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.

picture books

my first baby signs

My First Baby Signs Board Book series.This series has 3 books – First signs,  Baby Signs for Animals & Baby Signs for Mealtimes. 

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.



my first signs

My First Signs by Annie Kubler. This is another series of larger board books with the topics – My First Signs,  My First Animal 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.



sign getting readyAnother series with topics like Mealtime,  Getting Ready,  Playtime, Going out.  These books are very similar to the Annie Kubler series with line drawings best suited to an older toddler / child.







I can do thatI 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 animalsCopycat 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 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.






my first signsSigning Smart – My first Signs.  This book has both an adult and child doing the same sign.






Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.47.26 PMBaby 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 baby to signTeach your Baby to Sign.  Very clear set of photo cards of a young child doing early signs.








signing starsSigning 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 for beginnersAuslan Flashcards – a set of cards with line drawings of a person signing and clipart.  For the more advanced user.