Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Baby Signing Time videos are on the horizon

As I've mentioned here and here, we LOVE Signing Time (ST) at our house!!! In fact Fischer and I were quite starstruck when we spotted three of Signing Time's stars at the farmer's market a few weeks ago!!!
Recently a Signing Time representative contacted me about reviewing the two new volumes of Baby Signing Time (BST). While Fischer and I never spent much time with the Baby Signing Time videos, I thought this might be a fun way to get myself acquainted with them. Not to mention, I had a feeling Fisch would really dig them!!

Both, Baby Signing Time Volumes 3 and 4 are excellent quality and do not disappoint when it comes to teaching plenty of relevant and age-appropriate signs (approx. 25-30 per video).
Rachel introduces each sign with a cheerful and expressive demonstration and description. She is accompanied by an illustration of the word as well as the printed word itself. Each sign introduction is followed by Rachel singing background to many many video images of babies and toddlers practicing the signs. The "model" children are of all races and abilities, and are signing in a variety of settings. The children are shown signing in homes, parks, and yards as well as staged in front of fun patterned backdrops. Not only are there plenty of examples of each sign being performed, but there are ample examples of the word or concept itself. For example, the word "sun" shows real and animated images of the sun, as well as children playing in the sunshine and putting on hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. The word bug might show images of real live bugs, children dressed as bugs, toy bugs, animations of bugs, etc.
One of the things I love most about the videos (as a mother of a hearing and typically-developing child) is the vocabulary. Each video reinforces a number of vocabulary words and concepts. For Fischer, this made a huge difference in his speech when he started talking. We would go to the park and he'd be talking about "exploring" on a "path" and looking for "owls" when his speech was brand new!

Baby Signing Time is baby due to the specific vocabulary and concepts taught, the age of the models, and there is a bit more animation than in the regular series. Also Alex and Leah, the stars of Series one and two and the PBS television program, are not in these videos. Their animated diapered counterparts are featured along with a baby Hopkins (the ST frog).

Babies and children and even adults learn the signs easily from both the baby and regular series because each sign is taught with a visual demonstration, a verbal explanation, and plenty of time to physically practice. Three learning styles are used to reach every kind of learner.

Baby Signing Time Volume 3: A New Day:

Some of the signs taught: day, new, outside, wind, rain, snow, sun, cloud, sky, tree, grass, flower, leaf, stop, go, wait, again, bug, up, down, star, moon, night, and good.
You can see how many of these signs are immediately relevant to the everyday life of little children. You can start using them right away.
There are also 9 new songs performed to help make connections and give practice opportunities to the new signs. Rachel truly does have a beautiful voice and I have never found the songs mind numbing or ear plug worthy!! Of course I'm always a fan of the very last song on each video and this one does not disappoint. "Tiny Hands" is a beautiful song that you want to play behind a slide show of your own beautiful babe.
Here is a little preview of BST volume 3:

Baby Signing Time Volume 4: Let's make Friends

Some of the signs taught: friend, play, share, nice, feel, sad, cry, happy, laugh, opposite, hot, cold, yes, no, dirty, clean, you, me, apple, pear, carrot, peach, juice, bubble, balloon, telephone, game and music.

The DVD features 6 new songs and one of my old favorites, "Show Me a Sign" (which is also featured on Signing Time Songs Vol. 1-3 Music CD).

I do like that this video reminds parents to start teaching about emotions early. You know these concepts are important to children. Specifically, I believe it to be important to get a jump on feeling identification for children who have the types of delays evident on the autism spectrum.

Here is a sneak peak of BST volume 4:

While all of the signs in these two volumes of Baby Signing time can also be found on the videos in Series 1 and Series 2, I can see the benefit of showing little ones examples of little ones signing. Also, yes those signs are in other videos but they are not all in one video, they are scattered through the many different themed videos. If I was starting over with an infant, I think the relevance of the vocab in BST is great and would make for a good start. Fischer started with Series 1, volume 1 "My First Signs" at 13 months and took off from there. By 21 months he knew over 250 signs and was talking and pairing the two. So I guess either way is great (although BST volume 1 has words like "diaper" - not featured in any of the other series)... I am just a major fan of the program and I recommend it to all parents. Whether a child is developing typically, showing delays in speech, or is experiencing life with a more severe disability.... communication is the key to unlock their world. So why not?
Two quick notes:
  • I am just kicking myself for not videotaping Fischer doing his signs before he could talk!!! Grrr.
  • On BST volume 3 when Rachel is singing "Tiny Hands", images of tiny babies are being shown and then it shows clips of 3 year old Alex and 5 year old Leah in their first DVD and now... and I nearly cried!! Ok I did cry a little. I don't even know these kids but it was really touching to see how they've grown and in less than 2 years time they feel like a part of our family because we've watched them grow through the DVDs.

Anyway, poke around and see what you think. Be sure to check out the links on the "About Us" page. Whether you are interested in the videos or other products or not, it is an inspiring story.


Anonymous said...

We didn't even know about the regular Signing Times videos until Zev was much older- we had the Baby ones and he learned from those (and the books)- so we are so excited about the new baby ones as I'll get them for Zoe. In fact, even now, Zev will ask to listen to the Baby Signing Times CD in the car over the "OTHER signing times" as he calls it-

Raynola said...


Rachel Coleman said...

Any time you run into us, PLEASE say "Hi!" My girls love the Farmers Market, we just don't frequent it enough. Thanks for the great review!

CC said...

Congrats on making the top 10 review. :)

SmartBabySignLanguage said...

My daughter asks for "My music!" when we are in the car or "Signing Time!" She asks us to repeat songs. It differs almost everyday, but inevitably, she'll want to hear a song several times. That's fine with me. I have a hard time remembering words and songs for some odd reason, so I need all the chances to memorize the songs that I can get.