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Songs and Signs

American Sign Language, ASL & Songs is a powerful learning technique for all Hearing Children. Why it is beneficial and how to use it with babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary children.

For thousands of years, mankind has been passing on information, teaching culture, traditions, history and more through songs to children. It is widely considered to be a learning technique that goes to the core of our humanity. Now with all the pressures on preschool children to know so much more then generations past before entering school, it helps parents, teachers and other caregivers to use tools that facilitate this learning in a playful way. Singing of songs combined with the movement and visual nature of American Sign Language, ASL provides babies, toddlers and preschoolers a wonderfully rich way to learn and have fun – all at the same time. Just as we remembered movement songs like the Wheels on The Bus or the Itsy Bitsy Spider from our own childhoods, so to can children remember songs that are signed. This remembrance provides a memory platform for vocabulary and core educational concepts that will give them a Jump Start on the education.

We Sign provides parents, teachers and caregivers with fun and playful learning activities that engage young children while helping them to learn a wide variety of words and concepts. It is the broadest collection of signing products for children of all ages and like most learning activities are greatly enhanced by adult interaction. We Sign singing and signing activities help children to develop hand-eye coordination along with gross and fine motor control. Signing along to songs encourages creativity, enhances language skills, increases vocabulary, and stimulates memory and recall while encouraging an enthusiasm for learning.

The We Sign collection of songs are intended for children, babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary students, to participate with as they watch television – to be doers and not just viewers; to interact with other children as they actively sing and sign songs together; and for parents, teachers and caregivers to learn to sign the songs and then engage their children in the activity. There is no signing experience needed to do this. We have provided instruction for the American Sign Language signs on all of the products and by following some simple rules, you will achieve signing success.

How To Teach Songs that feature ASL to Children:

  1. Review the video/DVD and choose the song that you are going to present.
  2. Practice the song until you can sing and sign the song confidently.
  3. Keep in mind that you do not have to sign every word that is demonstrated. Choose how many and which specific signs you want to use. As you and your child get better, you can add additional signs.
  4. Present the signs clearly and slowly to your children, helping them to learn to sign each word correctly before you sing it.
  5. Always have your children's attention and be encouraging and supportive and never coerce.
  6. Sing and sign the song slowly at first, with the children following and singing along.
  7. Sing and sign the song at a faster tempo or play the song on the television for everyone to follow along, singing and signing.
  8. Praise all your children's efforts.
  9. Us the signs, found in the song, with your children at other times during the day, in conversation or while reading a book. This reinforces their learning and strengthens memory and recall.
  10. When singing the song again, review the signs before singing until you are sure the children know all the signs in the song. It's always great to get them participating by asking them how to sign each of the words that they remember.

Follow these steps for any song that you want to teach. Keep in mind that children love to sing and sign songs over and over again. This helps them to gain mastery of the words and signs. Then introduce 1 or 2 new songs, reviewing previous one often.