by: Mimi Brian Vance, Words by the Handful Instructor
Words by the Handful offers baby sign language classes in Houston for people living in the greater Houston area. We teach parents, caretakers and babies how to communicate with each other using American Sign Language at The Motherhood Center – our home for the past four years.
You’ve heard about baby sign language and want to sign with your child, but you don’t know where to start. Mom (or Dad, grandparent, nanny…) and Baby sign language classes offer instruction and explanation, while at the same time providing some social time for the little ones. It’s a good opportunity for babies and toddlers to interact with their age-mates. Just as important – it gives parents a chance to visit with other adults who are in the same baby-boat.
Words by the Handful baby sign language classes are structured to introduce signing as a concept, and build up the kind of good working vocabulary a baby or toddler will need. Things that a baby is likely to want or need are the primary focus. No surprise, then, that we start with the basics like milk, more, all done, mama, daddy, sleep and bath. There are many other words that we focus on – like ouch/hurt, help, and even more parent-centered words like please and thank you.
We love to see the amazement of misty-eyed mothers when their baby “gets it” and begins to communicate with them even though they cannot yet speak. These classes have the power to transform the early one-way parent-to-baby talk into a rich two-way dialog. Babies have lots on their minds, and signs give them a way to share that with their moms and dads before they can form words.
Words by the Handful baby sign language classes in Houston share a feature with baby sign language classes anywhere: they are only as successful as the commitment of the parent to doing the signs at home. With that in mind, the classes are designed to teach you the signs, and to give you ways of using them once you get home, including visual and musical cues and reminders.
We make signing easy for you to learn, to remember, so you can give your child a simple tool to use until your child can talk. Moms of signing babies will tell you how remarkable it is when a child can sign and get their point across. The frustration so typical of the pre-verbal period of a child is dramatically reduced when families use baby sign language.
Come give it a try!