Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Baby sign language

Baby sign language can be a great link between the 2 languages (English-Hungarian) we speak. It serves as a third language and helps Baby Sis to understand basic ideas even if we use different languages. The sign is always the same.

With E. I started to use the MAKATON sign language which is based on BSL (British Sign Language). Some ASL (American Sign Language) signs I also included as I sometimes find them easier like the sign for "more", for instance.

American Sign Language
Makaton



After quite a lot of research on the net I found MAKATON the most expressive and easy to remember sign collection. What's more, it is designed for children so one can find nursery rhymes and songs signed online, which makes it easier to learn and after a while (when your child is older) you can also watch a special BBC programme, Something Special.

In the following video you can hear about the benefits of signing to your child:


Actually, I created our own sign language using a mixture of BSL, MAKATON, ASL and our own signs, too.

No matter if we are in English or in Hungarian I use the same sign for an idea or object or a family member, to mention a few examples.

Just like E., Baby Sis also enjoys whenever I sign her a song, or I show her a sign while talking to her. E. helps me with signing every now and then (if she's in the mood).

video




How to introduce the signs:

  • always face your child so (s)he can see your face and the sign too
  • show the sign while you say the word
  • have cheerful expression on your face
  • introduce maximum 1-2 signs at once
  • use and repeat the same signs for 3-5 days regularly
  • then introduce 2-3 new signs every 5-6 days
  • follow your child's lead (some children pick up signs more slowly or faster than others)

10+1 basic baby signs to start with:


mummy
daddy
baby
nappy
milk
happy
sleepy
bath
eat
drink
+baby's name

sleep(y)
drink
eat
Baby's name can be signed with the first letter of their name. Here is the Makaton ABC:



Here is a youtube video of two girls showing the Makaton abc:




Moving on to a higher level...

Depending on the baby's interest you can introduce 1-2 topics with 4-5 signs per week or you can choose a mixture of 10-15 favourite signs:

  • foods
  • animals
  • more family members
  • toys
  • everyday objects
  • colours
  • action verbs
(Depending on my time and if I can get some help with the video shooting I'll put on some Makaton sign videos in the future)

Singing and signing:

Singing to your baby and telling her nursery rhymes are the best way to familiarise your child with the sounds, intonation, tune of your language(s). While singing you can sign what you sing about. You don't need to sign every word just the most important ones. Your child will be fascinated by the sound and the visual impact as well.

Make sure you check out Signing Hands youtube channel where you can find several traditional nursery rhymes and songs signed. (You can learn the signing from the son quite easily)

Here is an example: - Row, row, row your boat



More resources:

You can have a look at my Makaton Pinterest board which is full of useful signs, links and videos about sign language and great number of signs.

I hope you find this post useful and interesting. Although I'm not an expert on signing, just a mom who learnt it all by herself from the net, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Smudging paint - mess free baby painting

I hope I will have more time to write about some baby activities we've been doing, just like this one - smudging paint in a plastic bag. An easy to prepare activity for a baby.



What you need is in the picture. I used baby paint but any kind will do as the baby won't touch the paint directly.


I put dabs of paint on a white sheet of paper of 3 colours. Unfortunately, I used too much paint. In this case less is more. Next, I placed the white sheet with paint into the zip lock bag. You need to be extra careful not to smudge the paint while sliding it in the bag.




With painters' tape I fixed it on the floor and put L. close to it. In seconds she scooted there to check what it is.


To be perfectly honest, she was a bit more interested in the tape than the paint blobs against the white background. Kids are unpredictable.


I showed her how to press her little hands on the paint then she got the hang of it... I don't want to mislead you... her attention span was maximum 1 minute... 


While she was messing around I was talking to her about the colours: red, yellow and blue. When E. came home from the kindergarten and she saw what we did. She enjoyed looking at the colour mixture. We talked about what happens when we mix colours: blue and yellow makes green; red and blue makes purple, red and yellow makes orange. So it's a two in one activity if you also have a bigger child.

We might do this activity again a little later too.

The original idea comes from Jen, a Canadian mum. You can find her great ideas on mama.papa.bubba.com


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Baby sensory bottles

When Baby Sis turned 6 months, E. and I prepared these sensory bottles for her.
The idea was taken from pinterest, where you can find tons of variations. I tried to keep it as simple as possible.




I picked 5 Jana water bottles for babies. I peeled off the plastic cover. E. and I filled them up with all kind of things we found around the house:

  • heart-shaped pasta
  • rice flakes
  • millet balls
  • cut-up plastic straws and decor stones
  • water beads

Then added water to the one with the straws and the water beads. Simple as that. I know she can't open the bottles tops just now but sooner or later she'll be able to so I glued the tops on.

You can fill them up with glitter, hair gel, pom-poms, beans, lentils, buttons, tiny plastic toys, jelly beans, M&Ms, corn, popcorn, beads, elastic bands, jingle bells, sand or you name it.

If you add oil or glycerine to the water the light objects will float slowly.

Baby sensory bottles

When Baby Sis turned 6 months, E. and I prepared these sensory bottles for her.
The idea was taken from pinterest, where you can find tons of variations. I tried to keep it as simple as possible.




I picked 5 Jana water bottles for babies. I peeled off the plastic cover. We filled them up with all kind of things we found around the house:

  • heart-shaped pasta
  • rice flakes
  • millet balls
  • cut-up plastic straws and decor stones
  • water beads

Then added water to the straws and the water beads. Simple as that. I know she can't open the bottles tops just now but sooner or later she'll be able to so I glued the tops on.

You can fill them up with glitter, hair gel, pom-poms, beans, lentils, buttons, tiny plastic toys, jelly beans, M&Ms, corn, popcorn, beads, elastic bands, jingle bells, sand or you name it.

If you add oil or glycerine to the water the light objects will float slowly.
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