Babies

Signing Activities For Babies & Toddlers (6 months – 3 years)

Here are a variety of activities for you to try with babies and toddlers to encourage the use of sign language in everyday life. Submitted by Signing Time fans from all over the world, they show how easy it is to get in your “signing time” every day!

Got your own ideas, songs, games, or activities to share with us? Send an email to info@signingtime.com. Be sure to include your first and last name. All submissions become property of Two Little Hands Productions.

Bubbles…Bubbles…And More Bubbles!!!
Submitted by K. Stein

I love pulling out the bubbles to promote signing. To begin, I show my children the bubbles and they instantly sign ‘bubbles please.” Then, after we start blowing, out comes the “more” sign. It is also the perfect opportunity for reinforcing signs like “up,” “down,” “many and any object the bubbles land on (dog, flower, grass, and shoe). We often sing songs about the bubbles that we make up as we go along. We also use the signs “jump” and “catch” to see if we can jump up and catch the high bubbles. When it’s time to put the bubbles away, we sadly sign “finished.” This is the perfect activity for busy moms because you don’t need a lot of materials. It is also a great way to gather little ones to a “circle time activity” in a preschool environment.

Just Another One of Those Rainy Days: (practice Wet/Dry)
Submitted by T. Linton

One day when it was lightly raining, I played the portion of Volume 3: Everyday Signs where the kids are talking about “Wet” and “Dry”. As the ‘Rainy Day’ song was playing, we went outside, stepped out from under the patio and signed “Wet!”, then back where under the porch where it was dry, and signed “Dry!” My two year old loved it. He still to this day signs and says “Wet!” whenever it’s raining and begs to go play outside.

Just Playin’ And Learnin’
Submitted by B. Levatau

You will need as many objects that you will be signing. For example, Ball, Train, Doll, etc… What I like to do with my son is get as many objects together of the signs we’ve learned and just let him play…when he picks up an object we go over the sign. For example, if he picks up the ball, then I’ll sign “ball” and then I’ll incorporate some other signs such as, “play” or “your turn”, “my turn”….

In Case of ‘Emergency,’ Just Sing
Submitted by L. Lashway

When we are out doing errands or in public and it is important for Jake to smile or not cry, I sing to him “I have got some magic words, I keep them by my side…” He grins to no end, and pays attention. When all else fails in a temper tantrum, just take a deep breath and at the top of your lungs (even at Costco!) sing the Theme Song…”It’s Signing Time with Alex and Leah…” One lady who was deaf saw me perform this in the aisle at Costco and asked me if I could help her – she wanted to know where white and dark meats were found on a chicken. Thank goodness the chicken sign is easy because I’m a beginner… It must have been funny to watch this scene – me with my only ASL knowledge so far coming from the Signing Time DVDs, and her with her two kids and ASL-only vocabulary! What I’d give to have that on film!

Alphabet…Cures The Crankies
Submitted by A. Anderson

This is the most sure-fire way to calm a cranky or upset baby. When ever our daughter Evelyne was upset or began that tired cry before sleep – or fussing while we were out somewhere or changing her pants, we would start signing and singing the alphabet. It would instantly calm her down and the motion of our hands would distract her enough to get past those crankies. Now at age one – WHENEVER she hears the ABC’s she begins ‘signing’ it – it is so amazing to see.

Look Who’s Signing
Submitted by L. Lashway

To advance his language skills and reinforce the meaning of a sign, We take short movies (.avi) of Jake doing a sign, and play it for him. For example, film him signing ball, use the Signing Time DVD sign review feature to show him the sign for ball, then play ball with him and sign ball ourselves. He really likes to see himself signing and the kids in Signing Time doing the same thing.

Using Household Items To Teach!
Submitted by L. Rodgers

I watch the DVDs with my 7 month old daughter and show her items (props you want to use) as they come up in the DVD and sign along. I think the look and excitement on her face makes it the best for me and it helps her associate the items in the DVD with things around the house.

Take Rachel With You
Submitted by L. Lashway

When your 10 mo. old has to spend a week in a hotel room, he can get pretty bored. I put the Signing Time Music CD on my iPod and played it for him over the cheesy FM radio in the hotel. He thought Rachel was going to come out of the radio and would not take his eyes off it.

Show Me A Sign

This is an activity that we at Two Little Hands Productions love to use when we get invited to local libraries to to Sign Language Story Time.

As you tell stories and read books to your child, look for words that correspond to signs you know. Say and sign the word(s) each time. Many ‘Babies First Words’ –type books have pictures that correspond to the basic signs in My First Signs (Vol 1). They are great for practice.

More examples:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: sign Mom, Dad, Baby, Bear, Hot, Cold, Sleep…

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin: sign brown, bear, red, bird, yellow, blue, green, frog, purple, cat, white, dog, black, fish…

As you do this, make note of the signs you haven’t yet learned from Signing Time so you can know what you need to expand your ASL vocabulary.

Good Sharing! (Practice Your Magic Words)
Submitted by T. Linton

Volume 2: Playtime Signs talks about taking turns with the “Magic Words” song. We get out one of the kids favorite toys and the two of them take turns. I tried to get them to use their signs while learning to share. This was somewhat difficult at first, but over time the kids started to enjoy the communication part enough that the sharing wasn’t as difficult.

Got your own ideas, songs, games, or activities to share with us? Send an email to info@signingtime.com. Be sure to include your first and last name. All submissions become property of Two Little Hands Productions.