You guys know I am a big baby sign language aficcionada. It started because I found out how good it was for little ones to be able to express themselves as soon as they are able to (which is way before they are able to form ‘words’) – it is proven to improve children’s IQs (statistically speaking) even measured years after signing has stopped. In the short-term it reduces toddler frustration and tantrums by, conversely, empowering them to communicate the things they love and ask for what they want.
That is how it started, because it was a ‘good thing to do’… I continued ‘cos I found myself having sooo much fun with it. I am a full-time mom. This is what I do and I really enjoyed getting into the challenge and the to-and-fro of learning sign language with my little girl. Now she has well over 100 signs and we can have little conversations. But the new development is this, today (at just shy of 15 months) she signed her first three-word ‘sentence’. Cognitively that is a huge landmark (which usually doesn’t come for non-singing babies until they are at least 18 months old and often older).
Two word sentences of Anya’s (often combining signs and ‘words’) include, among others:
- More Music
- Bird (in) Tree
- Where’s Dada?
- Mama (has a) Hat
- Milk, Please!
Now her three word sentence was:
- Doggy Outside Walking
How cool is that? We were at the dog park and she obviously thought she’d describe the scene.
She is still relying mostly on signs but a) let me remind you sign language is a real language and b) more importantly, she is communicating and getting her ideas, priorities, needs and wants across. And we get a real window of insight into the young toddler’s mind and just how very much she is grasping all the time.
Meanwhile she does have a few spoken words and her repertoire is slowly increasing. But, as you all know, by far my favourite word right now is: Mama!