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Welcome to Baby Signing the fun way!

We hope you and your baby have enjoyed your first Sing and Sign class! As you have just seen, we
teachoursi gnsthroughthesongsandwehopey ouhav eal r
eadyl ear nedsomeusef ul“ fi
try at home! These weekly handouts will serve as a reminder of some of the ideas expressed in

What do you do when you get home?
Youhav ejustusedsomesi gnsf or“ eat”and“ dr ink”i ncl ass.Asast
ngpoi ntathome,choos ea
mealtime when you and your baby are both relaxed. As you put down the bowl or offer the spoon you
cansi gn“Timet oeat now” .Remember to always say the word as you sign it. It is as simple as
that! Remember the more you use a certain sign, the more likely your baby will start to recognise it in
context and anticipate what is about to happen. Get in the habit and aim to adopt these signs as a
natural and habitual part of daily routines. Repetition is the key!

Eat, Drink and Milk are good to start with, but you can use some other signs too
 More is an ideal first sign, babies always want more of something! When you think your baby
wants another biscuit, another song or another game of peek-a-boo,si gn( andsay )“ Woul d
you like some more?”
 All gone, (or finished) is a versatile sign to use many times throughout the day. When a TV
programme ends, when a plate is empty (or your baby has had enough), when a game is over,
when a visitor leaves the house etc. All gone is often one of the first signs to be initiated by

e” “

Iwants omemore, I want some more,
Please, please I want more
Itsall gone, i
’ tsall gone

Finished, finished i t
’sall gone!

The Sing and Sign Guidelines—Fol
low t

 Begin with basics such as eat, drink, milk, more and all gone (finished),

 Fol l
ow yourbaby’ sl ead.From 9 months onwards, watch to see what interests your baby.
Introduce signs for those words your baby might WANT to say

 Always say the word as you sign. Never sign in silence.

 Speak slowly but in a natural way, maintaining eye contact if possible.

 Keep it simple, use just one sign per sentence when speaking with your baby. (Signing fuller
sentences is fine in songs).

 Happily accept any signing attempts by your baby, even approximate imitations of the signs
you show........

 ....but you must be consistent in how you show a sign, however your baby adapts it.

 Av oidt r
yingtogety ourbabyt o“ perf
orm”si gnsforrelativesorf ri

 Be patient and relaxed about baby signing.

 Praise, praise, praise! 1

Body Language

We are not encouraging you to be negative with your babies, quite the opposite, however there will
meswhena“ Don’ tt
ouch”( f
orinstance)i sappr opr i

This sign illustrates perfectly the expressiveness of a simple gesture. A very clear meaning is present
inthebodyl anguageoft hi ssi gn.The“ No”si gncov er sawhol er angeofwor dsandc anhel py our
baby ’
sgr owi ngunder standi ngofev erydayl anguagesuc hasdon’ t; must
nothing; no more ... the list could go on and on, but the sign is the same and is very simple. Get in
the habit of using it you will find the sign does the shouting for you!


“Don’t wipe your nose on the sofa !
t shut your fingers in the door,
You s
t, you mustn’
t , you can’
t touch that and
Don’t eatt hatbiscui tofft hefl oor! ”

Your baby will benefit from seeing these gestures used regularly
Parents who have enjoyed baby signing always remember the thrill and excitement of seeing their
baby ’sfir
stsi gn,butSi ngandSi gnemphasi sest hatsomeoft hemostsi gnifi
cantbenef i
signing are achieved long before your baby uses his/her own signs. The advantages for your baby
begin as soon as parents get into the habit of using a few of these simple gestures consistently. Ba-
bies learn to understand words we say by their constant repetition. By signing the important words,
you show your baby which to latch on to. Baby signing offers gentle and repetitious input which
spar ksconnect ionsofunder st
andi ngandr ecogni ti
oni ny ourbaby ’
sdev elopingbr ainatav eryear ly
stage. Remember :
 ay oungbaby ’
sunder standingi sbasi cal l
yst i
llataone-word level;
 you use a sign to highlight the most important key word of a sentence;
 When you use a sign you are inclined to speak more slowly;
 This helps your baby absorb more language and understand more and more!

The most rewarding time for you the parent, comes of course when your baby starts to use these
gnstoo,butdon’ tbei mpat i
ent .Thisearlyst ageiswonder fulforyourbaby ,maket hemostofi t! 2

Fun and games with Jessie Cat

Baby signing is wonderful fun for all the family. Older siblings love it. They often master signs quickly
andador et his“ special
”communi cat ionwi tht heirli
ebr otherors ist er
.Af unwayt oi ntroduc eot her
amilymember stoy ourbaby ’
ssi gni ngi sthroughpl ay i
ngsi mpl ehi di nggameswi t
hc uddl ytoys.Us e
he“Where?”si gnandofc ourset he“mor e?”si gni fyourbabyi senj oy i

Inour“ Peek -a-Boo”sect i
oneac hweekwehi deJes si
eCat .Babi esatcl assgr ow t oloveJes sieand
look forward to seeing her, she is so popular she now has her own exclusive club! Your teacher can
tell you more about that.

e?” “

Where, oh where, oh where is Jessie?

Where, oh where, oh where is Jessie?
Where, oh where, oh where is Jessie?
Where has Jessie gone?”

ncl udi
ngsi gnlanguagei nt hecommuni cat
ionmi xcanel i
mi natethefrustrat
ionbot hpar entandchi l
often experience as they attempt to comprehend each other. It fosters pleasant discourse, clarifies
meaning and creates better understanding between them. With the keener understanding, there also
comes an authentic grasp of content. Sign does not hinder language development in any way; rather
tf ostersit
.Itpicksupont henat uralvi sualacuityy oungchi l
drenpos sessandusesi ttot hechi ld’s
adv antage.”(Takenf r
om “ Dancingwi thWor ds,Signi ngforHear i
ngChi ldren’sLiteracy ”byMar ilyn
Daniels PhD Associate Professor of Speech Communication, Pennsylvania State University)

Aside from the obvious benefits of pleasurable and successful communication between parent and
d,resear chisshowi ngsi gningact uallyencour agest
hedev el
opmentofababy ’
sspeec h.(Tor ead
more about what the experts say, visit our website )

Boo! 3

Let’s go out!

Going out
Going out with Mummy or Daddy is major event for a baby and we recommend showing signs for the
placesy ouv i
sitregul arlyandal sousi ngasi gnwheni ti
stimet ogo“ home”.Homei sapar t
mpor tantsignasi ti
ss uc hani ceplac etobe!Labely ourbaby ’
swor l
di nthi
swayandy ouc anshare
a lovely conversation at bedtime about what you have done together and where you have been.

TheSi ngandSignprogr
ammeus essi
edont hevocabul
wor l

Babysi gningisreal lyv eryeasy !Itisn’tnecess ar
yt olear nawhol edictionar yofsi gnlanguage,t he
keytoi nspir
ingy ourbaby ’ssigningist ousej ustaf ew gest uresforthet hingsy ourbabyi smosti n-
estedi n.SingandSi gnsongsar eal laboutababy ’sf ami l
arroutinesl i
kebat htime,bedt imeand
mealtime or about fun things such as animals and vehicles. These are the things babies like to talk

” “


Andnowwe’ r

low yourbaby’
Each baby has different interests and while one points to and is excited by anything with wheels, an-
other may be fascinated by the family cat or the swings in the park. You know your child, and only
you know what other signs will be motivating. As your baby points to something of interest, then
looks back to you, show the relevant signs. By enjoying Sing and Sign songs as the course pro-
gresses you will learn many of the signs your baby may show a keenness for. If there are any other
words you would like to know a sign for, ask your teacher. 4

Bath time

Nappy change and bath time .... sing along!
Even if you think your singing is not up to scratch, your baby will love to hear it! This week you have
heard two fun songs for some very important daily routines.

sh!”Babies love to splash along in the bath with this one and especially
seem t
ngtheaccompany i
ngspl ashi ng,giggli
ngandbat htimenoi sesont he“ Timet
oSi ng
gnsforduck, boat and fish are popular early signs for many babies.

“ChangeYourNappy”Some babies love to stare up at Mummy or Daddy and enjoy this song while
on the changing mat. Others hear the opening bars of the song as their cue to scramble away as fast
as they can!

)” “

”Change your nappy, change your nappy,
Carefully, carefully
Throw it in the dustbin, throw it in the dustbin,
Nowyou’ reclean, nice and clean! ”

Signing comes quicker for some babies than others, just as speech does. Babies are all gloriously
different in the speed and nature of various aspects of their development but you can be certain that
in using some keyword signs with your speech you are giving your baby a head start in communica-
tion (see page 2 of your handouts). If you are consistent in using the signs you have chosen, your
baby will be noticing, listening and learning gradually by your example while taking great strides in
comprehension and vocabulary. You will see some signs when your baby is ready and has some-
thing to say!
Parents who have come to Sing and Sign tell some amazing and often amusing stories of the mo-
ment their baby first used a sign. Some are textbook examples signing milk quite early and soon
moving on to asking for more. Others chose animals first, duck seems to be a popular first favourite
for many babies.

“Summerdi dherfi rstsignonemor ni
ngoverbr eakfast .Shekeptput ti
ngherfi ngerinherear .
I thought she had an earache. Then she did it again and pointed to the window and did a bird
sign, she was telling me she could hear the birds outside. We were both very excited that we
understood each other. It was a very emotional moment for me as Summer was only 10 months
old.”(Lisa) 5

How does your baby feel?

How does your baby feel?
A new group of signs to try this week. When your baby is angry, sad, tired or frightened try show-
ing sympathy and understanding by labeling such feelings with signs. This can be comforting. Tod-
dlers who have become used to seeing the angry sign often will use it themselves to channel their
frustration. The range of signs for emotions are valuable because they encourage you to give your
baby labels for those feelings beyond their control. This can help them to cope and feel understood.

” “

reangry and you know it stamp your feet!
reangry and you know it stamp your feet!
Ifyou’ reangry and you know it
and you really want to show it
reangry andyouknowi ts tampyourfeet”

Keep it simple
The more signs you learn, the more tempted you may be to use more than you need! But the magic
of baby signing lies in its simplicity. Although you can use as many interesting signs as you like with
your baby, just remember to use only one in each sentence.

Forinstancei fwanti
ngt odraw y ourbaby ’
sat t
entiontoabi r
di nthegar deny oujustspeaknor mal l
sayingandsi gning“ Lookupt here,s eet hepr ett
ybird in the tree! Do you see the bird?”Although
you may already have used the signs for up and tree and pretty with your baby on other occasions,
we recommend the most simple keyword approach. Just one sign per sentence.

When signing along to action songs this rule need not apply. In the Sing and Sign programme we
often use more than one sign in each phrase of a song. This is because we aim to show you as
many signs as we can in our sessions and to give you practice in fluency and co-ordination! So while
you learn signs from our songs, your baby will learn from you gradually and naturally in your every-
day exchanges.

houghy oumayknow manysignsbynow,don’
hem whent
your baby! Keep it simple. 6

Oh dear, did you hurt yourself?


Tyingi nwi
thl astweek’ srangeof“ f
eelings”signs,trysi gni ngpain whenever your baby bumps or
hurts themselves this week. Many babies respond very well to this sign and use it appropriately.

n” “

dthebabyasshefelldownont hefl oor
dthebabyasshebumpedintot hedoor .
“ dthebaby,s
hecriedandshes ai
d“ Oww!”
sswentt hemummyass hesai
d“Allbetter now!”

The early signs your baby produces may be only rough approximations of the ones you have shown.
For example, a baby may use the sign for more by tapping one hand on the back of the other or
even on the forearm. Some even just clap their hands together or attempt some other variation. This
st obeex pectedandi sc ompletelynormal .Theac curacyofababy ’shandshapeswhensi gningi s
not at all important, it is the message that counts! If you think you have seen a sign used in context
henpr aisey ourbabybyr epeat
ingthewor di nquest i
onwhi l
emodel i
ngt hesigncor rect
ly.Don’ tbe
empt edt oadapty ourv er sionofthesignt omat chy ourbaby ’s.Yous houldbe consistent and your
baby will refine his or her signs to match your own over time.

Sometimes a baby will use only that first sign for a while, sometimes in context, sometimes to com-
municate about everything! You may be thrilled your baby has pointed out the ducks in the park with
a duck sign, then the next day you find he uses the same sign when he sees a cat! You might find
sper pl
exingbuti ti
sacommonphenomenonandf ol
lowsex actl
ythesamepat ternasababy ’sf ir
spoken words. Your baby has made a tremendous breakthrough in realising that he or she can be
understood and now can begin to refine his or her attempts to get messages across. This all falls into
placesoonenoughandt henpar entsof t
enseean“ expl
osi on”oftheirbaby ’ssigni ng. 7

Would you like some help?

Some parents have had great success with the help sign and open is particularly useful. As
well as being easy for babies to do, open is the kind of gesture that encourages communica-
tion because the result is instant and (in the case of a yoghurt pot or toy box) often rewarding!

Open” “

Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap.

Open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap.
Mummy help me, Daddy help me, I am in a muddle
Mummy help me, Daddy help me,nowIneedacuddl e. ”

If my baby learns signs will he still learn to talk?
Yes, of course he will! Signs are never used instead of words and your baby will be greatly
encouraged to communicate verbally, not in any way discouraged. Baby signing is not a re-
placement for talking to your baby, in practice it encourages you to talk more! The use of ges-
ture is a natural form of early communication and doesn't get in the way of learning to talk,
other than to give it a boost!
“By e-bye”i sof tenamongt heearliestwor dsbabi essay .Thinkabouthow weal lenc our age
babies to wave "goodbye", recognising they will enjoy this and that it helps to make them
aware of an important concept . There seem to be four typical stages :

1. Your baby will first start to recognise and enjoy Mummy and Daddy waving goodbye
2. Then start to imitate you when you wave (probably to great applause and family excite-
3. Soon start to wave spontaneously as you get ready to leave (this is when we would say
the baby is 'signing')
4. Eventually say the words "bye-bye!" while waving.

The waving has actually encouraged this baby to say the word because of the positive feed-
back and enjoyment of the sign. It is the same principle with other words and other signs! 8

Time for bed

Reading a book together
Some of the best opportunities to enjoy signing with your baby come when you look at a book
together. Many books for babies show everyday objects, animals, vehicles.... lots to talk about. It
is not an ideal way for your baby to learn new signs, as you are both looking at the pages rather
than each other, but when your baby already knows and uses a few signs you can both enjoy
nami ngwhaty ouseewi t
ht hesi gnsy ouk now.Fr om y ourbaby ’
spoi ntofv iew,book sbec ome
more of a shared experience as rather than always being read to,heors hecan“ read”s ome
pagest oy ou!(Don’ tputanypr ess ureony ourbabyt osi gnwor dsjustbecaus ey ouknow heor
she can, there will undoubtedly be times when your baby will want you to do all the work!)

Bed” “

Lullaby,Lul laby,goingupstairs to bed now.
Change your nappy, brush your teeth, read a story book or two.
We’vehadfunal ldayl ong,nowwemus ts ay“Goodnight”
One more little kiss,thenwe’l
ltur nofft helight.

If your baby attends a Nursery
Most nurseries will have at least one member of staff who will be familiar with many of the ges-
tures we use at Sing and Sign. Tell the Nursery Leader what you are doing with your baby and
explain that the signs are largely compatible with Makaton and similar systems. She is likely to be
very interested. You can print out some favourite signs from our website for the nursery, to ensure
yourbaby ’
senj oy menti ns uc cessfulcommuni cationcont inuesev enwheny ouar enott her e.

Manynur ser ychai nsar enow adopt i
ngsomesi mpl
esi gnsasapar toftheday ’
sr egularroutines.
This helps the children anticipate what will happen next, understand boundaries, and helps pro-
mote a calm atmosphere. Sing and Sign offers a Nursery Workshop Programme and if your nurs-
ery would like to know more about how baby signing can help in childcare, please tell them to
contact your Sing and Sign teacher or visit our website.

Nearly the End of Term
We really hope you have enjoyed this term of Level One and that you are coming back for
more after the holiday break! Next term will be very beneficial in consolidating what you have
ear ned.Youwi llfindy ounot i
cemanymor esi gnst hatper hapsy ouhadn’ tthoughtus efulbe-
ore!Asy ourbaby ’
sdesi retocommunicategr owsandsi gni ngr eall
ytakesahol dy ouwi l
putting it more into practice!

A second term for a baby is especially good fun as he or she will be more mature, more aware,
more sociable and more excited about Jessie Cat, the instruments, the structure of class and
the other babies. 9

Who do you love?

Byhav ingsi gnsf orthenamesoff avour it
endsandr elati
vesy ouc anenr ichy ourbaby ’sex-
citement and anticipation at seeing them. You could simply choose gestures that indicate per-
sonal characteristics such as glasses or a beard, or long hair. One parent gestured for her
baby ’
sbr otherandsi sterwi t
ht hesignsf or“cl
ever”and“ beaut i
,v eryi nv ent ive!
If you are struggling to invent a gesture you could use the sign for an initial letter (the alphabet
is printed in our vocabulary book). Your baby will not quite have the fine motor control to form
some letter shapes accurately but this does not matter! Be accurate yourself and let your baby

Itisani cei deat omakeupy ourbaby ’sownf riendsandf ami l
ypi cturebook.( Thisc oul
from snaps put aside as not quite good enough for your official family photo album.) A simple
slip-i bum ofy ourbaby ’
sowncanbecomeapr eciousr esour ceandmak esl ov
reading with plenty of opportunity to talk about loved ones and reinforce the signs.

Grandma” “

”More to drink, more to eat
One more biscuit, one more sweet.
More tickles for tiny feet,
More cuddles for Grandma. ”

Child minders and grandparents
Ifyourbabyspendssomet imei nt hec ar eofot herswhodonotusesi gnswi thhim,don’ tlet
that give you an excuse to be inconsistent yourself! You are still probably spending more than
enough time with your baby to make baby signing worthwhile. Morning and evening routines, a
mealtime or bath time all offer ideal opportunities to reinforce signs and can make your time
together even more special. If whoever is looking after your child (a child minder or grandpar-
ent) is happy to be consistent in using a few signs too then that is wonderful. You can create a
pageort woofy ourbaby ’
sfav ouri
tesi gnsf r
om ourwebsi t
ef ort hem tor ef
ert oandl endt hem
the Sing and Sign video to show them how easy it is to do.

What did you think?
Please take the time to fill in our questionnaire which is attached. Your thoughts will really help
us maintain the high quality we know you expect. Thank you! 10

What did you think?
Please do take the time to fill in this questionnaire, your thoughts will really help us!
You can return this form to your teacher, or send direct to :
Sing and Sign Ltd, Unit 136, 91 Western Rd, Brighton BN1 2NW. Thank you!

’sname…………………………………… Date…………………………………….

Venue/Hall …………………………………………….
. Town …………………………………….

How did you hear about Sing and Sign? ……………………….

How long have you been attending? Is this your .. 1st term 2nd term 3rd term 4th term

Would you recommend Sing and Sign to a friend? Don’
tKnow No Yes

Are you happy the course has taught you adequately how to sign with your baby?
Don’ tKnow No Yes

Did you enjoy the course? No Yes

Did your baby enjoy the course? No Yes

How did you find your venue facilities?
Poor Adequate Good Very Good

Howwoul dyour
Friendliness Poor Adequate Good Very Good

Musical presentation Poor Adequate Good Very Good

Command of the class Poor Adequate Good Very Good

Have you bought any of the following Sing and Sign products from your teacher?
Not aware this
Yes No, not yet product was available

DVD Stage 1   
DVD Stage 2   
Vocabulary book   
Audio CDs   
Membership option   

Any other comments about your teacher or about the Sing and Sign programme?
(Please continue overleaf if necessary) 11

Animals, animals, animals!

Animals are often the best signs of all!
You may wonder why we use so many animal signs, after all your baby is unlikely to have an
urgent need to tell you they have just seen a lion in the high street. Think again! Animal pic-
tures,t oysandr eferenc esmakeupamaj orpar tofasmal lbaby ’swor l
d.Fr om t hemonkeypi c-
ture on his vest to the elephants on his curtains and his favourite book of Spot the Dog, animals
are everywhere! Even more exciting is that your baby loves to talk about them. Ask any parent
of a signing baby what the favourite signs are and animals of all shapes and sizes will feature
Animal and vehicle signs are great fun and also offer opportunity to encourage your baby to
play around with the sounds which are the building blocks of future speech. You may not be
keen to call a sheep a“ BaaBaa”ort ocal laaeroplane a“ Neeowww” ,butsoundssuc has
these are wonderful practice for those little mouths in getting around the speech sounds they
will soon be using.
So have fun with it!

Snake” “

”Hickor y,Di ckory,Dock
The tiger, the snake and the croc!”

Babies are different and there is a wide variation in how each baby develops his/her speech
and language skills. There is little to be gained by comparing your child with others. However
cer t
ainmi lestonesar et ypical.Ify ouar econcer nedaboutanyaspectofy ourbaby ’
scommuni -
cation, your Health Visitor or doctor can refer your child to a speech and language therapist for
advice. You can make this referral yourself if necessary. (Details of your local speech and lan-
guage therapy service can be found through the telephone directory, your GP or the library.) If
indeed your child does have a developmental speech and language difficulty, you will have
helped a great deal by introducing some signing. Simple signing is often the first recommenda-
tion made by speech and language therapists for speech delayed children. 12

Let’s recap

My baby recognises lots of signs and responds to them, but
ldoesn’ tuseany! !
This is not unusual! Consistency at home is usually the key but some babies are just later to
communicate than others. If you feel impatient that your baby has not yet returned the signs
youhav ebeenusi ng,don’ twor ryandr emembert hatthej ourneytowar dsspeec hi snota
race.Putnopr ess
ur eony ourselforony ourbaby .Yourbaby ’sdesiret oc ommuni c atewi th
you will be strong and your patience will be rewarded. The joy and excitement of your
baby ’sfir
stsi gnswi llmakei tal
lwor t

“Icamet oSi ngandSi gnclassesforat erm wi thmyl ittlegi rl,Vegasbefore
she used any signs. It seemed to me every baby there was doing it but her. It
was funny how it finally happened. She had never tasted ice cream before in
her life... then her dad gave her some to try. She immediately signed for more.
She obviously just needed to feel passionate about something! Her vocabulary
soaredaft erthat,ithasbeenamazi ng.
”( Lucy)

Don’ tforget,al t
houghy oumayt hi
nki tver
yusef ulfory ourbabyt otellyoushei shungr y ,or
thirsty or that she needs her nappy changed, there is a good chance you are an attentive
parent and your baby never needs or wants to communicate these things! Fun signs are the
key! Light and hot, pictured below are two of the most popular and surprising first signs
babies commonly use!

” “

What does your baby like to talk about?

See you next term! 13