Jennifer Duncan will lead a story time featuring sign language for youngsters in the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library. (courtesy photo)
Sign language story time
Babies can let their hands do the talking at a new local library story time.
A baby signing story time is coming to the Scripps Ranch Library starting on Aug. 7 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jennifer Duncan, founder and owner of Signs at Play, will be the instructor for the story time. Duncan said the benefits of teaching your baby sign language are expansive.
“All of my programs are geared toward birth to pre-school and there are wonderful benefits for the entire age range and even beyond. A lot of my families start when their child is an infant and they continue coming because it allows them the opportunity to figure out what the baby is saying, which is not always clear,” Duncan said.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a study that compared two groups of 11-month-old babies. Group one was taught sign language and group two was only taught verbal language. The group taught sign language showed verbal skills three months beyond their non-signing counterparts. The NIH interviewed the same children at age 8 years old with results that showed babies who learn sign language showed IQs 12 points higher than the non-signing babies. Duncan explained that there are benefits to families beyond the brain development benefits.
“If families are in church or if they are in a library and there is quiet time or if they are any place that they just need to be more quiet, they can use sign to communicate with one another,” Duncan said.
The baby story time is an introduction to sign language for those families who might be interested or who are looking for a fun supplement to a baby sign language course, Duncan said. The format of the story time includes the same “Hello and Welcome” song and “Goodbye” song. Each week Duncan prepares a theme, the most recent was a week on cows, complete with books, a movement section, songs and bubbles. Duncan also sets aside time at the end of each class to answer any questions parents might have about teaching their child sign language.
Duncan said families should consider attending even if their child is on the older end of the targeted birth to pre-school age range as the brain development and other benefits can still have a remarkable impact.
For more information on the new baby sign language story time visit srfol.org.