Did you know that children as young as six months old can start to learn and understand certain signs — such as the sign for “milk” when they’re hungry? More and more parents are using American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with their little ones, in part because of the positive developmental effects.
But the benefits don’t stop there — experts have found that teaching young children basic signs (like the alphabet) can help with letter recognition and improve their vocabulary. And best of all, your kids will think it’s so cool, like learning a secret code!
So get ready to check another thing off your Summer Bucket List …
This Week’s Activity: Learn to Sign Your Name
Signing your name in ASL, otherwise known as “finger spelling,” is a great exercise in motor skills and memory.
First, practice forming the letters with your fingers:
Now that you’ve practiced forming the letters, it’s time to form your name.
Tip: when spelling your name, you’ll want to start with you hand in the center of your body, and move your hand from left to right in front of you with your fingers facing away from you. This way, each letter is easily identifiable. For names with a double letter (like the name Kelley), move your hand over and do a bouncing motion to indicate that there are two of the same letters in a row.
Here’s how to spell my name (Emily):