One of the foundation skills for learning to talk is Imitation. Copying skills are often practiced in these contexts;
- action nursery rhymes / finger plays
- Simon Says games
- funny faces
- signing / gestures
Learning how to sign or gesture has many benefits for language &/or developmentally delayed children. It develops imitation skills and can be a bridge to further communication development. Always sign and talk at the same time! Using signs / gestures with hearing children should never be done silently.
These small, sturdy board books have a picture of an object (eg cat) and then a photo of a baby doing the sign. Clear photo images and a simple design make this a great starter for learning some first signs.
These books are in the design of a child’s picture book with coloured line drawings. The pages are quite busy with lots of information – better for an older child. There are also nursery rhyme books with actions for the rhymes like Incy Wincy Spider & Wheels on the Bus.
I Can Do That! A beautifully illustrated book with line drawings of actions that young children like to do. Kiss, drink, eat etc. A great way for children to copy a natural daily action.
Copycat Animals & CopyCat Faces.This book is difficult to find unfortunately! You will need to track it down on Amazon or Ebay. However, it is a beautiful way to introduce some very easy gestures. The book has about 5 different animal actions. Each page has one child dressed up an an animal doing an animal gesture. These are not based on Auslan – they are more natural actions.
Baby Faces – this is a short, simple board book with different facial expressions. These are not signs, just copycat faces to try if you are developing some imitation skills.
Signing Smart – My first Signs. This book has both an adult and child doing the same sign.
Baby Sign & Learn Cards. This is a new series using Keyword signs from Auslan. There are double-sided flashcards, a book and even an App. The double sided cards have a photo of an object on one side and then flip over to a cartoon baby doing the sign.
Teach your Baby to Sign. Very clear set of photo cards of a young child doing early signs.
Signing Stars. There are a few sets to purchase all in Auslan. The line drawings on one side show a baby sign and the other side have a photo of the animal/object.
Auslan Flashcards – a set of cards with line drawings of a person signing and clipart. For the more advanced user.