How do I get started?
Start small. Take baby steps, as I like to say. Keep in mind that language acquisition starts small. Sign language use is the same. Think baby talk. Think repetition. Think repetition.
When using signs with hearing children, it’s important that you always say the word as you sign it. This reinforces the sign, the meaning, and language development.
A Handful of words at a time…
Words by the Handful is based on the knowledge that moms and dads of tiny babies have a lot on their plates. A handful of new signs at a time is a more manageable number to tackle than a whole language. You don’t need to be overwhelmed by having to learn a whole new language all at once. Children don’t learn language all at once. The signs suggested here will help them by reinforcing the most important and useful words they need.
How do I sign?
Get your hands ready, pick a few signs, and start signing.
Signing happens in a very defined space. Imagine a TV anchor on your television set. Most signs are done in an area from between your waist and just above your head, pretty much shoulder to shoulder and directly in front of the body. Facial expressions are also important in signing. If you are signing CRY, then you should have an expression that matches that. HAPPY should have a happy expression…