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Feature Article: Great Ideas for Practicing Signs at Home!
Resource Spotlight: Sign Language for Kids: Everyday Words & Phrases
Success Story of the Month: Henry, son of Brenda and Tony
Recognition and Appreciation
Reader Contributions
June/July 2001
 Feature Article

Great Ideas for Practicing Signs at Home!

This month we have compiled a listing of ideas that parents and caregivers can use at home to playfully practice a variety of Signs. We encourage you to get the whole family involved in the fun!

Choose a Sign of the Day: Post a 'Sign of the Day' (or week) on the refrigerator. Each time you see the posting, you will be reminded to practice that word throughout the day. You can accomplish the same 'reminder effect' by posting a word on a piece of scrap paper if you don't have any flash cards available.

Get the Whole Family Involved: Take turns signing to each other and interpreting signs throughout the day. This idea can be combined with the 'Sign of the Day' idea above. For example, Mom, Dad and an older sibling can each have a 'Sign of the Day.' Everyone makes a game out of trying to use their Sign in conversation throughout the day.

Invent Hide-and-Find Games: Play games involving hiding then revealing an object, such as a ball using Signs to identify the object. Or, point to objects or activities in books and then use the Sign along with the word to describe the object or activity. Incorporate the Signs for 'where,' 'there,' and 'ball' into your game. Sing songs to add some variety to the game (the tune 'Where is Thumbkin" works especially well).

Play Shadow Games:
Position a light onto a white wall so that you can create a shadow image with your hands. Practice the Signs while entertaining your baby with the shadow images.

Invent Craft Projects: Encourage older siblings or relatives to cut out pictures of objects and actions from magazines that match the Signs you want to practice. These pictures can be made into a collage and posted as a reminder to practice the Signs.

Play Charades:
Play modified charades with other family members or older siblings. Sign a word for others to guess. Make up a point system to keep the game fun and engaging.

 Resource Spotlight

This month our resource spotlight is on a video entitled, Sign Language for Kids: Everyday Words & Phrases. This 25 minute video is fun and educational for children and adults! Sign Language interpreter Ronni Stark is joined by her young friends Tess, Max, Rachel, Rashaad, Kristin, Rigel, and Lily as they enjoy a day filled with fun and Sign Language. Viewers will have the opportunity to learn and practice over seventy useful words and phrases in American Sign Language. This video is a great gift idea for families who want to start using Signs, and an entertaining way for you and your baby to review and practice the Signs you already know! This video is produced by Lily's World Creative Video Productions and retails for only $16.95. To order this video, contact us.

 Success Story of the Month

Henry, son of Brenda and Tony
Henry's mom and dad started learning Signs by attending a SmallTalk Workshop when Henry was nearly 20 months old. He learned the first grouping of Signs such as 'more,' 'all done,' eat,' and 'thirsty' right away. He was especially interested in Signing 'more' for ice cream! He also blended Signing with his verbal skills. One day he asked to eat verbally, then pointed to some grapes and did the Signs for both eat and grapes! Henry learned to use the 'hurt' Sign to let his mom and dad know that his diaper rash was sore--he would Sign 'hurt' and then would say 'bum.' Henry also learned to use Signs to say words that were difficult to verbalize. For example, Henry loves to 'work' in the yard, but his early verbal versions of 'work' and 'walk' sounded very similar. Signing helped him communicate his desire to 'work' in the yard clearly and without the frustration of being misunderstood! Hooray for Henry, who turns two in June.

 Recognition and Appreciation

Thank you to the Southwest Community Center for continuing to provide a great space for workshops!

Thank you Paula for the referral to Learning Connections--we'll be offering workshops at this location in the Fall!

Thank you Cindy for the referral to Tuality Healthcare--looks like we'll be starting workshops at that location in the Fall!

 Reader Contributions

Contact us
if you would like to suggest an idea for a future feature article or if you would like to contribute your own success story.

SmallTalk Learning   Portland, OR   Phone: 503.223.5622   Email:info@SmallTalkLearning.com
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