What a wonderful era of information our children have the privilege of growing up in. True, it has its drawbacks, however, one benefit it does have, is that after hitting just a few keys we can quickly gain access to whatever information we desire. Why not put this to good use?
When signs are learned, they should be taught in as many varied contexts as possible. This grows your baby’s comprehension and solidifies their memories. This is easily done with animal signs. Just type the name of the animal into any popular search tool along with the key word “images” or “photos” and you’ll instantly get thousands of images of whatever it is you want. Next, try searching for videos on the same subject matter. Quickly compile these hits into a kid friendly folder in your favourites toolbar for review later. Have your baby view the images alongside you. Flip from one to another and back again doing the sign for each. Eventually, you’ll find that baby requests certain images by sign. My son’s favourite (for a time) was a collage of images set in a downward column. He’d ask to see the image of the MOON by singing it, then would want to see MONKEY. We’d switch back and forth dozens of times over weeks and he’d never bore. When he wanted to see them again, he’d come over to my desk and ask. He also came to love a video of a bullFROG and he would ask for this too. It was complete with sound, which really made the lesson that much more memorable.
You can teach this way for almost any sign – there really are no exceptions that I can think of. Try teaching WATER by finding images of lakes and then videos of rivers. Next, find images or video of salmon jumping upstream and teach FISH and also WATER. You can go on for days like this! For this reason, I highly recommend that you listen to your baby and discover what it is they are interested in and focus on these.
If you worry that baby will go on end about these, don’t worry, they eventually do move onto the next thing. Trust me!