My baby looks quizzically at me, “Babagagadadamama…da.”
Yes, well, fascinating. Perhaps you want a hug? or this toy?
More emphatically, daddy finger daddy finger where are you lyrics, “BABAGAGAdadamama….da.”
You make a good point kiddo, unfortunately I do not know what it is. Are you wet? You just ate, so you aren’t hungry.
Now she is starting to get frustrated: “BABAGAGA WAHHH WAHHH.”
What does she want? Wouldn’t it be great if she could just tell me? This exactly the sort of scenario that creates the market for baby signing DVDs. These companies want parents to know that baby can communicate through sign language before he or she is ready for complex speech.
And what do you know? They are right! I’ve personally seen dozens of babies, just a month or two older than mine, signing to express themselves. Having seen baby signs in action, my next question was whether or not teaching my baby to sign would benefit our family.
According to the latest research signing seems to actually accelerate and enhance speaking and learning! Not only that, but signing has been known to head off toddler tantrums. Because your tot can tell you what he wants, he doesn’t need to throw a fit. That alone is worth it.
Not having any prior signing experience, I wanted a DVD to supplement our learning. We tested all of the likely contenders: Baby Signing Time, Baby Einstein – My First Signs, My Baby Can Talk – First Signs, Baby See N Sign Vol 1.
Overall, I was impressed by the quality of these videos. My baby was mesmerized by all of these, except Baby See N Sign. Our favorite was Baby Signing Time.
Baby Signing Time
Baby’s reaction: giggling, waving, attempting to clap and comically missing the other hand, smiling and laughing when I make the signs.
My reaction: To be upfront, Rachel Coleman is perkier than Daddy’s coffee, but babies seem to like that stuff. Her signing is the clearest of any of the video hosts we watched and she uses a special technique, wrapping her fingers in colored tape, to make them even clearer.
I like that the vast majority of the video is adults, children, and babies interacting. There are also cartoon shorts sprinkled throughout. In thematic sections, signs are introduced, demonstrated, illustrated, repeated, and then eventually combined.
Coleman’s original songs give this video an edge–the perfect audio and visual learning experience for parents and babies who are signing beginners. And, if you enjoy Baby Signing Time 1, there is a volume 2, an entire series for children, and plenty of other written materials, CDs, and more.
Coleman’s story is incredibly compelling; I recommend visiting the website even just to read about her and her family! Signing Time is so confident in their product, they offer free sample clips on their website. Their website is also a great resource with forums, crafts, and activity guides.
Just the Facts: