Information About Baby Sign Language for Child Care
More and more child care centres around Australia are introducing baby sign language into their centre and beginning to experience the benefits.
Baby sign language allows children aged 0-3 years to use basic sign language to express what they want, need, their interests and their pains while they are pre-verbal.
In a child care environment where you have a mix of cultures, languages, verbal and pre-verbal children, baby sign language provides a common language and one that all children can avail of.
You can begin exposing children to sign language from day one but it is not until they are 5 to 6 months old that they will be physically able to reproduce the signs.
In a childcare environment it is more to have consistency so for this reason I would encourage all areas of the child care centre and all staff to use baby sign.
Why would you introduce baby sign language into your child care?
Research has highlighted many benefits for children which include the following:
- reduced frustration for children and carers as children are able to express what they want and need in an easily interpreted fashion.
- it provides a strong foundation for language development and vocabulary building . As you are able to communicate with your chihld at a much earlier age using sign language, you can begin adding to your childs vocabulary using baby sign language. By the time your baby goes to speak, they will have a larger vocabulary than their non signing counterpart.
- it is great for brain development and research highlighted baby signers to have a 12 pont higher I.Q. score than non signing children when tested at eight years old. Sign language involves using both hemispheres of the brain whereas verbal language only uses one hemisphere. This results in more brain synapses.
- it provides you with an insight into what intesests your baby . Baby Sign language enables children to express what they are interested in. By pointing at things, parents and carers can provide the sign for items, increasing a babys vocabulary and getting an insight into their world.
Many child care centres around Australia who have incorporated Australian Baby Hands have begun to experience some of the following benefits:
- A calmer less frustrated environment for both the childcare workers and children. As children are able to communicate their needs and wants using Australian Baby Hands, there are less temper tantrums.
- Reduced noise levels . With increased understanding between carers and children, there are less temper tantrums as children begin to use baby sign language to express their needs and wants.
- Less aggresive behaviour from children. As children use baby sign language to be hear, they no longer need to use tantrums. Staff have also noticed a significant reduction in aggressive behaviour between children with less cases biting problems.
- Accelerated development of verbal language . Children who are exposed to baby sign language seem to speak earlier and when they do start speaking, can have quite an extensive vocabulary.
- As Australia is a very multi-cultural country, childcare centre’s usually have children from numerous cultural backgrounds. As a result these children have been exposed to many different languages such as English, French, Russian, Spanish etc. By introducing baby sign language, there is one common language among all the children and this assists with integration among these different cultural groups.
- Baby sign language allows carers to allow children to understand what is about to happen next .
- Children are polite and are encouraged to use “please” and “thank you” when asking for or receiving things.
- Baby sign language has resulted in the children developing an extensive vocabulary and they are hungry to learn more.
- Children are acquiring spoken language quicker than children who had never been exposed to sign language.
- Children’s self-esteem and self-confidence have increased since introducing baby sign language into the childcare centre.
Australian Baby Hands Childcare Pack is complimented by “Sammy the Signing Bear”. Sammy is an amazing tool to use in the childcare/playgroup environment. His radiant red jumper is creatively styled so that you can help Sammy come to life. By placing your hands into Sammy’s bright yellow gloves and pulling his jumper sleeves up your arms, you can begin to animate Sammy arms and have him do baby sign just like any adult. Watch the reaction of you’re the children as Sammy comes to life and makes learning fun. Sammy is a great tool to use for story time. For further information on Sammy, visit our Sammy the Signing Bear page.
The Australian Baby Hands Childcare Pack has been incorporated into many childcare centre’s Australia-wide. To find out what childcare workers, mothers groups, playgroups and professional associations are saying about Australian Baby Hands, you can visit our Testimonials page .
Alternatively, if you are interested in incorporating baby sign language into your Childcare centre, click here to order your Australian Baby Hands Childcare Pack .