9 Ways Sign Language Can Benefit Your Toddler (and You!)
By Playing With Words 365 on May 21, 2012
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[Editor's Note: My sister-in-law is expecting her first child and has been picking my brain for many of the things I did with the boys when they were infants. She remembered that we taught the boys sign language when they were wee-little and how it was not only cute but helpful in figuring out what they wanted. I shared some tips and will be forwarding on this post by Katie at Playing with Words 365. Katie goes into great detail about they whys of how sign language can benefit your toddler -- and you. -Jenna]
1. Sign language provides the ability to communicate earlier than speech
You probably already know that babies and toddlers are able to understand far more than they can express. Receptive language skills, what they can understand, develop earlier than expressive language skills, or what they can say. In fact, the motor skills and auditory perceptual skills needed to articulate speech are simply not developed enough to produce words until around 10-12 months of age (give or take) and then they continue to develop for years.
However, babies and toddlers typically have the fine motor ability to produce simple signs between 6 and 14 months which is typically before they can speak. Which means that teaching your baby or toddler sign language may allow them to communicate EARLIER than with speech alone.