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Posts Tagged ‘sign language’

‘Follow the Child’ On a Walk in the Park

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 4:04 pm | By Stephanie Woo

We go to the park for a walk almost everyday. It’s a time I let them be as free as possible. Generally, I don’t limit them to a certain part of the park and instead, my nanny and I each watch one so they can choose where they want to go. I want them to explore nature, so I like to let them loose where there are many opportunities to observe animals, smell flowers and people-watch. The girls are now 17 months.

We arrive at the park. I unbuckle them and let them get off the stroller by themselves. I try not to do anything for them that they can do by themselves.

Brooke immediately heads to one side of the park where the flowers are,

climbs over the low fence…

to smell the flower.

Mackenzie is with my nanny where she is walking around with her toys

She picks up a plastic cap. I’m pretty sure it’s disgustingly dirty, but I try not to run over, scream and whack it out of her hands, like I want to. Instead, I just watch.

Here is the cap – is it going in her mouth?

Not this time, thank god. As I breathe a sigh of relief, I tell her ‘good job’ for throwing trash in the trash can. If I give in to my fears everytime she touches something dirty and freak out, then she really cannot be free during our walks, and neither can I.

Brooke tells my nanny she wants something to eat

I tell the nanny to give her the whole bag and tell her to get it herself

It takes her a while to rustle through the bag. My nanny and I look at each other. I’ve trained her (and myself) to not rush to help her, even though we can do it so much faster than she can.

She finally wrestles it out of the bag. Mackenzie reaches for some too.

She takes a piece and I ask her to give me the rest

As we sit and eat, she makes the signs for “music” and

Mackenzie makes the sign for ‘bird.’ Together, they mean, “The birds are singing.” So we sit to enjoy a bit of music before moving on.

I follow Mackenzie around. Here she spots someone stretching…

Brooke plays on a patch of grass. When she is done, rather than picking her up, I tell her to “Get up by yourself.”

She does.

Observing some squirrels. We live in NYC. The animals are limited.  *sigh*

A nice lady lets us pet her dog. Brooke loves it and Mackenzie doesn’t. I let Brooke do it and leave Mackenzie alone. She doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to.

It’s time to go home. They climb in the stroller by themselves and sit as we buckle them in. That’s it for us today. Till tomorrow!

Children know exactly what they want

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 8:47 am | By Stephanie Woo

Brooke signs, ‘Music.’

I’m sitting at my computer. Brooke comes to me and makes the sign for ‘music.’ “Would you like me to play some music?” I put on a Raffi song she’s never heard before. She listens for about 30 seconds and then shakes her head vigorously. “You don’t like this one?” I put on the Suzuki piano CD that starts with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She immediately starts swaying back and forth to the music. After about 3 minutes, I say, “Would you like to read a book now?” She shakes her head vigorously. “Okay. Well, then would you like to hear this song again?” She makes the sign for ‘again’ several times. And then starts humming along when the music begins.

Children know exactly what they want and I LOVE HOW CLEAR they can be.

Sign and speak

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 1:25 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Babies can communicate by using sign language much earlier than they can speak. In fact, deaf babies will babble with their hands earlier than hearing babies will babble with their voice because signing is easier than speaking.

Parents who have successfully taught their babies sign language feel their babies are less frustrated because they can communicate what they want. Just remember, when you are teaching your baby sign language, it is important to combine sign language with spoken language. This means saying the word ‘MILK’ while you make the sign for milk and saying ‘BATH’ when you make the sign for bath. Your baby is avidly absorbing language that first year and is absorbing everything that comes out of your mouth when you talk to them, so give her as much language as possible.

I first learned about sign language when B and M were six months old. The first time Mackenzie signed, “milk’ to me 10 days after I taught her the sign, I was in complete awe. It is sooo cool!