Mom and Baby Sign Language Classes in Houston

One of the most exciting milestones my husband and I have experienced with both our kids was hearing them utter their first words. The thrill that comes from the realization that repeatedly saying "dada" and "say ma-ma-ma-ma-mama" has finally clicked and then being able to watch your child's vocabulary explode is one of those experiences that you never forget. The months leading up to that, however, can be wrought with frustration for parents and babies as you both try to communicate to each other. There is a solution, though - baby sign language.

Baby sign language allows your child to effectively communicate with you well before they are verbal, and can ease the frustration and tantrums that are often a result of the helplessness born from not being able to communicate a need or want. Learning another language so early also paves the way to multilingual success as your child grows, and can be a fun and unique bonding experience for the two of you. Here are some sign language classes around Houston for you and baby to learn and grow together.

Mimi Brian Vance helps parents and babies bridge the communication gap in a Words by the Handful class/Photo courtesy of Words by the Handful

Words by the Handful
Mimi Brian Vance is the brains behind Words by the Handful and has been offering American Sign Language classes for babies and their caregivers since 2007. Classes are offered for ages 6 months to 2-years and focus on teaching children and adults signs through songs and music in a relaxed, engaging environment. Currently, classes are offered in private homes and at West University Recreation Center and will be offered online soon.

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Baby Sensory
Baby Sensory classes are designed and offered for newborns and babies and use activities that stimulate the senses and encourage development. The four main areas of focus in the Baby Sensory program are Language Development, Physical Development, Social Development and Emotional Development. Specifically, the Language Development portion of the class focuses on using sign language to help new parents communicate with their babies and teach babies how to communicate back. Because the program is multifaceted, your baby will also engage in tummy time, social play and massage in addition to learning baby sign language.

Kids R Kids Infant Program
For parents looking to enroll their newborns in a learning academy, Kids R Kids offers an Infant Child Care Curriculum that specializes in meeting the language, cognitive, physical, social and emotional needs of infants and babies. One major component of this is teaching babies how to effectively communicate through sign language. As babies become comfortable with the sign language they learn, they are able to enhance and maximize their communication skills, paving the way for them to accomplish developmental milestones and eliminate the frustration that comes from not being able to verbally communicate yet.  

Signing at breakfast/Photo via Flickr

Signing Time Academy
Signing Time Academy certifies independent instructors through their specialized signing program, Baby Signing Time. These instructors are then able to offer classes, products, and personal support to parents and teachers within their communities. Certified Instructors teach baby sign language through parent workshops, baby sign language classes, teacher training, home parties and free presentations.

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Baby Signing Time
If attending a class isn't an option, or if you'd rather learn at home, you can purchase the aforementioned Baby Signing Time system in DVD format, which teaches parents and babies signs through music. This type of program allows you to begin teaching your baby signs as soon as they're born, allows parents and caregivers to get used to simultaneously signing while talking, and helps babies make an early connection between signing words and their spoken counterparts. 

Baby Sign Language Online Course
For parents wanting to quickly learn baby sign language in the comfort of their own home, Baby Sign Language delivers lessons to your inbox that help you learn how to communicate with your baby in as little as seven days. The lessons start with the basics and build on each other daily, so by the end of the crash course you'll be able to combine words and begin to teach your baby how to sign to you. The site also has flash cards, a dictionary, books, a wall chart, DVDs and signing kits.  

Top image: Signing "thank you" at dinner/Photo via Flickr

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