When To Start

Any age is a good age for Signing Smart.  The play classes focus on children ages 5-6-months to two-years old.

My baby is four months old, can we start now?

Absolutely.  For those who want to start early, we applaud you.  You are laying the groundwork for your child’s early communication and long term learning, as well as enriching your relationship.  It is these families who will reap the earliest reward and longest benefit from Signing Smart.

Naturally, younger children have longer learning curves than older children. Though it may take longer for a 4 to 5 month old to exhibit their first sign, they will still do so earlier than an older baby just starting out with the Signing Smart programming would. So long as you are comfortable, and not comparing your child to other older children in the class, then do come sign and play with us now!

My child is 9 months old, is it a good time to start?

This is a perfect time to start!  At this age, your child has a strong will to express herself (I always find it amazing how such tiny people can hold such large opinions!) and yet, spoken communication is still months away. As your child learns how quickly signs can get her needs and interests met, she may well sign back within a few weeks, leading to a drastic change in frustration levels.

My child is 14 (or even 18 or 22) months, is it too late to start taking Signing Smart classes?

Absolutely not!  There is a fallacy we call the “myth of the first five words”,  in that parents tend to believe that once a child starts talking around 12 months, there is no benefit to learning Signing Smart.  The truth is, like any other skill, learning to talk takes time. The first five words are typically easy to recognize due to context, but as children grow, their communications become much more abstract. Suddenly, “ba” isn’t as clear as when he grabbed the ball and smiled at you… signs can clarify their meaning and greatly reduce frustration and enhance long term learning.

An older baby will likely sign within weeks of introducing Signing Smart, if not the very first day.  You will be giving your child the invaluable tool of alternative communication as his verbal skills develop.   Learn as fast as you can though, as he’s likely to learn everything you can throw at him!

See the Testimonials page for stories of 2 year olds whose signs and spoken words exploded in their first Signing Smart Beginner Play class.

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