Did you know that you can train your baby to understand sign language when s/he is as little as four months old? They could even sign back once they develop their motor skills after seven months. Since it might be quite some time before they begin to speak, it would be great if they could use sign language to communicate with you. There are many easy signs that can be taught to children, but it does not matter how many of them they learn. Teach your baby one sign at a time, and pause for a few days till s/he picks it up.
Now, we do realize some parents may be wondering just what the advantages are of teaching sign language to babies. Well, first of all, it opens a channel for communication, which is wonderful fun! When you spend so much time teaching the baby things, the two of you grow closer to each other. Additionally, this experience also allows the brain to start developing quickly and makes your baby more cognizant of non-verbal signals.
So, if you ever thought of teaching your little one sign language, here are 21 easy and fun signs to learn!
1. More & More
Bring the fingertips on each hand together. Now, tap your fingertips against each other to indicate the word ‘more.’
2. Done & Finished
Show your baby your empty palms and turn them to your chest. This way s/he will know you don’t have anything left in your hands.
3. Going To Sleep
Gently move your fingers from your forehead and over your face; let them converge on your chin. While you do so, close your eyes. One day your baby will send you the sign back to show that s/he wants to sleep.
4. Take Your Medicine
Rotate your middle finger on the other palm. Let the baby know that this is medicine, for it will help the baby feel better.
5. Eat Your Food
Your baby can easily identify this sign if you pretend to put something in your mouth.
6. Drink Milk
Have you ever seen a milkman pulling a cow’s teat? Mime that action whenever you nurse or bottle-feed, and your child will soon identify it as milk.
Babies don’t like to be disturbed when parents want to change their diapers. But if the parent places his or her fists together and rotates them every time he says, “Changing time!” the babies co-operate better.
Tapping your chest with both hands is one way of asking if the baby wants your help while playing.
Pretend to wash your chest to teach your baby the sign for bathing.
10. Time For Play
Fold the three middle fingers. Let them touch your palms. Shake them back and forth to indicate that it’s time for play.
11. Banana Time
Pretend that your finger is a banana and peel it.
12. Want Water?
Hold your fingers like a ‘W’ and tap it on your lips.
13. Let’s Read
This is an easy sign to make. You just have to hold your palms like a book, and open and close them.
14. Look At That Dog
Make the sign of patting your leg to say the word ‘dog.’
15. There’s A Cat
So, if you want to make your kid understand that there’s a cat around, move your hands across your face as if it were the cat’s whiskers.
16. Say Please
Teach your baby to express politeness by rubbing their chest.
17. Thank You
Place your palm on your lips and remove it like you are sending a flying kiss.
18. Want Some Bread?
Pretend to cut a loaf into slices to show your baby the sign for bread.
Act as if you are holding a ball, then pat it.
Place your palm horizontally, and cut it half with the other palm to sign to your baby that s/he should share.
21. Want An Apple?
Twist your cheek with two fingers to signify an apple. If your baby likes the fruit, s/he will learn the sign pretty quickly.
Try teaching these signs one by one to babies, and they will surprise you by learning them rather quickly! Even if they cannot pick up one or two, it hardly matters. It’s the lovely bonding experience that you should ultimately aim for.