These videos are hosted by Johanna Larsen-Muhr, who is a CODA (child of
deaf adults) and a native signer. A variety of youngsters demonstrate the
signs, which are well-chosen for young children and are repeated several times. The first volume offers an especially useful segment presented by Larsen-Muhr that offers additional contextual information for parents about using ASL with babies.
Baby Sign Language Basics by Monta Z. Briant (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2004)
This small, thick book – designed to toss into a diaper bag – lives up to its title with short, readable chapters detailing the benefits and basics of using sign language with babies, often illustrated with examples from the author’s own experience. The bulk of the book is made up of clear black and white photos showing 60 signs, including 10 “lifesaver signs” to start with. A great introduction that enlightens without overwhelming.
These colorful board books feature bold illustrations of everyday objects and activities, accompanied by clear pencil drawings demonstrating the signs for each. A great introduction to ASL for deaf and hearing children alike.
Let’s Sign!: Every Baby’s Guide to Communicating with Grownups by Kelly Ault. (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)
After a brief and informative introduction detailing the benefits of using sign language with babies, this sturdy little picture book presents three stories: “Mealtime”, “Playtime”, and “Bedtime”. Each simple story follows a child through a daily activity, with the story appearing on the left hand side of each spread, and an illustration and description of one or two associated signs on the right. A handy index of signs makes this a great reference for parents as well.
My First Signs illustrated by Annie Kubler. (Child’s Play, 2005)
Featuring bright, child-friendly illustrations, this oversized board book
introduces 43 signs for activities, objects, and people in a baby’s world. Each illustration is accompanied by the English equivalent and a brief description of how the sign is made, and tips for parents on introducing the signs appear at the bottom of each page.
Sign With Your Baby by Joseph Garcia. Northlight Communications (2002).
Filled with anecdotes, practical guidelines, and humor, this classic book offers an effective way to teach parents and infants how to communicate through sign.
Signing Time! series (Two Little Hands Productions):
Volume I: My First Signs (2002),
Volume 2: Playtime Signs (2002),
Volume 3: Everyday Signs (2002),
Volume 4: Feelings and Fun (2004),
Volume 5: ABC Signs (2004),
Volume 6: My Favorite Things (2004),
Volume 7:Leah’s Farm (2005),
Volume 8:The Great Outdoors (2005),
Volume 9:The Zoo Train (2005) and many more.
Available on both DVD and VHS, this is hands-down the best sign language
series for young children. Each segment includes both hearing and deaf kids signing simple signs, and review segments featuring fun songs and stories reinforce vocabulary. Excellent segments geared to parents offer information about such topics as ASL grammar and tips for using the program with young
Especially appropriate for preschoolers, these colorful books combine kid-
friendly concept illustrations with line drawings clearly depicting sign
These fun board books feature illustrations of babies using the ASL signs
associated with these popular songs. Some gestures are used as well, but the difference between the two is clearly delineated by the captions.
Teach Your Tot to Sign: The Parents’ Guide to American Sign Language by Stacy A. Thompson. (Gallaudet University Press, 2005)
With descriptions, tips, and clear line drawings of over 500 ASL signs featuring concepts from a young child’s world, this book is the perfect resource for parents and toddlers ready to move beyond the very basics.
Baby Signing for Dummies by Jennifer Watson. (Wiley, 2006).
Watson, who is not fluent in ASL herself but signs with both of her hearing
children, gives a great introduction to the hows and whys of signing with
children, including the reasons to use ASL instead of invented signs. With clear illustrations of many of the signs relevant to a child’s world, this is a great book for anyone who wants to get started on signing with their little ones.
Baby Signing: How to Talk With Your Baby in American Sign Language by Andrea Fixell and Ted Stafford. (Penguin, 2006.)
Perfect for the parent who is already convinced of the merits of signing with
babies and is ready to get down to the signing itself, this stand-up guide
features full-page photos of babies signing, along with a page for each sign with a description and tips for introducing and reinforcing the sign in context.
Teaching Signs for Baby Minds Series. (Signs for Intelligence, 2007).
Volume 1: Everyday Signs
Volume 2: Concepts & Combinations
Volume 3: Dictionary & Alphabet
Created by and featuring Deaf mother Missy Keast, these DVDs present basic signs for babies, toddlers, and parents, along with cogent explanations of the hows and whys of signing with young children. All information is presenting by Keast in American Sign Language with English voiceover. The Concepts & Combinations DVD will be especially useful to parents who want to take signing a step further with their children, as it gives examples of how to go from discrete signs to full ASL sentences (such as “Please help clean up” and “Want to go for a walk?”). The Dictionary & Alphabet volume contains 150 additional signs presented in alphabetical order by English word, as well as the manual alphabet and slow-motion and regular-speed demos of how to fingerspell the forty
most popular children’s names.