Friday, May 05, 2006

WAPL 2006: Baby Sign Language

From "more," "milk" and "eat," to "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," presenter Vicki Patterson gave youth services librarians a head start on using ASL (the 3rd most used language in the US) to communicate with toddlers and babies. She recommended ASL instead of Baby Sign because more schools use ASL, and children raised on Baby Sign have the disadvantage of having to re-learn their signs. Here are some tips she shared:

  • The easier the book, the better - a picture dictionary is too much info.
  • Try flannel boards to make signing at storytime easier.
  • Touchy-feely flash cards with pictures of real things are better than flash cards with pictures of toys. B&N and Target have good ones.
  • For older kids, the Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer pop-up book is a cute one.
  • Signs for Me by Ben Bahan and Joe Dannis
  • It's OK to use your dominant hand to sign
  • Signing Time videos are even better than Baby Einstein. Greg & Steve are also good.
  • Some signs can bite you in the butt :) - especially "share" and "more"
  • Toddler Favorites is a good CD.
Vicki led the audience in several sign-alongs, including "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and more. A good time was had by all.

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