Thursday, June 03, 2010

WeeHands in the Garden

In my classes and parent presentations I talk a lot of about narrating your children’s day and labeling sensory experiences.  Now if playing in the garden isn’t a sensory experience I don’t know what is!  Remember though that for your crawling baby or walking toddler, their gardening goals may be different than yours!

BERRY: Use this sign in the garden, in the kitchen or at the grocery store … anywhere you see berries.  If your baby is eating berries show her the sign BERRY before she gets one, while she’s eating and when she’s all done her snack (paired with the sign for FINISH).

How to make the sign: Your non-dominant hand mimes twisting the end off of your dominant hand’s little finger.

Hint: as if pulling off a small stem from the end of a berry.

DIRTY: Use this sign as you and your little one dig in the dirt.  Talk about, in positive ways, things being dirty: your hands, the roots of plants, your shovel.

How to make the sign: place the back of your dominant hand under the chin and wiggle your fingers.

Hint: this sign comes for a version of the sign DIRT.  One way to remember it is to think of your chin in the dirt…it would definitely get DIRTY!

SHOVEL: Use this sign before you pick up your shovel and when your little one is playing with their toy shovel.

How to make the sign: Both hands mime holding a shovel and make sharp short movements forward and then turn back toward your shoulder.

Hint: this one’s easy; you’re miming holding a shovel!

Sara Bingham is the author of The Baby Signing Book and the founder of WeeHands, a baby sign language program with classes across North America. Illustrations used with permission from Robert Rose Publishing from The Baby Signing Book by Sara Bingham, copyright 2007.  To learn more about the author and WeeHands visit
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