By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a fan of Signing Time. So you might already know that our video collection covers a huge array of topics and themes. The videos are a perfect way to learn the signs of course, but then what do you do with them? We suggest you take your signing adventure on the road.

Below is a sampling from some of our videos, with great locations to practice the signs in each. Click on the video name for a preview!

family activityVolume 6: My Favorite Things: This DVD teaches colors and some fruits and vegetables. So pack up the kids and head to your nearest farmer’s market to practice. Alternately, you can take a trip to your local grocery store. You can identify the foods you know, and if you don’t know the foods, sign the colors of the food. (Volume 12: Time to Eat also some foods you can use)

Volume 11: My Neighborhood: Pack the camera for this one. In this DVD you can explore common places in your neighborhood (post office, library, firehouse, etc.). Try to meet someone who works there and take pictures of your child at each location. Print the pictures and create a mini-book about your neighborhood, with your child as the main character. One trick I like to use is to print the pictures and then write a brief description on a mailing label, sticking it to the picture, and ultimately creating a book by placing the pictures in an inexpensive photo album. As a bonus, this is a fantastic early literacy activity and can be tweaked for countless topics.

Series Two Volume 3: Move and Groove: Take this one to the park or on a neighborhood walk. With signs like JUMP, SPIN, WALK, and RUN, your child will have a blast moving in creative ways throughout the environment. On a rainy day, you can       stay inside and play a version of “Simon Says” with these kinds of actions.

family outingSeries Two Vol. 12: Box of Crayons: This is another take-anywhere topic! Once your child learns the colors, there’s no end to the little games you can play. Children love “I Spy” type games so use it to your advantage. Start with, “I Spy, with my little eye…. Something red (or another color), and take turns guessing. A variation of this which may a bit more simple (but just as fun) would be to ask, “Can you find something (red)?” and signing the color instead of saying the word. I’ve made it through many a long shopping line or wait in a restaurant by playing little signing games with my son to keep him occupied.

As you can see, a little creative thinking and a good sense of fun can open up a huge world of engaging ways to practice signs with your child.

How about you? What signs do you find yourself practicing while out and about, and where do you use them?