An ‘amazing feeling’…

baby signing; signing 'bed'
      baby signing; signing ‘bed’

…parent feedback for Online BabySign

‘I had such an amazing day yesterday, I signed up to your free package online and learnt some signing to do to with ‘R’.

Yesterday he signed that he needed a nappy change and I realised his nappy had leaked and his shorts were wet so that was definitely what he was telling me – and then he later did the cuddle and bed sign just before I started getting him ready for his bedtime nap!

It was such an amazing feeling that I’d taught him and he could communicate with me!

Becky, mummy to ‘R’, 15 months.

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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

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

*Blush* – A glowing testimonial!

From Anges – and Baby A

“I have the privilege of going to signing classes with Bethan of Little Signers Club – South West and having attended courses by competitors here is what I want to say: I love the down to earth and caring approach of Little Signers Club.

The teacher has taken the time to explain lots of little tips about signing, from not worrying about only have one hand to sign, to explaining how baby’s signs might not be that clear at the beginning whereas with the other signing company, we were just “plonked” into the signing and singing with no preparation having to run before we could walk and it made me feel extremely uncomfortable. This made me feel stupid and un-welcomed like I was joining an exclusive group only to watch.

“Our hands talk constantly, they communicate beyond words”

The other thing which I love with my experience with Little Signers is the fact they use “real songs” instead of creating their own (which competitors did and which supposedly increases their sales because you have to buy their CDs). This means that when the babies launch into their favourite nursery rhymes, you can join in with your signs… and I find that fabulous.

I highly recommend Shelley At Little Signers and her teachers well above their competitors. Voila, I said what I had to say and it comes from first hand experience as a mum of a gorgeous little girl.

On top of it you get a lovely little book about signing as part of your course. It is absolutely great value for money.”

Thank you so much Anges for taking the time to write your thoughts down and share them with us – and a glowing accolade for Bethan!

You can find a Little Signers Club class here and more about our courses (and course book!) here.

If there isn’t a class near you yet, please join our mailing list as we have lots of new classes starting from September :0)

Little Signers Club – baby signing fun for you and your little one!

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.”

Becoming a Teacher with Little Signers Club – Case Study with Bethan, Bristol


Why you joined Little Signers Club:

I loved signing with my little girl and when I had baby number 2 and returning to my old job became unfeasible I pursued signing as an alternative career. I researched the different companies in the area who were doing this sort of thing and went with Little Signers Club. LSC was the most sensible decision financially in terms of training, fees, and forward costs. But that aside Shelley and Louise gave me confidence in them and that I would be able to make a go of it. (Much more so than some of the others who wanted me to sing down the phone!)

Classes that you offer:

I have just started classes. At the moment I am running Baby Signing Basics courses in Bishopston, Redland (both Bristol City) and Portishead (outside Bristol).  I charge £45 per family for the 6 weeks and have had a few comments that this is very reasonable.

What do you enjoy the most about teaching signing?

Wow! It has been so wonderful to be excited to go to ‘work’! I know there will be rubbish weeks when I’m poorly or tired or just being miserable. But, generally feeling happy about a working day ahead…you’re on to a winner in my book! I love the response from the babies when (even) I start singing and thus far (I know so green) but have had relatively enthusiastic parents who seem to have enjoyed the class. My first experience of some rude mums was fairly easily managed with advice!

What has been the most rewarding part of your work?

Being so new to this, my biggest AHA moment would be realising at the end of the first day, having done two classes, that I’d made the right decision to leave my previous job and do signing.

But my other one would be at the very first taster session I did, I sang “Its time to learn to sign with me” and a little boy of 9 months plonked himself right in front of me and started signing back, accurately doing the ‘sign’ sign! It gave me a real confidence boost and was a brilliant advert, they all signed up to the course!

For more information about becoming an Entry Level Teacher or Licensed Teacher with us, please email Louise – teachers@littlesignersclub.co.uk

New Beginnings…

Its the end of a teaching era for me today.  Its a bittersweet moment and as I approach my last official lesson, I thought I would share with you some of my more personal thoughts.

I started teaching baby signing after being made redundant 6 years ago, pregnant with my very first baby.  At that time, baby signing was only just really starting to have a small impact on parents with a lot of scepticsm thrown in for good measure.  The amazing work of world expert Dr Joesph Garica was a huge catalyst in getting things moving over here in the UK.

I can’t even begin to count the parents and babies who have attended my classes over the last 6 years; its thousands.  I know that I have made a difference to the majority of those families, that as a result of attending baby signing, those little ones have been able to have their needs met at a time when communication seems impossible.  I’ve helped parents to bond with their babies, simply by encouraging eye contact and small daily interactions that help them to appreciate that this small child of theirs is able to respond to them by the slightest of body movements.  I still see parents who came through my classes years ago; there is a common theme to their conversations, namely how articulate and confident their child has grown up to be.  Some parents have become lifelong friends, sharing our parenting journey together – some of those friends now teach baby signing for themselves.

Being a baby signing teacher is a wonderful thing; I cannot begin to explain the sheer wonder of facilitating this very simple, but amazing concept.  I am still as passionate about baby signing as I was when I started 6 years ago.  I shall miss all those incredible babies, so eager to learn, so full of potential and chubby gorgeousness.  I shall miss my parents who, by the end of a course have forged new friendships.  I shall miss starting a class and silence descending as the babies become totally absorbed in what we are doing, its really the biggest ego trip in the world as they all turn to stare at you.  It’s also the biggest responsibility; communication is one of the fundemental necessities of the world and I never forget how priviledged I am to be able to start a process that has benefits for children for so many of their formative years.

I am looking forward to taking this passion of mine and moving Little Signers Club brand forward in different ways over the next few months and years as I sit with my Head Office hat on.  We’ll have around 30 teachers by the end of the year – I find this amazing and I am so pleased and thrilled that the people joining us as teachers are as passionate and committed as I am.  I cannot wait to see the fresh ideas and thoughts that come from these teachers are; how we develop these to continue our goal of raising standards within the baby signing industry.

I have laughed, signed, sung my heart out (sometimes out of tune!), been moved to tears by some of the stories I have heard and its now time for my swan song as I sign off, quite literally, from teaching today.

To all the parents and babies, friends, colleagues and professionals who have been a part of my journey, my heartfelt thanks for your support, encouragement and enthusiasm.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

Love

Shelley

Founder, Little Signers Club