Teeny Talkers – our **NEW** classes for toddlers and pre-schoolers!

One of the conclusions that the Berkow Report came to in 2008 was that early intervention for children with speech, language and communication difficulties was absolutely imperative – but quite frequently parents are not only unaware that there may be an issue until it has been flagged by a Health Visitor or indeed, what they should expect their toddler or pre-schooler’s language and communication skills to be.

At Little Signers Club we place great importance on providing communication development training by qualified Speech and Language Therapists for our teachers – this in turn means that our parents are provided with information so they know exactly what they should expect from their baby and when – for instance, at 12-15 months old, a child will generally have around 10 words, but most of these will be unclear to others outside the home.

It’s become increasingly clear to us over the last twelve months that we needed to provide classes that could build on our parents existing knowledge as well as to offer assistance for younger children who may need some extra input to reach their potential with their communication development.

With this in mind, we are thrilled to announce that we have teamed up with Smart Talkers Speech and Language Therapists and are now licensed to deliver their Teeny Talker(TM) classes in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire.

What are Teeny Talker classes?

Teeny Talkers
Teeny Talkers

These classes are aimed at toddlers and pre-schoolers and help to develop language skills for small people. The classes are lots of fun and we’ll be using songs, stories, functional signing and lots (and lots) of bubbles to engage children.  This stage of life can be one of the most frustrating periods for little people and these classes will help you to understand how a child’s language skills develop and help to ease this frustration too. If you’ve enjoyed using baby signing or would like help your child’s language and communication skills develop, this is definitely the course for you.  Devised by qualified Speech and Language Therapists, Teeny Talkers courses help young children to acquire the pre-requisite skills for developing communication such as:

  • Attention & listening
  • Turn-taking
  • Auditory Memory
  • Vocabulary
  • Expressive language
  • Social interaction skills

This course will also highlight key communication aims for children up to 3.5 years as well as gently encourage and develop emergent social skills and speech sounds.

If you would like to book onto a Teeny Talkers Course, please contact hq@littlesignersclub.co.uk for more information.

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Baby Signing for Early Years: Nursery Testimonial

 
The Aunties, having exceptionally high standards, are very particular when selecting external trainers. Little Signers Club came to train our staff in Baby Signing techniques, and surpassed all our expectations. From the outset, our trainer seized the audience’s attention, with her warm, erudite, and enthusiastic style of delivery.
 
It was clear that our trainer is a consummate communicator and her extensive knowledge, passion and sense of purpose regarding the proven benefits to children of baby signing were both thought-provoking and truly inspiring.  She was totally engaged with her audience throughout the session. We all (including those with decades of experience) learnt not only a profusion of signs, but also the reasons, supported by a raft of research evidence, as to their importance in augmenting young children’s communication skills.
 
All this was accomplished with a great sense of fun and a unique brand of grace and professional aplomb! The Aunties would wholeheartedly recommend Little Signers Club as providing a most knowledgeable, conscientious and capable trainer – and, indeed, we fully intend to continue employing her services, having already booked our next workshop!
 

The Old School Nursery, Oxfordshire

GOLD Investors In People / OFSTED Outstanding

Would you like to implement signing in your nursery or Early Years Workplace?

For more information about our Signing Training for Early Years Settings as well as our courses for nannies, childminders and parents, please contact us via info@littlesignersclub.co.uk

A sign for Gruffalo….

The Gruffalo is a book that nearly every child will be familiar with – and if it hasn’t made it to your collection yet, it no doubt will in the near future!

I’ve been meaning to post this blog for a while – but I am sure you know how it is with small children and a new baby; sleep becomes a little bit more important.  But the sun is shining today and my little ones are on a playdate so I have some time to dedicate to this – hooray!

Our wonderful teacher Carole has an equally amazing little boy called George. And George decided a couple of years ago that a sign was very definitely needed for The Gruffalo – so he made one up!

We described it to Cath Smith ( the UK’s leading Early Years BSL author) who we work with closely and she kindly made George’s sign into a sign graphic.

British Sign Language Graphic for GRUFFALO
copyright Little Signers Club 2010-2012
graphic copyright Cath Smith from the Lets Sign series

HOW TO SIGN GRUFFALO

Fingerspell G followed by sign for devil; index and little finger are extended from a closed hand, palm forward and tap twice on forehead

We really hope you enjoy using this sign with your little ones!  You are very welcome to perpetuate the sign but please ensure that the copyright information is included.

“Thanks so much for bringing The Gruffalo alive for our children and young people for World Book Day. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback including that it was great fun and it was good inspiration for how stories could be introduced in literacy sessions.”

Great Giveaways! WIN tickets to the BabyCalm Conference

We’re delighted to have been given 2 tickets worth £99 each for 2 very lucky people to attend the BabyCalm conference next weekend.

BabyCalmTM are proud to present their first conference, focussing on the newborn period from the point of view of the mother, the father, the baby and the child the baby will become.

Sunday May 20th 2012.  9am – 5:30pm. 

Holiday Inn Hotel – Regent’s Park, London

We will be studying how this critical period can shape the psychological and physical health of the new baby as well as have a profound effect on the lives of the mother and father and their subsequent relationship with each other. We will study the psychology of communication, bonding and breastfeeding and consider research into the impact of the beginnings of life upon the personality of the future child.

The BabyCalmTM conference will be an exciting and informative day for all those involved with new families including BabyCalmTM teachers, Antenatal Teachers, Doulas, Midwives, Health Visitors and those who run other baby classes as well as providing an opportunity to meet and network with those involved in a similar field of work.

Michel Odent

Michel Odent has been in charge of the surgical unit and the maternity unit at the Pithiviers state hospital (1962-1985) and is the founder of the Primal Health Research Centre (London). He introduced in the 1970s the concepts of home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in maternity hospitals. He is the author of the first article in the medical literature about the use of birthing pools (Lancet 1983), of the first article about the initiation of lactation during the hour following birth, and of the first article applying the “Gate Control Theory of Pain” to obstetrics. He created the Primal Health Research database and the website www.wombecology.com. Author of 12 books published in 22 languages.

Naomi Stadlen

Naomi Stadlen is a psychotherapist and mother of three. Naomi has run the weekly discussion group “Mothers Talking” in London for more than twenty one years. Naomi’s first book “What Mothers Do” resonates with mothers everywhere and was described by the Guardian as “The best book on parenting”. Naomi has a perceptive insight into the relationships of new mothers with their babies. Her second book, “How Mothers Love”, has now been published..

Patrick Houser

Patrick M Houser is a grandfather and father of 2 sons. It was the birth of his first son which revealed to him the need to understand birth more fully. Patrick’s second son’s arrival, in 1980, was the first documented waterbirth in the USA. This has informed his life’s work and led him to nearly 25 years of passionate advocacy for birth choices. He has a degree in marketing, has owned a natural health centre and for 10 years ran his construction firm in Austin, Texas. He is the director of The Source Foundation International a UK reg. charity,  promoting health and choice from  preconception to birth and throughout life. Patrick is also a speaker, writes articles and is the author of the Fathers-To-Be Handbook, published in the UK and now available in a USA edition as well. Patrick is the founder of http://www.fatherstobe.org.

Oliver James

Oliver James trained and practised as a clinical child psychologist and, since 1988, has worked as a writer, journalist, broadcaster and television documentary producer and presenter. His books include the best-selling “They F*** You Up”  and the controversial  parenting book “How not to F*** Them Up”. Oliver is a columnist for the Guardian Newspaper and is latterly more famous for his exchanges with Gina Ford concerning the dangers of baby training. Oliver lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two small children

Shelley Ensor

Shelley Ensor, founder of Little Signers Club, talks about the growing popularity of baby signing as an aid for communication development. A mum of three, she has seen thousands of parents and their babies through her classes. Having witnessed the detrimental effects of poor attachment and bonding, Shelley has a particular interest in how using signing can aid parental and child interactions and especially how the use of signing reduces distress in young babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. A proponent of attachment parenting, Shelley also takes a keen interest in other related pedagogy’s such as Steiner and Pikler (RIE) concerning the unhurried and natural development of the young child.

http://www.babycalm.co.uk/conference/info_22.html

for tickets please see:

http://babycalmconference-estw.eventbrite.com/

HOW TO ENTER

Simply comment on the blog or on our Facebook link and we’ll enter everyone into a random draw.  (Full competition Ts & C’s on our website) – Competition closes Tuesday 15th May 2012 at Midnight BST and tickets will be issued directly by BabyCalm – GOOD LUCK and I hope to meet you there!

Running the London Marathon – for Louie

My partner Nathan will be running in the 2012 London Marathon to raise money for a little boy called Louie Llewellyn who is only 4 years old. Nathan is running to help improve Louie’s quality of life by buying things that will help him to learn, develop his skills and be more mobile.

Louie has what the doctors call a ‘2q24.3 deletion’ which is a rare chromosome deletion. When Louie was diagnosed his parents were told that he would be unable to walk, talk or eat, however Louie is proving the doctors wrong! He is a very strong minded little boy and has learnt to crawl, sit up and is attempting to stand with help, which is just amazing!

Louie also finds it very difficult to communicate and gets easily frustrated when people don’t understand him, his little brother Sam (2yrs) has started to sign to him and with Sam’s help Louie now signs Mummy, Please, Music and Dancing.

One of the things Louie would need’s next is a battery operated chair called a Wizzybug!  http://www.wizzybug.org.uk/, This will give him some independence to move around on his own as he gets older and this is what we are aiming for. If anyone can help in anyway it would be very greatly received.

 

If you would like to sponsor Nathan, make a donation to Louie or to learn more about Louie’s condition please visit www.louieshelpinhand.org

Thank you

Tania

tania@littlesignersclub.co.uk

Take 3 Things: Little Signers Club, The BBC and Baby Signing

Wow, what a week!

Little Signers Club was incredibly privileged this week to be invited to film with the BBC and feature on the topical Politics Show for BBC1.

The feature highlights the challenges faced by parents, and particularly mothers, who chose to set up their own companies around their growing families instead of returning to previous employment.  With the term “Mumpreneur” reaching dictionary status as of last week, Work At Home Mum’s (WAHM) is a growing, and viable, area of employment opportunity.

We welcomed the BBC as well as ten mummies and babies to film with us on Tuesday.  It was a wonderful opportunity and the babies all behaved beautifully, not only fascinated with our baby signing showcase but in particular with the bright light from Trevor’s camera…

Having never been “miked up” before, I can only hope that my singing was in tune – needless to say, our mummies did us proud and their singing, and signing, was spot on.  We filmed for around an hour so I imagine that we’ll have a small slot when the programme goes to air on Sunday. 

Little Signers Club has successfully managed to establish its baby signing business throughout the Home Counties and beyond in the last 18 months.  Our primary goal when setting up Little Signers Club was to provide affordable working solutions for parents who did not want to return to their previous employment.  Being a Licensee for Little Signers Club offers  an opportunity to realise a significant income with fewer working hours and much more time spent at home with your little ones.  If you would like to know more, please contact teachers@littlesignersclub.co.uk or pop along to our website, www.littlesignersclub.co.uk/join-us.htm

Little Signers Club will feature on The Politics Show, BBC1 from midday on Sunday 16th October 2011 in the BBC South spotlight.

Little Signers Club would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people and organisations that made this possible at such short notice:

BBC Politics Show; Antonia Chitty; The Mother Factor; Thame Barns Centre; Pip (fab childcare!) and of course, the LSC teachers. 

Newbies & Graduates

Ah, the beginning of a new LSC term. Love it!  Lots of Mummies (occasionally Daddies) and Babes at new classes, eager to get started. That first class is always so packed with information, I’m sure we could run for 2 hours and not the usual 45 minutes. Meeting all the Babes, explaining the origins of baby signing, communication development, looking at our course book, answering questions, going off on a tangent about sleeping/feeding/baby yoga and, the whole point of the class, 20 signs to get our families on their way. PHEW!!! The other classes are a lot less frantic, honest.

Over the next six weeks we’ll laugh, someone may cry (usually a babe!), sing and chat.  The Babies will grow, learn to sit or crawl during that time and they will be little people by the end of it. Little people who are well on their way to having excellent communication skills, be emotionally balanced and have an even stronger bond with Mummy & Daddy.  Who could ask for more?

And a sad week too as I hand out graduation certificates to one of my private classes.  Like a proud mother hen, I send Babes and Mummies off in to the big, wide world with all the skills needed to be little signers extraordinaire!  We laughed  (especially when a field mouse joined us!) and sang while the babies giggled,  cried, bumped, crawled, squealed with excitement and wiggled their hands. How fabulous is that? I love my job!!