Saturday, 5 October 2013

TinyTalk Baby Signing

I've always had an interest in Sign Language ever since the Comic Relief fundraising pack in 1989 included a guide to some basic signs and a joke of course - what's white and goes up?   Stupid Snow!
I started going to TinyTalk with Little Owl when she was just 4 months old.  It was September last year and with the new term I was trying out several different classes to see what would suit us.
There was many reasons why I loved the TinyTalk classes so much, here are just a few:
  • Lisa - the amazing teacher who can sing beautifully, entertain the babies and really knows her stuff!
  • It gave me something to think about.  It is true that maternity leave can turn your brain to mush.  It wasn't much but I challenged myself to learn the signs each week, Lisa gave us 'homework' which was a reminder of the signs we had learnt that week.  I would make sure I knew them before I left each week, then would practise them at home!
  • You get a cup of tea!  This is always a winner with Mums!  When the singing and signing part of the class is over, Lisa would make everyone a cuppa and then play with the babies so the Mum's could drink it in peace - perfect!
  • Little Owl just loves the classes!  From the singing to the shakers, Little Owl just took everything in - but mainly it was her love of Lisa.  Little Owl would often do 'firsts' at TinyTalk, most notably was the first time she sat without support.
We made some great friends and decided that even if Little Owl never used sign language to communicate with us, that the classes were well worth going to!  The babies even got to dress up at Christmas!

Christmas Friends
It was over the Christmas break, aged 8 months, that Little Owl made her first sign - "more".  This was of course to do with food, once she realised she could request more there was no stopping her! 

First Signs
As well as learning signs, TinyTalk helped me focus on my conversations with Little Owl.  Sure I would natter away to her all day and she enjoyed to hear me talk, but as I tried to fit the signs that I had learnt into my nattering I found it gave me focus.  I would no longer say something like "its lunch time, what shall we have?" as that didn't include any signs I knew, so instead I would say "its lunch time, what food shall we have to eat?".  I found that Little Owl would respond better if I signed as well, for instanced if I signed and said that I was going to the toilet, she wouldn't mind me leaving the room.
Since Little Owl turned one, there has been an explosion of signs!  Some are really useful - milk, food and nappy for starters!  Others are instructions for us to sing certain songs - rabbit for Peter Rabbit, swimming for 3 Little Ducks and hat for Dingle Dangle Scarecrow. Little Owl can be very demanding too - its hard so say no when she asks so clearly for cheese!  And then there are the Mummy pleasing signs - please, thank you and sorry. 
I love that Little Owl can now communicate with me but it also makes things easier when she is with Grandma and Granddad as she can tell them when she is hungry or needs her nappy changing.
I was very proud of my little signer last week when she received her certificate for knowing 25 signs!
25 Signs


  1. Super, so glad signing with TinyTalk has been worth it.
    Maria (TinyTalk teacher in Norfolk)

  2. I'd really like to do this with Toby but there aren't any baby signing classes near us. I see you can get a DVD and cards from Tiny Talk though so maybe we'll give it a go at home on our own.


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