Baby and Child Sign Language with
"Happy Baby Signs"
We are so pleased to host Happy Baby Signs to bring you these amazing classes. They are the leading Bay Area providers for American Sign Language (ASL) instruction for parents and authors of the book Signs of a Happy Baby.
These quarterly classes at Cucu's PlayHouse are ideal for parents that are exploring Sign Language for the first time, and for those who have already completed a Sign Language program, and would like to practice their vocabulary.
Fun activities and songs will show you how easy sign language can be. For parents with new babies, Bill will show you how to integrate more than 20 beginning signs into your baby’s daily routine.
February 5, 2020
May 6, 2020
August 5, 2020
October 21, 2020
Registration - February 5, 2020 class
(Early Bird pricing will be valid until January 29, 2020)
The Instructor - Bill White
Bill White is the founder of the Happy Baby Signs and co-author with Kathleen Harper of the internationally best selling book, Signs of a Happy Baby.
He facilitates baby sign language programs at Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health, Sutter Health, Harmony Birth and Family, Blossom Birth and Family, Stanford Work-Life, Cisco Systems, Children’s Creative Learning Centers, Genentech, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, and many other locations. Bill is passionate about the benefits of signing with babies and is the proud father of two hearing sons who both sign.
Bill received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychobiology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has had 25 years of dance training and has taught dance classes locally to children and adults. He worked as Director of Operations for Kidsfaire for five years and has been the Fashion Show Director and choreographer for Modern Bridal Productions since 1995.
Benefits of Sign Language for Babies and Toddlers
• Accelerates language acquisition. Research studies have found that signing babies normally begin to speak earlier and have larger vocabularies than non-signing babies.
• Provides a parent with the wonderful opportunity to develop a window into their child's mind. By including signs in daily activities, parents spend less time guessing what children want and more time fulfilling their specific needs.
• Teaches a simple language that allows children to easily express their immediate desires and needs, significantly lowering frustration levels for everyone.
• Allows children to lead the conversation about topics that interest them. When a parent then verbalizes the sign, it fortifies a child’s expanding vocabulary.
• Utilizes more diverse areas of the brain for communication. Rather than language being processed solely through auditory pathways, signing adds visual and kinesthetic emphasis to a child’s auditory input.
• Gives babies a sense of control when they know that those around them not only hear them but understand them. This greatly enhances a child’s self esteem and emotional stability.
• Helps parents and health care providers localize pain and identify medical conditions.
• Enables children to express their fears or concerns.
• Decreases aggressive behavior such as biting, hitting, and excessive noise in preschool and elementary school programs.
• Increases a child’s interest in reading.
• Builds an iconic bridge between two languages in a bilingual family. For example, the same signs can be used for words spoken in English or Spanish. Knowing a sign for a word helps a child recognize the same word spoken in other languages.
• May actually improve a child's IQ. Research studies have followed signing babies as they mature. At eight years old, these children scored, on average, 12 points higher in IQ testing than a control group of non-signing eight year olds. The signers had a mean IQ of 114 (75th percentile) versus the non-signers’ mean score of 102 (53rd percentile). The study was designed to equalize socioeconomic factors between the two groups.
When should I start signing with my child?
Start Now. You’ll hear six to eight months old is an optimal time to start signing with your baby. After babies are six months old, they are starting to associate language, whether spoken or gestured, with the world around them. Their long-term memory is developmentally ready to retain the signs they see. At six months of age babies’ motor skills and hand-eye coordination are at a stage to be able to make more precise gestures. Having said this, it’s perfectly fine to start earlier than six months old. That way you will be ready with a solid signing vocabulary when your baby is six months old! Start building your baby sign language skills today. We’ve found the younger your baby is the easier it is for you to pay attention in class!
If you start signing regularly to babies when they're under seven months of age you can reasonably expect them to sign back when they’re between eight and ten months old. It really depends on how often you sign with them and it also depends on your baby’s personal agenda. Yes, every baby has their own agenda and, much like their first step or the day they are potty trained, they ultimately are the ones that decide when they are ready to start signing.
Cancellations are accepted up to 7 days prior to the workshop for a full refund. Credit for a future class is offered for cancellations after that date. Full price is refunded if Happy Baby Signs cancels a class.