How Learning Sign Language Benefits your Baby
At Over the Moon, you will see us instructors pairing our speech with sign language during our classes. We also offer a Sign Language class for babies and their caregivers. Many people think of sign language only as an alternative method of communication for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or nonverbal. But it is actually quite beneficial to teach typically developing babies sign language as well! Read on to learn three reasons why learning sign language can be enriching for all babies and their caregivers.
1. Sign language boosts speech and language development.
We often hear the concern that teaching babies sign language will slow down speech development. Actually the opposite is true! When babies learn a spoken language (like English) paired with some sign language, they are using both sides of their brain while learning new words. The more pathways we create when learning, the more places in our brain we are establishing to retrieve the word later. In other words, using both sides of the brain makes for stronger memory and recall! Evidence shows that learning sign can boost IQ, accelerate emotional development, strengthen fine motor skills and hand eye coordination and help with early literacy skills.
2. Sign language can reduce frustration for our kiddos.
When we teach our babies basic signs we are giving them a way to communicate their needs months before they are able to express themselves through speech. A baby can sign for ‘milk’ as early as 8 months but may not be able to say the word milk until several months later. While other babies rely on crying to communicate that they are hurt, hungry, or thirsty, babies who learn sign can tell their caregivers what they want while also boosting their language skills!
3. Quality Bonding Time
Sign language classes provide a great outlet for babies to bond with their caregivers. Over the Moon’s sign language classes offer a knowledgeable instructor, fun curriculum and a community of caregivers all eager to learn sign and to connect with their babies. It is a wonderful place to create precious memories, and this sweet time can be invaluable for babies and the ones who love them.