Another "New" good reason for teaching your toddler sign!
After a discussion with  some friends we realized that even if you intend to teach your child a second language, signing is a valuable resource to have. Now you have a hand picture to reinforce the two languages together!

Let's say mom is English and dad is French....
If mom teaches the sign for apple and says "Mommy says apple" sign apple "Papa dit pomme! " while still signing apple.

Learning sign as you teach two languages means that if the child has a moment of confusion or misunderstands a word, they can still get the meaning across with their sign and you can correct them!

A childs mind is so open to information, and languages come so easy to toddlers!
 
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NEW!  See the entire alphabet in picture hand sign in the dictionary. Click on "Alphabet" in the index to see them all in order.
Thank-you to 5 year old "Speed" for taking all the pictures of moms hands!
 
Some hand signs vary from region to region.The hand sign for pizza for example, is not always the same sign in California as it is in Florida, which is different than Ontario Canada. In our research we try to find 2 separate sources that agree on a sign before listing it.

 The hand signs on this site are based on ASL hand signs, but using them in the deaf community would be to them like what we hear as broken sentences from our children as they begin to talk in English.

So if you decide to move on with signing after you have your first 100 words, you need to decide if you want to go with ASL or SEE.  ASL (American Sign Language) or SEE (Signed Exact English) are both ways of communicating with your hands using similar signs, but are very different.

ASL belongs to the deaf community just as French belongs to a French community and Spanish to a Spanish community... you can always spot an English tourist in the crowd!  The customs and contexts and grammar are different than when we speak English.  They have there own slang, their own jokes and their own grammar, all of which barely resemble English.

SEE is Signed Exact English and means just that. It's a way of teaching a non hearing person about the English language and our rules to help them integrate into the hearing, English speaking world. You use the same ASL signs, but in English grammatical order. Here's an example:

SEE:    'The girl plays with the doll.'
ASL:     "Doll girl plays with"

ASL grammar is basically object, subject, verb. They use very few definite articles like "the" or "a" or "is".  And pronouns ("you" "he" "they" "I") aren't usually repeated while still on subject in the conversation.One sentence therefor could have many meanings, depending on context and facial expressions. And yet, as a community they have no trouble understanding what each person means.

Look at this sentence:
"Water me get" it could mean "Get me water?" (asking for some) or " I'll get water." (a purposed task) or "The water I get" (a statement, answer to a question)

Lot's to learn! If you only want sign to communicate within your own family, SEE is fine.  But if you wish to use it as a ministry tool within your church or community, you need to research and learn ASL rules of Grammar and lifestyle, from within your own region as well as nationally.
 

I hope to incorporate a child friendly Video Dictionary section for this site.
Here is the hand sign for boat, as demonstrated by Leopawz
 
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                                 Meet our mascot Leopawz!

You can see him in our Web sites main image. He is sitting there patiently waiting for his turn to help you learn hand signs to help you communicate with the youngest members of the family.

He is a "hand" puppet who will help us learn hand signs and songs and activities. We will show you how to do the ASL (American Sign Language)  or SEE (Signed Exact English) hand signs. For signs that don't move  there will be a photograph in the Dictionary. For moving signs there will be video.

 If you like Leo, and would like to make your own "Hand" puppet, I have a fully diagrammed instruction tutorial on my personal blog which you can find by following this link:
ASL/Homeschool Hand Puppet
I made Leopawz from thrift store items for a total of $3, so he is an easy, worthwhile  and fun learning tool.

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