I know it sounds unusual, but I was finally able to coordinate with a bunch of dads in our play group to create our first daddy & me class!
A few weeks ago, our group participated in a trial class to learn sign language to see if it was worthwhile to take and pursue with our kids. As a new dad, one of the most frustrating things that I encounter on a daily basis is that my 8 month old son can’t speak and tell me what he wants/needs. Wouldn’t it be helpful if I could learn to communicate more effectively with him before he could speak? Of course!
It was a great dynamic going through this class with a bunch of dads — a nice change from the mommy and me gym class I had on Monday. First, I really enjoyed learning a few key signs like more, eat, bottle, milk, sleep, yes, and no. I hope that this brief, 6 week class, will motivate me to practice consistently and frequently at home to see the results.
Is there a benefit to signing with your baby? Our instructor, Lora Heller, founder of BabyFingers, certainly thinks so. Their philosophy is that babies as young as one month, children in pre-school or Kindergarten, and toddlers anywhere in between will benefit from this unique combination of American Sign Language and music. Based on considerable research, Baby Fingers is designed to promote family communication while enhancing motivation to speak, increasing IQ, improving vocabulary and literacy skills, decreasing frustration, refining motor coordination and spatial reasoning skills.” A book I am currently reading, Sign With Your Baby, by Dr. Joseph Garcia, was highly recommended by our instructor and a close friend who signs with her baby. The book is informative, user friendly, and convincing that signing with your baby is the way to go! Here is the link for BabyFingers, who offer classes to learn sign language and other cool stuff all over NYC: http://www.mybabyfingers.com/