signing hat
signing “hat”

Rosebud recently started watching some Baby Signing Time videos we borrowed from my brother’s family. [I will be returning them at Thanksgiving! Thank you for letting us borrow them for so long!] Rosebud LOVES them. She seldom initiates signs, but if I suggest something with a sign, she’ll usually respond with one. This has been helpful with her, because, unlike our other children, at 18 months old, she is still not speaking (except for “ma-ma” and “da-da.”)

I recently read about how Baby Signing Time was born. Rachel Coleman, the singer & song-writer who appears in the videos, has a profoundly deaf daughter. Rachel & her sister produced Baby Signing Time, in part, to help make sign language more ubiquitous.

As a mother, Coleman wants her child to be able to make friends on the playground. If people at least knew how to sign, “Hi. Friend. Play.” it would make her daughter’s day. I’ve only told a small part of their story of tragedy & triumph. It’s worth reading.

signing car
signing “car”

I also found some helpful books at the library on sign language for babies & kids. One of my favorites is Kelly Ault’s Let’s Sign: Every Baby’s Guide to Communicating with Grownups. It’s a small story book with illustrations by Leo Landry (whose work reminds me of Helen Oxenbury’s). It is very cute and covers 63 signs about mealtime, playtime & bedtime.

signing sleepy
signing “sleepy”

My other current favorite kids’ signing book is Sign Language for Kids: A Fun & Easy Guide to American Sign Language by Lora Heller. It covers about 400 words with photographs of children making the signs. The children featured are probably 9-12 years old. The book is large and colorful.

May Rachel’s daughter have lots of signing playmates.