We recently started using sign language (ASL) more after learning more about our daughter's various delays. It started by wanting to give her a hand motion to match each house rule that we wanted her to learn. She responded so well to this, and actually told me that the signs are helpful to her, that we've started signing even more. A good friend pointed me to the "Signing Time" videos, which all of our kids like watching, and they are all learning the signs. We've also checked out a few books from the library for additional signing vocabulary. If nothing else it is a fun and educational activity that all of my children enjoy, YAY!...but there seems to be more to it.
Especially since I'm just learning to sign again (dredging up some quite rusty memories from my high school era) I do not sign with my kids all the time, but I am strategically learning signs to accompany challenging and/or important conversations, like:
- enforcing the house rules
- talking about emotions (are you feeling happy, sad, grumpy, etc.)
- frustrating situations (need help?)
- mealtimes (more, done, please, thank you)
- play time (your turn, share)
- and story time (whatever words in a book that I know I try to practice those signs)