Don’t be shocked… I am going to review – a DVD! I know, I know, I always talk about no TV for my kids, right.

Well, I never said FOREVER … I just have not let our 2 year old watch any up to this point. While I believe that was the right choice for us so far, I think the time is right for moderated use/enjoyment of videos.

Signing Time’s DVDs are video products I’m happy to allow my toddler to watch for so many reasons.

First, research proves sign language helps babies communicate earlier, and reduces frustration. I used signs with our baby when he was about six months old. Soon he could understand signs like MILK, MORE, PLEASE, THANK YOU… and soon after, he started signing back to me! It was so fun to “talk” to each other before he could speak the words!

Second, the story behind Signing Time founder Rachel Coleman is amazing – honestly, a summary is not as good as reading the whole inspiring story. (And, be looking for my guest post/interview of Rachel Coleman on the Ergobaby blog coming up!).

I was sent the Signing Time Preschool and Childcare Program Vol 1 to review – based on this package, and several other Signing Time videos I have seen, I am confident any Signing Time DVD will be a welcome addition to your video library!

Reasons I love it:

  • Multi-sensory – music and physical activity teach communication skills!
  • Easy – songs and games support lessons; everything is clearly set up.
  • It works! Signing teaches kids social skills, and develops linguistic abilities! Also, it’s great for early intervention. And… kids really pick it up quickly and start using signs – really!
  • It’s good clean fun! A partial reason I have shunned TV/video for my son till now, is I find many kids’ programs just… annoying! And sometimes even inappropriate (in my view!). But Signing Time songs and videos are age-appropriate, wholesome, and catchy. I find myself singing the songs around the house, and I notice our son smiling when he catches me singing them.

It’s not all just watching videos. You get a Teacher’s Guide with 7 units with complete lesson plans – reducing planning time for the caregiver/teacher. There’s a DVD with music videos, and a CD with sing-along versions so kids can perform their own “Signing Time!” Plus a resource CD with coloring pages, flash cards, crafts and more, along with a huge Sign Reference Poster! It’s everything you need to teach kids hundreds of basic signs and have fun too!

And if you’re thinking, “But I don’t know sign, how can I teach my child or my classroom?” – Trust me, it practically teaches itself. My husband only watched the video one time, and he found himself doing the signs later with our son – it’s just that easy. (And I wish I’d taken a video of that moment b/c it cracked me up!).

As a former educator, the objectives and lesson plans included in this program are impeccable! For instance, Unit 2 Eat and Drink lesson plan includes an overview and introduction with creative talk/discussion for the kids, four songs with signs, five activities clearly spelled out, and also printable coloring sheets and resources to send home to parents. You could easily spend a week or more completing this unit, it is SO chock-full of exciting activities! Here’s a photo showing the high quality lesson plan pages – full color, eye-pleasing layout, quality instruction:

As part of our preschool work this year, I’m incorporating the Signing Time program. We watch the video a few times a week, then do the other activities throughout the week. After just a few weeks, my son is already singing the songs, referencing the video and occasionally attempting a sign (he knows what they mean if I do it, but he doesn’t want to make the sign himself).

If I was a home daycare provider, I’d definitely pick up all the Signing Time Preschool and Childcare volumes. They are so well-organized and easy to use to instruct children. The Signing Time website itself is a huge resource to parents and educators – with video clips, activities (free printables and more!) and articles about sign language.

Another Signing Time product we’re enthused about is the Potty Time DVD/CD set! We’ve seen a huge increase in our son’s interest in potty training since we started having him watch this DVD. Here’s how Potty Time supports potty training by helping children:

  • Listen to their bodies
  • Stop what they are doing and go to the bathroom
  • Celebrate their successes
  • Deal with accidents in a positive way
  • Appreciate their amazing bodies

In addition to potty routine signs, this DVD includes signs about growing up, celebrating, and more. Original songs are fun to sing and teach children about their bodies in an appropriate way (nothing gross or crass here!).

BUY IT: Check out all the sign language resources at Signing Time - board books, flashcards, DVDs, books – even Signing Time On Demand! There’s something for everyone! I even have a discount code! Use ayear12 for 10% off any purchase at www.signingtime.com – good September 13-30.

WIN IT: I’m excited to give away one Potty Time DVD/CD set to a reader! Once you watch these videos, I think you’ll be hooked on Signing Time! ARV $25. Enter in the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY RULES: Open US. 18+ to enter/win.  Winner will be emailed directly and have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize! Ends 11:59 on September 25, 2012. Fulfillment handled by Signing Time. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Thanks to Signing Time for sending products for review and offering a giveaway! All opinions are 100% my own!

Leave a Comment

  • Crunchy Beach Mama September 13, 2012, 9:00 am

    LOVE sign language. Wish I would have started it with my oldest instead of my youngest.

    O’Bear has a deaf student in his class this year so he is getting to learn a little sign language with the class. I LOVE this and he does too. A great way to communicate with people!

    Reply