Teaching Kids Sign Language
PickyKidPix has been learning sign language in class because there is a child who is hard of hearing. He’s been her classmate for three years now and it’s amazing to me how much sign language she’s picked up from just first grade, 2nd, and 3rd grade. I asked her if she uses it and she says that she will sign with that boy even though he also has Cochlear implants. Sometimes signing is just less disruptive.
I’ve noticed that she will also sign with her friends, just for fun. They especially like that we don’t know what they are saying but they have to spell out each word letter by letter since their vocabulary is limited to things like yes, no, please, thank you, eat, I have to use the bathroom, I love you, mom and dad.
I found this great site that has a video demo for 100 basic American Sign Language signs:
This page contains links to about a hundred basic ASL signs that are frequently used between parents and their young children. Remember, there is much more to learning American Sign Language than just memorizing signs. ASL has its own grammar, culture, history, terminology and other important aspects. It takes time and effort to become a “skilled language user.” But you have to start somewhere if you are going to get anywhere–so dive in and enjoy.
- Family – mom, dad, boy-girl, marriage, brother-sister, grandpa-grandma, aunt-uncle, baby, single, divorced-separate
- Places – home, work, school, store, church, come-go, car/drive, in-out, with,
- Time – day, night, week, month, year, will-(future), before-(in the past), today-(now), finish-(“all done!”)
- Temperature – hot, cold
- Food – pizza, milk, hamburger, hot dog, egg, apple, cheese, drink, spoon, fork, cup, cereal, water, candy, cookie, hungry
- Clothes – shirt, pants, socks, shoes, coat, underwear
- Health – wash, hurt, bathroom, brush teeth, sleep, nice/clean
- Feelings – happy, angry, sad, sorry, cry, like, good-bad, love
- Requests – please, excuse, thank you, help, who, what, when, where, why, how, stop
- Amounts – big, tall, full, more
- Colors – blue, green, yellow, red, brown, orange, gold & silver
- Money – dollars, cents, cost
- Animals – cat, dog, bird, horse, cow, sheep, pig, bug
Here’s a great video on the sign language alphabet.
MY DAD LIKE[s] COLD PIZZA.
MY MOM LIKE[s] CHURCH.
[The] HE-(point off to your side) BOY LIKE[s] HOT-DOG[s].
[The] SHE-(point) GIRL WANT[s] [to] FOOD [eat].
[The] THOSE-2 BOY [and] GIRL FUTURE [will] MARRIAGE [get married].
MY BROTHER LIKE HOT WASH-(body) [bath].
MY SISTER LIKE[s] SCHOOL.
MY GRANDMA HAVE [ has a] GREEN COAT.
PAST [last] YEAR MY GRANDPA WORK [ed].
MY AUNT SLEEP HER UNDERWEAR.
MY UNCLE DIVORCE.
SHE HAPPY BABY!
SHE (the) GIRL (is) SINGLE
MY MOM-DAD (parents) (are) SEPARATE(d).
I FINISH(ed) MY HOME-WORK.
I DRIVE-to SCHOOL.
I GO (to the) STORE.
I PAST GO (went to) CHURCH WITH MY BOY-MARRIAGE (husband).
PAST (last) WEEK I SLEEP IN MY CAR.
PAST (last) NIGHT (it was) COLD OUT (outside).
Sign Language: My First 100 Words
American Sign Language for Kids: Learn ASL Beginner Level 1, Vol. 1 by Tracie Miller
Sign Language for Kids: A Fun & Easy Guide to American Sign Language by Lora Heller
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10 thoughts on “Sign Language for Kids”
Great article! Posted it on my Facebook page & Stumble Upon.
Thank you soooo much!
I love that PickyKidPix has decided to learn sign language. Now that you mention it, kids love their ‘secret’ languages, and I’ll bet more kids would be into learning sign language for this reason alone!
You are right about that secret language stuff because she doesn’t seem to want to teach us much!
I started signing with my daughter around a year and those few signs were I taught her were helpful. She started talking soon after that so we didn’t get very far with it.
This is very interesting, I didn’t know ASL had its own grammar, etc.
I never did the baby signing thing but it sounds like those parents who did that have a foundation to build off of. It has been fun to learn a few words at the dinner table too.
This is an amazing list! Thanks so much. My younger teen has asked me how kids learn sign language and now I have answers for her
Thanks so much! I’m so glad to hear that your teen wants to learn sign language!
I saw your post on Pinterest and as a Deaf Education teacher, I think it is amazing that this young boy is being included by your daughter and their classmates. If you don’t mind I would like to correct you on some terms that can be hurtful to the Deaf community, the term hearing impaired is not used to much any more a better term is Hard of Hearing and the young boy has Cochlear Implants not Cochlear ear plants. Your explanation of ASL and the grammar is correct. I commend you and your daughter for learning ASL and communicating with the young boy. There is a great series called Signing Time. It is a series of DVD’s that teaches ASL in a engaging way for children. Also, there is an online dictionary with videos for probably all the ASL signs at ASLpro.com.
Thank you so much for correcting my errors. I updated the post with the correct terms and really appreciate you taking the time to educate me! Thank you also for your great recommendations. I’m having trouble with my internet at the moment but will add ASLPro.com to the post. There are a lot of sites that aren’t working right now … I have no idea why but hopefully the issue gets fixed soon.