In the months before we brought Ethan home from Korea, a friend told us about teaching her children sign language even before they were able to communicate with words.
One of the first signs we taught Ethan was “more” (to help us know if he was still hungry and wanted more food). And recently, we’ve been working on increasing the number of words/signs Ethan is able to communicate, including: banana, cold (which he also uses for “hot,” at the moment), finished (we use “all gone,” and it’s a modified version of the official sign), water (a hard word to sign so Ethan uses his own version), and his favorite, milk!
Signing is a fun way to communicate with Ethan and we’ll try to continue to expand his signing vocabulary. We’re currently working on car (which has been one of his favorite spoken words) and bath.
You might enjoy checking out a fun/helpful baby signing video dictionary (American Sign Language) which uses an animated baby to demonstrate the sign (there are also written instructions included as well). The site shows how to sign quite a few words, including the ones mentioned above. Check it out.
What has been your experience with signing (and perhaps teaching children how to sign)?