About babysign Hereford
Learn a new language with your newborn to preschooler with babysign Hereford!
Classes are small and friendly to ensure that you and your child feel comfortable and relaxed.
I use British Sign Language known as BSL in my sessions. You are welcome to join my FREE group, the Babysign Hereford Hub, to meet me virtually and learn some BSL basics.
I look forward to welcoming you and your little ones to a babysign class soon.
Our babysign Classes
How does a baby benefit from signing?
- Your baby can learn to effectively communicate their wants and needs prior to speech;
- It can reduce frustration and helps to avoid tantrums, especially during those 'terrible' twos;
- Enables your child to make a connection between the sound of a word and its visual sign. This helps children to learn and recall the word quickly.
Support your baby's development
The multisensory aspects of a babysign class not only keep your baby engaged and entertained, but by exposing your baby to these experiences from birth advances their brain structure.
During the first three months of a baby’s life, two million neural connections are created every second, which is why sensory stimulation is vital for them (Findings from Dr Lin Day, Child Development Specialist, 2006).
These experiences, along with learning to sign from such an early age lay the foundations for your baby’s learning and gives them a great head start.
Babysign classes are planned and taught with all areas of your baby’s development in mind. Here is how babysign can aid different areas of development:
Cognitive DevelopmentTurn taking, naming and matching objects, recognising animal noises, learning about routines and learning to make choices;
Social DevelopmentInteracting and developing relationships with others during live sessions, building on communication skills including clapping and waving, both spontaneously and on demand;
Speech & Language DevelopmentLocating sounds from different directions and responding to their own name, babbling and making noises as a response to conversation, developing vocabulary through the weekly signs and songs in every class;
Fine Motor & Gross Motor SkillsHolding cuddly toys, musical instruments and other props, picking up objects out of the bag, using instruments by tapping or shaking them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a selection of frequently asked questions.
What is babysign?
Babysign is a manual form of communication using gestures, body language and the appropriate facial expressions to communicate with your child. In my classes, I use British Sign Language known as BSL which is predominantly used by the Deaf community.
The reason I use this signing system is that BSL not only enables you to communicate with your own child, it also enables you and your child to communicate with the Deaf community. What an amazing gift to give to your child!
How does it help my child?
Babysign can enable your child to communicate prior to speech. Babysign can take away a lot of the guesswork out of what your child needs or wants. For example, MILK is an early sign your child learns as food is a primary motivator which will encourage your child to sign as your baby requires this to thrive and grow.
Communication can aid your child’s literacy skills, their social skills and their emotional development. Communication really is at the heart of your child’s development.
Does baby signing help parents?
Absolutely! As already mentioned, baby signing can take a lot of the guesswork out of what your child wants or needs which can limit your child’s frustration as you understand what they are telling you through a simple hand gesture.
Parents will also learn a new language with their child which will enable you both to not only speak to one another but also to the Deaf community. You can also teach your new skill to family and friends!
What are the benefits of babysign?
Baby signing has so many long-term benefits alongside the short-term benefits such as being able to communicate prior to speech. The many benefits of signing are covered in my classes.
The most interesting fact I have come across is during a study conducted by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn, a group of babysigners and non-babysigners had their IQ tested at 11 months old and again at 8 years. In the group of babysigners, the children’s IQ on average was 12 points higher than the group of non-babysigners. Fascinating!
My child can speak some words, is signing appropriate for them?
My number one motto is that no-one is ever too old to start signing! One of the many benefits of learning sign language is that it could encourage your child to learn multiple languages with ease similar to bi-lingual children.
This is due to the language centre in the brain usually closing between the ages of 3 – 4 years old. As signing activates the brain in the same way as learning another language, the language centre of the brain remains open and is more receptive to other languages. Therefore, your 3 years old will certainly benefit from signing.
Your child will not only learn how to communicate with potentially elderly grandparents, they could also communicate with their younger siblings and cousins. They could also communicate with members of the Deaf community which is simply amazing!
Is signing just for Deaf people?
British Sign Language (BSL) is the language predominantly used by Deaf people, but it isn’t just for people who are hard of hearing or Deaf. There are many different and hugely beneficial signing systems used around the world.
One of the most popular signing systems is Makaton due to the huge ongoing success of Mr Tumble. Makaton is primarily used with children that have special educational needs, speech delay and elderly people who have Alzheimer’s. In the future, I hope to work with this group of people when I become a Makaton tutor.
Signing is inclusive not exclusive!
My child is hard of hearing. Would babysign be a good starting point for me and my child?
Baby signing would definitely be a good starting point for your child. Baby signing mainly consists of key signing such as MILK, FOOD, BALL and BOOK. These signs are reinforced by singing along to nursery rhymes which aids your child’s learning through repetition, rhyming and of course singing. Singing encourages children and adults to retain information quickly. Just think of all the songs you sing along to in the car and you have no idea how you remember the words!
Will my child be able to sign when we come along to your classes?
I am afraid I cannot guarantee that your child will sign when you attend my classes as a lot of the repetition through speaking, signing and showing will take place at home.
This is the primary reason for providing a weekly newsletter which will reiterate the core signs from that week’s class. If you ever require clarification or any additional signs, I can help with this and I can even send you a video as a visual learning aid. There is also the Babysign Hereford Hub which provides additional support in-between classes.
It is important to note that similar to when a child learns to crawl and walk, no-one can dictate when a child will begin to sign and speak. However, by attending a babysign class you are equipping yourself and your child with the building blocks to effectively communicate.
How long is a session and what does it include?
The sessions are fun and relaxed and approximately 1 hour long in a live setting. The first 30 – 40 minutes we learn that week's core signs through singing nursery rhymes and stimulating the babies with sensory items such as scarves, bubbles, teddy’s and mirrors. As your child progresses, books will be incorporated to demonstrate how signs can be incorporated whilst reading.
The second half of the session is for the very important social time! The children can play with the individual prop bags that they are provided, and the grown-ups can have a catch-up with a drink and biscuit or even cake!