Here’s a fun and engaging bounce rhyme for babies and toddlers from my upcoming book, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (which you can pre-order here!).
Put your child in your lap and bounce side to side to the rhythm as you say the rhyme.
Taking turns is fun to do
First it’s me (MY-TURN) and then it’s you (YOUR-TURN)
Back and forth and to and fro
MY TURN, YOUR TURN, here we go!
Now let’s do it slowly! (Repeat the rhyme slowly)
Now let’s do it quickly! (Repeat the rhyme quickly)
MY TURN: Tip a sideways L-handshape towards your chest.
Tip a sideways L-handshape towards the other person.
A note about the signs: The signs MY-TURN and YOUR-TURN are both wonderful examples of the economy of space and directionality in American Sign Language! When signing MY-TURN, the palm of the hand should be facing you. When signing YOUR-TURN, the back of your hand should be facing the person whose turn it is. You can also show a group of people taking turns by tipping the sign toward each person in turn.
Why it works:
This activity allows your child to experience and internalize language with multiple senses – hearing the words in a rhythmic way, feeling the rhythm as you bounce her along, and seeing the signs. The back-and-forth nature of the rhyme and the bounce also emphasizes the directionality of the sign, so that when you use it in context, your child will understand it clearly.
See a video tutorial for this bounce here.
Check out Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together for lots more fun ideas to promote early literacy through signing!