Sign Language Dictionary

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Hippopotamus in Sign Language

Learn how to sign hippopotamus – this large creature is so much fun to sign about!

1. With both hands: extend the pointer and pinky fingers. Tuck the middle and ring fingers into the palm, then tuck the thumb on top of them.  These are the hippo’s teeth.
2. Extend arms forward and touch the tips of the pinkies and the pointer fingers together. This is the hippo’s big mouth.
3. Put all together, this sign looks like a hippo is opening his big mouth to say hello! Use this visual to help your remember the sign.

Teaching Tips:

  • Games for young children that have a focus on animals are always a hit! Pretend you are going to the zoo. Assign children different animals to pretend to be and teach them the sign for each.
  • Using sand, water, and plants from the yard, create an outdoor hippopotamus habitat. Find a plastic hippo, and some other jungle creatures, to add to the space and let childhood imagination run wild.  Practice your signs as you go!

Hippopotamus. Show his teeth and his big mouth opening. Hippopotamus.