Baby Sign Language Classes & Workshops

In our Baby Sign Language Classes and Workshops, we teach parents and their hearing baby or toddler American Sign Language in an open, “kid-friendly” atmosphere.  Special emphasis is placed upon the appropriate use of signs and speech during meal, bath, and play time.  The parents are expected to actively participate in the classes and learn the signs with their children. To facilitate the learning process for both parent and child, activities including structured play, pictures, songs & games will be introduced with the signs. The goal is for the parents to use the songs, games and activities we’ll teach in this class to naturally introduce and reinforce the signs to their child once they’re back at home so they can enhance their communication and relationship with their child.

Kids Village Therapy, LLC uses The Tiny Fingers program which is based on American Sign Language and was developed by Eileen Ladino, a certified teacher and sign language interpreter.


Q Why should you sign with your baby?

A. Your 8-month-old could ask for milk when she's hungry.
Your 10-month-old could tell you he saw an airplane.
Your 15-month-old could tell you if she has an earache.
You can manage your child’s behavior in public without using your voice.


Unlock the thoughts, observations and wants of your child’s mind with the gift of American Sign Language! 
Teach your child sign language and you will:

  • reduce frustration with communication
  • strengthen your parent-infant bond
  • jumpstart language development with signs
  • stimulate intellectual development
  • enhance infant self-esteem

see that learning is as easy as waving bye bye!
. . . and gain insight into your baby's world!

Q Why should I sign with my hearing child when he is already developing normally?

A. Signing with your pre-verbal baby can:

  • Accelerate verbal language development
  • Increase his IQ.
  • Increase his interest in books.
  • Stimulate intellectual development.
  • Change the way you interact with him.
  • Empower him to express his wants, needs, and feelings sooner. 
  • Reduce frustration and avert temper tantrums.
  • Build infant self-esteem.

Q. When should I start signing with my baby?

A. In their book, Baby Signs, Drs. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn suggest you can start modeling signs from birth.  After 6 months, however, babies are more likely to possess the ability to remember signs and the motor skills to produce them.  You can consider the indicators of readiness below to determine whether your baby is showing interest in communicating.  An answer of "Yes" to any one of them means that this is a good time to sign with your pre-lingual baby or toddler.  For most babies, this readiness falls between 8 and 12 months of age although sign language can be useful to fill in the gaps of communication through toddlerhood.


  • Is your baby at least 6 months old?
  • Is your baby bringing objects to you and looking for a response?
  • Is your baby beginning to wave bye-bye or clap hands?
  • Is your baby beginning to shake his head "yes" or "no"?
  • Is your baby beginning to take an interest in picture books, playing       “so big” or in finger plays (i.e., itsy bitsy spider)?
  • Is your baby frustrated when you don't understand what he needs?
  • If your baby is a little older, are there still important things he or she doesn't have words for?  It’s not too late!

Q. How long will it be before my baby signs to me?

A.. It depends, but if you begin signing when your child is 6-7 months old it is quite possible that by the time your child reaches 8-9 months he will be signing to you. Some children do not start signing back until they are closer to 12 months old.  Typically, they will start with the signs and gestures that involve facial expression (blowing, panting), then whole arm signs (i.e., bye bye, clapping), then hand signs (i.e., more, milk) and finally signs involving various hand shapes and more dexterity (i.e., cat, pointing) Once they have internalized the meanings of the signs and have developed the cognitive and motor skills necessary to sign, they will communicate to you.  This process is similar to a child learning speech.

Q. Does using sign language with babies interrupt or delay a child’s speech development?

A. Actually, research states the opposite is true. Using American Sign Language with your child can accelerate speech development.  Since they are already using language in their heads and putting signed words together to communicate things, once their articulators are able to form the sounds, they quickly add speech to their signs.  Gradually, they drop the signs and only use the spoken word.  Much like crawling does not inhibit a child’s ability to walk; there has been no indication of a resulting speech delay from signs. See my website for supporting documentation resulting from 20 years of research by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn.  

Q. Do I have to learn an entire new language?

A. The intention of using sign language is not to teach you or your child a second language, but to facilitate earlier communication.  You will be supporting spoken English by modeling signs for key words.  Your child will then sign those key words that will become launching pads for language exposure.  
     Baby Signs “pull” verbal language from adults
When babies use Baby Signs to call attention to things, adults quite naturally respond with lots of appropriate words (e.g., “Oh! You see a kitty! That’s right! That is a kitty! That kitty looks just like our kitty, doesn’t it!”). And we know that the more language a baby hears, the faster language acquisition proceeds.
Acredolo, L. and Goodwyn, S. Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk.
  New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2002 



Who should take these classes?

A.The Baby & Me classes & workshops are designed for pre-verbal babies, toddlers and their parents, caregivers, and grandparents.  These classes are most appropriate for all children who are between 6 months and 3 years of age and not yet able to articulate everything they want to say.  Signs taught are developmentally appropriate and are based on American Sign Language.  Both Beginner and Intermediate levels are offered.

What will we learn in Baby & Me classes?   

A.During the 6-week Baby & Me Class series you will learn approximately 10 – 15 signs on a given theme during each 45-minute class. During the 90-minute Baby Sign Beginner Workshop you will learn about 35 -40 signs. During each class, we will have activities & songs to reinforce the signs that were introduced.

Where are these classes held?

A. Classes are held in various locations in the Howard County Maryland area.    We are also willing to help you arrange a group class at a location nearer to you.  Please contact us for details at

Please see our News and Events Page for a schedule of upcoming Baby Sign Classes & Workshops


We look forward to helping your child succeed.