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My First Signs: BSL (Baby Signing) Board book – 1 Apr 2004
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Signing guide to 40 key words. Childlike lovable illustrated characters depict the signs throughout this large board book. A helpful description on hand shapes and movements accompanies each sign. (Under 5 Magazine 2005-04-01)
When babies cry, you don’t always know what they want – but they may be able to tell you. Babies can coordinate their hand muscles long before they can speak and, if they learn simple signs, they’re able to convey their needs from as early as eight months. It’s a system called 'baby signing', and it’s been popular in the US for years.
It can also help your child to speak earlier and use a larger vocabulary. And as it’s based on British Sign Language, you’re learning a lifelong skill. Parents and babies can learn at classes (visit www.totstalkinghands.co.uk) or through books such as 'My First Signs', £4.99, a dictionary of simple words, and 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star', one of four Sign & Sing-Along books by Annie Kubler. For more information visit www.childs-play.com (SHE magazine 2004-08-01)
For those who would like to give it [Baby Signing] a try in the privacy of their own home, ‘My First Signs’ is the perfect answer. This is a beautifully illustrated dictionary of over 40 key signs to teach your baby. Not only does it clearly demonstrate the gestures but also uses adorable illustrations that are pleasant to look at. The book is a large glossy board format so it’s easy to prop up in front of you and your child. Each picture is accompanied by simple instructions on how to make the sign. The signs are based around British Sign Language as this is the standard sign language used by baby signers, it’s important that baby signs can be understood by others. It is felt that children as young as eight months can be taught to sign and the book also suggests teaching a few signs to any additional carers that your child may come into contact with, such as a childminder or babysitter, and even older siblings. At just £4.99 this book is not a huge investment and may avoid tempers fraying in those early years. (Harpenden and District NCT Newsletter 2004-12-01)
If this book had been available when I looked into the issue [of baby signing] the first time, I would not have hesitated to buy it. I intend to try and use it for baby number two when I consider that he/she is old enough to be able to communicate using signs. The book is produced in a board format so there are no pages to rip. It is bright and colourful, perfect for sitting down and looking through with children. There are excellent illustrations of babies which clearly show them making the action of the sign, but there is also a small written description of the sign in case you are not 100% sure of the action being demonstrated. At the very bottom of the page there is one line which provides a handy hint for the parent, such as only introducing three or four signs to start with and which ones are likely to be most successful. There is no long spiel in it about the background of baby signing, which most of us would happily admit that we don’t need to read.
The book is really simple to use, just ten minutes of flicking through the book, reading the hints on starting to sign and then learning the first couple of signs yourself is all it takes. (Eastleigh & District NCT 2004-11-01)
When asked to review a book about baby signing I was filled with trepidation! The usual textbooks (I use the term loosely) are quite uninspiring and mostly aimed at the parent or carer and not the child. On seeing ‘My First Signs’ I was pleasantly surprised, it is in colour (my previous experience of signing books being dreary and in black and white). It is illustrated with cartoon-like pictures that really appeal to children and adults alike. The little text there is explains how to perform the sign in an easy manner. The book is designed to be read with your child, not just as a reference. Emily and I had great fun looking at it together. I read out the signs and she showed me them, appearing to look at the pictures and copy what she saw. The signs she didn’t know, she grasped quickly by copying the pictures. I particularly like the fact that each picture is a full scene e.g. bathtime, so that we can talk about each picture and use the appropriate sign.
Although it doesn’t have a comprehensive list of signs it does contain the common ones for everyday use such as milk, food, more and drink. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in starting to sign with their baby and those who have been signing for a while. I just wish that we had obtained a copy at the start of our signing days! (Julia Gilbert Romsey & District NCT Newsletter 2004-11-01)
These are absolutely gorgeous – a must for any new parent. We only got as far as ‘eat’, ‘drink’, ‘more’ and ‘finished’ with Amy (now 3) – if only we’d had these lovely books we’d still be signing today! The robust board format with wipe clean pages will stand up to lots of reading and exploration by parents and babies alike. The illustrations are bright, clear and quite enchanting – not only will Mum and Dad be able to learn the signs quickly and easily, but the characters are very engaging for small minds. My First Signs runs through all the early signs centred around food and drink, then moves on through subjects like bath and bedtime, playtime, outdoor fun, behaviour and health ending very sweetly on ‘I Love You’. You will probably find that some of the signs come naturally – like the pointy ears for ‘rabbit’ or the charades mime for ‘book’ – but some are less obvious, but incredibly useful – like ‘ill’ and ‘medicine’. Alongside the individual signs, you are also reminded of how to teach each of them to your baby and given encouragement not to worry if they creatively adapt signs for their own benefit! So long as you both know what the sign means, that’s all that matters!
The nursery rhyme Sign & Sing-Along quartet offers you the chance to expand your signing vocabulary through song. Most of us instinctively use hand signals through ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ or ‘Incey Wincey’, but here they are taken a little further, signing the words and concepts rather than just the twinkly stars and finger diamonds.
These are beautifully crafted books that are sure to become long-standing family favourites – and they also offer a wonderful start to your baby’s communication skills. (Byfleet and District NCT Newsletter 2004-09-01)
Babies communicate in gestures long before they learn to talk, so baby signing is a great way to communicate with your baby. Babies from as young as seven months can 'talk' to you through signs and this book is an excellent introduction. A well-presented board book, this contains signs for over 40 key words. Lovely illustrations of babies make this a most attractive book to share with your baby, while learning the signs. The signs are based on British Sign Language and are suitable for deaf and hearing children; they are also Makaton compatible. Each colourful page has useful tips along the bottom.There are lots more signing books published by Child's Play, so there are plenty of opportunities to extend this early learning. (Parents In Touch 2011-03-24)
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Thought others might like to know which signs are covered:
milk, drink. eat, biscuit, more, hot, all gone/finished, dirty, nappy, wash, toilet/potty, bath, sleep/bed, hug/cuddle, dad/father, mum/mother, hurt, where, ill/unwell, medicine, teddy bear, ball, baby/doll, aeroplane, book, out/outside, walk, cold, car, home/house, dog, cat, rabbit, bird, please, thank-you, sorry, well done, good, no/stop, I, love, you
So, plenty to get you started in just 12 pages!
It can sometimes be difficult to decipher the signs, even though I have done a term of classes. I think a DVD to go with it would be a great idea.
It has now got me interested to know more, so I would now love a volume 2 please!!
UPDATE: Our baby is now nearly 6 months old and seems to understand the sign for milk. I just have to say it to her and she pushes herself back, smiles and opens her mouth ready for a feed. We have started weaning and hence using the sign for eat too. She seemed to pick that up very quickly and smiles and kicks her legs when we do the sign for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting, a lot of the signs you will never need (medicine?) but overall it's really helpful and will help a lot.Published 27 days ago by M. Richmond
Have been using this to learn Makaton to support my daughter's speech and language. She is yet to copy me but I feel she is beginning to understand some signs.Published 1 month ago by Allana89
Great book. My husband and I will be using it for early communication with the baby. Very easy signs to follow.Published 1 month ago by Dorothy
Bit of a busy book but good. Wud be better if it was one or two images per page.Published 1 month ago by Franky Hillman
great. simple to use and the kids love reading it too and learning to sign with the baby. there aren't many words but enough to get you started and probably enough for us to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chaki