The benefits to baby sign language are innumerable—among them is the ability to build a larger vocabulary for your child early on in his or her life. Your child’s early development can speed up their comprehension and lead them to learning speech and reading. Studies have shown that by age two, children who have learned baby sign language already have a larger vocabulary than those who have not.
There has been concern that learning to sign before learning to speak can slow verbal development, but it actually has the opposite effect. A study done by the National Institute of Health found when comparing two groups of eleven-month-old children—one group who had learned baby sign language and the other only verbal training. The study showed that the signing group was more advanced verbally than the group given only verbal training. When the group was checked in on again at age two, the signers still showed superior speech.
Along with early verbal and cognitive development comes earlier reading. When your child has learned to commit signs and words to memory, it will be easier to learn reading skills. A larger vocabulary will also help reading come easier to your child as there is a larger vocabulary to build on. Your child will be able to advance in reading abilities, which will enhance education, the benefits of which are incalculable.
A larger vocabulary in speech and in reading will benefit your child greatly in their ability to learn and communicate. Effective communication skills bring more opportunity for growth and experience.
An increased vocabulary will also help children become more comfortable with speaking and expressing their thoughts. Children become more comfortable with themselves and their abilities as their vocabulary increases. Learning to communicate can be a frustrating thing as you try to relay your feelings but are unable. This is the cause for many tantrums and fights. This frustration can even affect your child’s self-confidence. But when they are more comfortable with communicating with their enlarged vocabulary and abilities, they are more likely to come out of their shell. Expressing oneself comes easier when there is more ability and experience.
Your child will have the opportunity to learn more as he or she learns earlier. A larger vocabulary opens the doors to so much more learning. Once you have a basic vocabulary under your belt, other learning can take place. Early speech and early reading mean early learning—creating a pattern that can impact your child’s whole life.
Baby sign language starts a pattern of learning early. When learning becomes a comfortable and familiar practice, your child will have an increased desire and ability to learn. Encouraging important life skills like communication and learning will boost your child’s opportunities.