I’m a BIG fan of the public library–we stop by two or three times a week to pick up a handful of books, DVDs, and CDs that I have requested whenever others have recommended them.
For the first few years of our signing journey, we used our local library to access Signing Time DVDs. They were entertaining and educational and I really enjoyed the variety that came from picking out a new one every couple of weeks.
Signing Time works for our family, so of course I recommend it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only program or resource out there! Here are few other items that are available at the San Antonio Public Library:
Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom was written by Kirsten Dennis and Tressa Azpiri. I’m a homeschooler, so I don’t let books with “classroom” in the title scare me off–as parents, we are also teachers–and books like these have lots of helpful tips that are applicable to our own children. This specific book has a great history of sign language, lots of pictures/descriptions for signs useful with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, PLUS specific ideas, games, books, and songs that can be used to help integrate sign language into everyday life. I like this book so much, I haven’t returned it yet! 🙂
Baby Sign Language Basics by Monta Z. Briant
I picked up this chunky little book (4″x4″) from a friend on a local kids’ swap, and I love all the helpful signs that it has in the back of the book! Unfortunately, this book is NOT available at the library, but the related DVD is!
The girls and I sat down to watch the DVD over the weekend, and it’s wonderful for anyone who is open to the idea of signing with a child, but doesn’t really know how to start. Monta walks through all the basics of signing, and includes stories and tips from real families, including a mom of twins who has a deployed husband! For those of you who are already convinced that signing is a good idea for your family, this DVD might seem a little too simple–but the 300 sign dictionary included is a valuable resource! I am a visual learner, and I’ve found that it’s 100 times easier for me to learn a sign that I see in real life/video than in a book. (This DVD is aimed at parents, not kids, but it certainly kept my two girls interested.)
The Big Blue Bowl: Sign Language for Food was written by Dawn Babb Prochovnic and illustrated by Stephanie Bauer. This is one of sixteen ASL books written by Prochovnic (the only one available at the SAPL, unfortunately), and it’s adorable! The plot is simple; a group of animal friends are making soup and each page spread features repetitive, rhyming text and a simple illustration, along with a picture of how to make that food’s sign. As I mentioned, I have a hard time “visualizing” a sign from a 2D picture in a book, but with the Internet, it wouldn’t be too hard to look up new signs like beans and rice. (There is also a glossary in the back of the book with a detailed written explanation for each of the signs, plus fun facts and activities to try at home.)
Check soon for MORE resources available at the library! And leave a comment before you leave…which of these would you be most likely to check out for your family?