Gift Guide for Busy Babies

Gift Guide for Busy Babies

The Best Gifts for Busy Babies

With the holidays here, many of us looking for gifts for our own little ones, as well as our smallest nieces and nephews. To help you with your holiday shopping, I’m sharing my absolute favorite gift ideas for busy babies. These toys will work for a wide variety of ages, but when making this list I had babies in the 8-18 month old range in mind.

Think scooching, crawling, pulling up, cruising & taking those exciting first steps.

Movers & groovers. Babies on the go!

Here in New England the cold winter months can be loooong with an active baby or new toddler, so I also thought about the life saver toys that got me through the winter when my January baby turned 1 and started walking. These are great choices to keep your baby movin’ & groovin’ – even when you’re stuck inside.

This post includes affiliates links. If you make a purchase using a link from this page, I might receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps support my small business. Thank you!

1. Hohner Kids Toddler Music Band – $30

Dance break! Make some noise and have some fun with these baby-friendly musical instruments. Your baby will love this now. Your toddler will love this later. Your preschooler will continue to love it. Your kindergartner will love it too. You get the idea.

2. DIY Ball PitBall Pit $10 + Balls $19 = $29 total

I love/hate this evil concoction I came up with. I love it because it provided so much fun for my babies (and our playgroup!) at home. I also love it because I’ve watched so many of my students have a blast with it in class. I hate it because…balls. Everywhere. You will curse my name as you crawl around pulling them out from under every piece of furniture in your house. I’m sorry.


3. LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table – $65
Another noisy toy, but it was a real favorite with my daughters. It was so attractive to my first that she actually pulled up to standing for the very first time on it!

4. Imagination Generation Wooden Wonders 5-in-1 Deluxe Activity Cube – $35

If the plastic and noise of the LeapFrog table don’t appeal to you, this is a kinder, gentler type of toy that has much of the same appeal (and none of the noise).

5. Pop-up Play Tent  – $24 (lots of options at different prices for these too)

We have a pop-up tent & tunnel that my girls (ages 6 & 10) STILL play with (well, just the tent – I think they’d get stuck in tunnel ;). A pop-up tent like this is great to have because it’s an instant fort that folds up compactly when you’re not using it. Your baby will love it if you fill it with a few their favorite playthings.

6. Play Tunnel – $29 (but there are others available for less)

If you’re not up for the whole tent set-up, a tunnel alone can still be tons of fun for crawlers and toddlers alike!

7. Little Tikes Junior Play Slide – $50 (check out Craig’s List for a hand-me-down to save $$)

You might think of this as something for playing with outside, but this is actually a great indoor toy during a long winter with a busy toddler. It’s an easy way to turn any room into a mini-playground. Just fold it up and tuck it away when not in use.

8. Fisher-Price Bright Beginning Activity Walker – $25

Push toys are a great choice for the early walker, but this is my favorite. It’s surprisingly stable and folds so you can tuck it away when not in use. A shopping cart would also be a great choice, but I’ve never found one that’s not tippy.

9. Step2 LifeStyle Custom Kitchen Playset – $80

The play kitchen is often thought of as a toy for the preschool set, but we got ours when my first was about 15 months old and she LOVED it. Your baby will love opening and closing the doors, putting stuff inside and taking it out. Hours of fun. Don’t wait until your baby is 2 or 3 to invest in one of these. There are so many options at all different price points, so do some research and find the one that works for you.

10. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy – $4

My favorite books for this age range is a whole other list, but I couldn’t make this list without including at least one book. I love this particular one as babies love the real photos of common items and it’s great for language building. It’s also great for practicing new sign language vocabulary!

11. Tiny Signs Jumpstart – an online baby sign language mini-course – $27 $7 thru 12/31 with coupon code HOLIDAY

Well of COURSE I’m going to include baby sign language in here! In addition to all the amazing physical milestones going on during this fun (and wild) age, you baby’s language skills are developing at an rapid rate. Most babies start signing in the 8-12 month range (sometimes even earlier!) and around 12 months, a signing baby’s vocabulary can EXPLODE if parents have the right tools to teach them.

Tiny Signs Jumpstart is an online mini-course to get you started signing with your baby in less than 30 minutes!

And to celebrate the season, you can save $20 with the coupon code HOLIDAY (through 12/31) when you purchase Tiny Signs Jumpstart for yourself or as a gift.

jumpstart-feature-image

What do you think?

Anything to add to this list? What’s your baby’s favorite toy? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below….

 

Things That GO! :: Baby Sign Language for Vehicles

Things That GO! :: Baby Sign Language for Vehicles

Things That GO! :: Baby Sign Language for Vehicles

Babies & toddlers love things that go! Cars, trains & planes are fascinating to look at and make interesting sounds. Your young toddler might have a little ride-on toy that looks like a bus or tricycle, or maybe he’s fascinated with fire engines and police cars. Or maybe you’ve got a little one who looooves tractors. If this sounds like your little one, you’re going to love this free mini lesson!

Teach your baby sign language with fun vehicle signs using this free video + printable guide. Learn how to sign AIRPLANE, BICYCLE, BOAT, BUS, CAR, HELICOPTER, MOTORCYCLE, TRUCK + more

[ctt title=”Click here to share this free mini-lesson with your friends on Twitter!” tweet=”Teach your #babysignlanguage using these fun signs for things that GO with @tinysigns” coverup=”UKfup”]

In today’s free baby sign language mini-lesson I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite American Sign Language signs that you can use to teach your baby signs for things that go. You can use these when you’re playing with toys, reading a book (see my favorites below!), or pointing out vehicles when you’re out & about.

Have Fun Learning Transportation Signs!

In today’s video you’ll learn how the American Sign Language (ASL) signs for AIRPLANE, BICYCLE, BOAT, BUS, CAR, HELICOPTER, MOTORCYCLE, TRUCK, TRACTOR, TRAIN, FIRE TRUCK, POLICE CAR, AMBULANCE and SIREN.

Vehicle Signs

This video is dedicated to Cameron and his grandmother. Thank you for sharing your story

Great Board Books for Teaching Your Baby Signs for Vehicles

  1. Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle
  2. Zoom, Zoom, Baby! by Karen Katz
  3. Away We Go! Disney Book Group
  4. Baby Touch and Feel: Things That Go by DK Publishing
  5. Vehicles by Xavier Deneux
  6. My First Vehicles by Max & Sid
  7. That’s Not My Train by Fiona Watt

Bonus! Free Printable…

I’ve also created a FREE printable guide that you can keep as a reference to help you remember how to do many of these signs.

If you already get email updates from me, the link to download the printable was in your email. If you are not yet on the Tiny Signs list, please sign up for immediate access to this free PDF guide.

Thanks for watching and if you enjoyed this free baby sign language mini-lesson, please share with a friend!

 

Teach your baby sign language with fun vehicle signs using this free video + printable guide. Learn how to sign AIRPLANE, BICYCLE, BOAT, BUS, CAR, HELICOPTER, MOTORCYCLE, TRUCK + more

 

The Ultimate Baby Sign Language Resource Guide

The Ultimate Baby Sign Language Resource Guide

Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. There is no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting my small business!

Where to find the best baby sign Language books, videos, and more

Parents often ask me what the best resources are for teaching your baby sign language. What is the best baby sign language book? Do I need to take a class? Can you recommend a DVD? Flashcards?

These are great questions! To help make it easier for you to find the baby sign language tools you need, I’ve created a list of my favorite resources to help you get started.

The Ultimate Baby Sign Language Resource Guide

Looking for the best baby sign language book, videos and flash cards? So many people have asked me what I recommend, so I put this resource guide to help!

 

The Best Baby Sign Language Book

I don’t know about you, but when I want to learn something new, I head straight to Amazon or the library to see if there’s a good book on the topic.

After recommending books I didn’t love for many years, in 2018 I had the opportunity to write the book that had all the tips & strategies I teach my students. Obviously, I’m totally biased, but I love this book! Below are 5 reasons I think you’ll love it too…

Best Baby Sign Language Book5 Reasons You’ll Love Baby Sign Language Made Easy

  1. It’s short & sweet and gets right to the point
    I wrote this book with the busy (and tired!) new parent in mind. No fluff, no filler. It gets right to the good stuff so you can get started signing right away.
  2. It teaches you how to teach your baby to sign
    Step-by-step instructions walk you through exactly what you need to do to succeed. You’ll also find answers to all your questions about baby sign language.
  3. It’s filled with tips & strategies
    A comprehensive troubleshooting guide and tips throughout the book will make sure you avoid the common mistakes that most parents make.
  4. It’s beautifully illustrated
    The illustrated ASL signs are colorful, accurate and easy to understand. Additionally, you’ll find video instructions on how to do every sign in the book in my online baby sign language video dictionary. Each sign has clear instructions, memory tips, suggestions on how to use the sign, as well as how to recognize your baby’s version of the sign.
  5. It’s filled with songs, books & activities 
    Every chapter wraps up with fun & easy ways to incorporate sign language into your daily routines with your baby, including board books, song and games you already know.

Get your copy of Baby Sign Language Made Easy today!

Baby Sign Language Flash Cards

Ok, I’m just going to be put it out there: I hate flash cards.

Parents often ask me about them, and honestly, I’m just not a fan. In my experience, they don’t create the type of interaction that babies need at this stage of their development. When I see parents using flashcards, they almost always fall into a routine of asking their baby, “What’s this? And what’s this?” This ‘quizzing’ type of interaction is not the sort of conversational communication that babies need to build their budding language skills.

So what’s a parent to do?

Seeing the need to have a handy reference, I created my own baby sign language printable charts for parents and teachers to use at home and in the classroom. These printable charts are organized by theme and can be printed or used on an iPad or other device. I find them to be more useful than flashcards because they help remind you to sign, and how to do the sign, but still allow you to interact in a conversational way with your baby.

For example…

It’s bath time and you’re just getting your little one into the water. You’ve got your Bath Time Signs printable handy (in a plastic page protector so it stays dry), so you can refer to it as you chat and bathe your baby. You sign WATER as baby splashes and plays, and then you sign COLD when baby shivers as it’s time to get dry.

The baby sign language printable charts are affordable and available for purchase so you can start using them today!

GET YOUR BABY SIGN LANGUAGE PRINTABLE CHARTS HERE >>

Baby Sign Language DVDs

There are some extremely high-quality baby sign language DVDs available that your family might enjoy. A good video is both educational and entertaining to watch and provides lots of opportunities to learn and practice new signs. You can really build and expand your sign language vocabulary using videos.

That being said, I usually find DVDs to be more useful for toddlers who are already signing.

Even if you’re not completely avoiding screen time for your little one, you’re probably not going to want to park your 6-month-old infant in front of a screen. Research has shown that young children learn best through human interaction, not from passively watching videos, so your little one will always learn best from you.

I recommend you get started with baby sign language by introducing signs to your baby yourself. And if you’re interested in adding in some video entertainment to help expand your vocabulary, there is really only one baby sign language DVD series I ever recommendBaby Signing Time is the gold standard in baby sign language videos. You can find them on Amazon, or you can sign up for Signing Time’s great online streaming service if you want access to the whole collection at an affordable price. My kids loved them, many of my students have enjoyed them and if you’re looking for a DVD, I’m sure you’ll love them too.

Baby Sign Language Classes

A baby sign language class with a skilled instructor can be a great way to learn how to sign with your little one. Plus you’ll get the added bonus of meeting other new parents in your community. Baby sign language classes generally meet weekly for a series of classes and teach signs, songs and strategies over the course of the session. You’ll learn tons of songs & activities that you can use at home and get tips & strategies from your instructor.

To find a class, just do a quick search online for baby sign language class near me. Or ask around at the library or other places where you meet other new parents.

Have fun learning to sign with other new parents in a baby sign language class

Have fun learning to sign with other new parents in a baby sign language class

Unfortunately, it might be hard to find a class in your area, and if there is one, it might be too far or on a day or time that doesn’t work for you. If that’s the case, you might want to look into an online baby sign language class that allows you the flexibility to learn from home and on your own schedule.

Baby Sign Language Online Classes

An online class is the next best thing to a live class. A good online class includes video instruction on signing, lessons with tips and strategies, printable guides and resources, an experienced instructor who is available to answer all your questions, and an interactive community (like an online forum or a private Facebook group) where you can connect with other parents who are learning too.

Online classes are a great solution for busy parents who want the flexibility of learning online. They’re also ideal for anyone who doesn’t have time or access to in-person classes. You can work through the material at your own pace (and in your PJs!) and refer back to it in the future, should you need a refresher. A quality online course also offers a community experience where you can interact with other parents to learn and support each other through the process. Direct access to a knowledgeable and experienced instructor sets a quality online course apart from “courses” that provide little more than an online video dictionary.

To find a good online baby sign language class, check the credentials of the person offering the program to make sure they have completed training in this field. Look to see if they have a background in child development, early childhood education or speech/language development, as well as a solid knowledge of American Sign Language.

I am more than a little biased here, but I spent more than 2 years creating Tiny Signs Online, a comprehensive online course to teach your baby sign language. This program offers EVERYTHING you need and is exactly what I wish I had when I was muddling my way through signing with my first baby. If an online course sounds like the way to go for you, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

So there you have it…

I hope you enjoyed this round up of my favorite resources and tools for learning baby sign language. If you have any more questions about signing with your baby, please share it in the comments below and I’ll be sure to respond. If an online baby sign language course if for you, I invite you to join me in Tiny Signs Online – you won’t regret it!

Subscribe to Get the FREE Quick Start Guide!

Subscribe to the Tiny Signs newsletter and get free tips & advice via email. You'll get the FREE Baby Sign Language Quick Start Guide delivered straight to your inbox as a special thank you for signing up!