Dandelion Clocks (or, When Babies Sign Autonomously)

Today my baby and I took our daily walk.  There is nothing unusual in this, but today is definitely not an ordinary day.  Today, my 14 month old baby made up his own sign for ‘Dandelion Clock’.

dandelion 2

He has been fascinated with the dandelion clocks since they started appearing a few days ago.

Add in his two big sisters blowing the seeds high into the sky over the weekend, watching them floating loose in the wind, and this fascination went to a whole new level.  The excitement when he was given one for himself was tangible – and a memory I shall carry for a long time.

But today, my baby signed for himself; a new sign, that he figured out for himself.  Holding his hand in front of him as if grasping the stem of the dandelion clock, he then blew, repeatedly and said ‘more?’ afterwards.

There was no mistaking what it was that he wanted and that he had found a way to let me know too.

This shows me that my baby knows, without question, that he can communicate with me even if I have not shown him a sign already (and no, I have absolutely no idea what the correct sign for dandelion clock is but we will be using this one now!)  His use of gesture and sound, together, make me very aware of what is on his mind, even though he does not yet have the ability to say ‘dandelion’ and probably won’t for some time to come.

The outdoors is a rich opportunity for you to explore nature and to use signing with your child.  In our interaction today, not only did baby J make up his own sign, but we had a whole dialogue going on between us which strengthens bonding, his communication development and a sense of adventure too!  Signs and words that frequently came up on our walk were ‘where’, ‘look’, ‘bird’, ‘snail’, ‘flowers’, ‘tree’, ‘over here’, ‘careful’, ‘danger’, ‘ow!’ (nettles) – so you can see quite quickly how easily it is for new signs and expressive language to be acquired.

Today also gave me an incredible insight into my baby’s world, which is an experience unique to us and not one that I would have missed for the world.

For those working in Early Years, this level of interaction and interest ticks many boxes for the EYFS – in just an hour.

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
    • self confidence and awareness
    • making relationships
  • Physical Development
    • Moving and handling
    • Health and self care
  • Communication and Language
    • Listening and attention
    • Understanding
    • Speaking
    • Turn taking
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design
  • Exploring different textures and materials

To join a class, become a teacher or learn more about our Early Years training, please contact us!

(e) info@littlesignersclub.co.uk

 (w) www.littlesignersclub.co.uk

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