Look Who’s Talking with Sign Language

Before they are capable of speech, babies begin communicating with gestures. A great way to benefit from this tendency is to introduce meaningful gestures to babies to help them express their wants, needs, and likes.

Introducing signing to your baby may help increase his or her vocabulary. The library has many resources for teaching different signs to your baby, including signs for animals and songs. Children who sign might also have an easier time when learning to talk by matching the sounds of the words to the signs they are signing. 

Using signing can also help decrease a baby’s frustration, giving them a way to effectively communicate what they want. Teaching signs for specific needs, like eating and drinking, can be especially helpful. Luckily, there are many books within the library’s collection that can guide parents on teaching their baby these communicative signs.

Teaching sign language to your child can also go beyond communication – it can also help raise awareness of American Sign Language (ASL) and those who use it all their lives. Sign language can help bridge barriers between all kinds of people, like those born without hearing or who later develop hearing loss. Signs are even used with special needs children and those with delayed communication abilities. Like with any other language, sign language helps us connect with our family and others.

If you’re interested in teaching your baby to sign, check out this book list as a starting place for signing resources at the St. Louis Public Library:

Teach your Baby to Sign

With over 200 easy-to-learn signs, this book is inclusive and full of clear photographs of the signs and illustrations that will guide you in teaching your young child to sign. Included are tips and activities, too!

Baby Sign Language

This user-friendly book contains over 450 full-color images that will help you learn and teach your baby, toddler, or young child to sign. It is organized by age and also includes games, songs, and rhymes to enrich the learning experience.

Baby Signs

This board book contains essential signs that babies and toddlers can learn easily and use to communicate basic needs and feelings. Each sign is accompanied by a cute illustration that is geared specifically for their young mind, and hands, to grasp and replicate.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear!

This little board book presents a traditional childhood rhyme accompanied with hand motions. This is a great way to help your child develop a basic sign vocabulary. This book is part of a Sing and Singalong board book series that teaches sings to popular nursery tunes. They include Baa Baa, Black Sheep, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

ABC Baby Signs

Teaching babies such signs as, “more,” “please,” and “all done,” this book is a great start for parents looking to teach their baby signs. Going through the alphabet, the book teaches one sign per letter, creating a delightful rhyming story.

My First Animal Signs

Great for expanding your baby’s signing vocabulary beyond the basic want and need phrases, why not introduce some animal signs? This board book covers forty-eight American Sign Language (ASL) sings for wild and domestic animals.

Let's Sign!

This book of short stories follow a child through a certain activity, with the opposite page displaying in a child-friendly illustrating the signs that are related to that activity. The stories center on mealtime, playtime, and bedtime, all important moments for interaction and communication.

Baby Signing Time!

This DVD is the first in a series that teach children how to sign, even before they can speak. The signs are taught through songs, activities, and dancing. Your child will be sure to be engaged and have fun while learning to sign.

We Sign

This DVD is great for teaching popular children’s songs with sign language. Designed specifically for parents to practice along with their babies, this DVD helps reinforce many common baby signs, though no previous signing experience is required.

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