Speech-language pathologists recommended using the following indirect language strategies with babies, toddlers and other beginning communicators:
Self Talk: The parent talks about what they are doing as the parent is doing an activity.
Parallel Talk: The parent talks about what the child is doing as the child is doing an activity.
I recommend using the above strategies as well when you are signing with your baby.
Use "Self Talk" with your baby by signing what you are doing as you are doing it, for example, when you are drinking sign and say "MOMMY's DRINKing" (the words in all capitals are the ones you sign).
Use "Parallel Talk" with your little one by signing what your child is doing while she is doing the activity. For example, if your child is eating a cookie, talk about it and show your child the signs, sign and say, "You're EATing a COOKIE. It's a good COOKIE".
I'd like to put together a little video illustrating these strategies for parents so here's your challenge. Send in a video of you and your little one interacting during mealtime. I'd like to highlight the six signs "EAT, DRINK, MORE, MILK, CEREAL and FINISHed". If you're able send a few clips of your signing these signs with your little ones. Short video clips can be sent to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The video when complete, with permission from those who've shared, will be posted on our website so that we can encourage more parents to sign with thier babies and show them how to share and teach thier little ones! This won't be a "Show me the sign for X. What's the sign for Y" video...no baby sign language drills!
Let me know if you have questions! I look forward to seeing your video clips!