Sign Language For Babies and Toddlers

Imagine being able to understand exactly what it is that your nine-month-old baby wants, rather than trying to guess what she wants.
That’s the idea behind sign language for babies and toddlers.
Jim Olson reports on a class that’s teaching parents and kids to communicate well before the young ones can talk.

Can you have a conversation with a nine-month-old?


Or a toddler? With some simple sign language – and some patient effort…

“It takes a lot of repetition…”

You can.

“Cracker? There she goes…”

(Jolene Haffner, Sign To Me Instructor) “If a child can say, “more milk,” instead of just screaming, that can bring the noise level down, the frustration down, and what they want can be clear and the parent can know, oh, they want more milk.”

Jolene Haffner teaches a four-session course on teaching sign language to little ones and parents.

(Jolene Haffner, Sign To Me Instructor) “Did you notice how I held the food up by my face? Because we want them to see the food and the sign all at the same time.”
(Kelsey Carter, Minot) “We say the word verbally and show her in sign and sometimes she’ll do both.”
(Vicky Wildes, Minot) “It does make a communication channel before they can speak.”

And if that means more peace in the homes of babies and toddlers, 

“Sit. This is a good one to know for kids…sit.”

she’s all for it. Jim Olson, KX News.

If you’re interested in sign language classes for your kids, contact the NDSU Extension office in Minot at 701-857-6450.

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