learning sign language, it also provides physical stimulation and teaches your child a valuable skill.
- Praise: When your infant signs back to you, give her positive reinforcement. Signing requires motor skills, coordination, language skills and focus, making mastery of it an achievement. Cuddle, clap your hands, smile or praise your infant to encourage her.
You can also help your child learn, practice and expand on her sign language skills by choosing our child care facility, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Richardson. Our accredited infant child care program includes sign language lessons, as well as daily physical activities, socialization, story time and care, with the goal of maximizing your child’s brain development.
To find out more about our programs and state-of-the-art facility, contact us today.