In last week’s blog post I shared just some of the amazing benefits of using sign language with your baby.
This week I’d like to take a quick look at WHY the simple act of pairing some American Sign Language vocabulary with your spoken words can create such amazing results. Here are 5 reasons why baby sign language works….
1. Signing builds on your baby’s natural abilities.
ALL babies gesture. As your baby gains more control over his arms and begins interacting with you more, he will start to clap, wave & point. Exposing your baby to sign language provides a tool that builds beautifully on his existing natural abilities.
2. Signing highlights key words for your baby.
Your baby is exposed to hundreds of words each day and her amazing brain is busy trying to differentiate all of these sounds AND figure out what they mean. Adding signs to what you are saying highlights key vocabulary AND gives your baby a visual clue to what the word means as many ASL signs look like the word they represent.
3. Signing engages more areas of the brain.
Some of the amazing benefits of baby sign language [hello, higher IQ!] are almost hard to believe. One interesting area of research suggests that by exposing your baby to both auditory language (speech) and visual language (signing) you stimulate multiple areas of your baby’s brain, building more neural connections and ultimately improving intelligence. Wowzers.
4. Signing works with all learning types.
All people, including your baby, have different learning styles – which is to say, we all have a way we learn best. Think of reading a book – do you get more out of listening to a book on tape than reading it yourself? Then maybe you are more of an auditory learner than a visual learner. You probably won’t discover your baby’s preferred learning style for a few years, but baby sign language has you covered as it is engaging for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.
5. Signing is active vs. passive learning.
Babies learn by exploring their world through their senses – whether it’s experiencing a breeze on their skin or bringing a toy to their mouth to explore it’s texture. But when it comes to communication, babies usually get stuck in the passenger seat. Signing, however, allows babies to actively take part in communication months before they can talk – moving them from passive observers to the conversation around them to active participants.
Ok, wow. Just writing this post got me all fired up [for the millionth time] about baby sign language. I am READY to start the next session of Tiny Signs Online soon. Are you!?