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How I Taught My Toddler Sign Language

My Godson, now 4, went to day care pretty regularly when he was younger. While he was there, he learned a little bit of Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL). I thought it was the most adorable thing on the planet! When I found out I was pregnant, I told EVERYONE that I was going to teach my baby ASL too.

I kept slacking off on actually teaching her because I thought she was too young to really pick up on it. Boy was I wrong! Around 9-10 months is when I finally started. I started for purely selfish reasons. I wanted her to be able to tell me what she wanted instead of just screaming at me.

One night, Myla and I were playing on the kitchen floor. I know this sounds weird, but its our usual hang out spot. I had just prepped a ton of food and decided to give it a shot. I pretty much trained her just like you would a dog. That sounds horrible, but it worked! Grapes are one of her favorite foods so I used those as the “treats”. I gave her a grape. I said, “More?”, did the sign, and gave her another grape. After that I said, “More?” and used her hands to make the sign, then gave her another grape. I did this for a couple minutes, and then ONLY gave her another grape when she at least attempted to make the sign. Not even 10 minutes later, she was doing the sign all on her own consistently! GO MYLA! GO MOMMY!

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“More”

She learned her first sign in 10 minutes. It could not have been any easier and she was having fun too! I started teaching her other signs too. She now knows; “please”, “thank you”, “more”, “all done”, “hungry”. I think starting with food related signs are the easiest and most beneficial ones to start with. We use them daily, and it helps my husband and I understand what she really wants when she screams at us. ha ha

“All Done”

“All Done” and “More” are the two signs that she uses the most. She has learned to use them in other ways than just food related. She will use “more” for more toys, for us to keep playing with her, or just if she’s really excited about a game we are playing. Really anything she wants to keep doing! “All done” is my favorite one. Its the funniest thing to watch her use that sign EVERYWHERE! If she’s done eating, done playing, etc etc etc. She will pull on my pant leg and sign “all done” at me when I am doing chores or prepping food and she would rather me be playing. ha ha its so cute.

“Thank You!” – This one is cute because it looks like she’s blowing kisses!

I couldn’t resist showing her how to say, “please” and “thank you” too! Before teaching your child, make sure you look up how to actually do the signs, Myla doesn’t do them even remotely right!  But its so cute I don’t mind!  Her “thank you” looks more like blowing kisses and her “please” looks like she’s dancing. ha ha  I can’t handle it!

“Please!?”

Teaching Myla these signs was easy and super worth it! I can’t decide what I want to teach her next.  Any suggestions?  Has anyone else taught their children ASL?  Was it a breeze for you like it was for us?!

 

Enjoy! -Jess

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