About a year and a half ago we received or bought the Talking Hands DVD. Pookie still hadn’t started talking beyond babbling and repeating catch phrases from books and videos. He almost immediately fell in love with this video.
Talking Hands is a step above most of the Baby Einstein videos and below Elmo and the other plot based, character driven videos. The format shows a bunch of short clips demonstrating the sign they are covering and then close ups of people doing the sign.
The signs are very basic covering things like “more”, “thank you”, “mom”, “dad”, “grandmother”, “grandfather”, “please”, “thank you”, “all done”, “book”, “milk” and “water”. There are some others that I can’t remember off the top of my head.
When we first saw the video we were a little disappointed. Pookie had watched Baby Einstein with extreme interest, but never really carried over the words he learned into actual talking. Within about a week, he started doing all of the signs. We started working with him on using them at the right time with pretty good success, especially the signs for at the dinner table. Some of the screaming to try and get our attention for more milk quickly turned into using the signs to ask for it.
In a couple days, I’ll do a write up on why I think kids should learn sign language as early as possible and probably earlier than you would expect. If you are interested in teaching your children sign language, I think this is one of the best videos to start with. We’ve used some others to expand the number of words they can say, but they all were a little more complex. Talking Hands definitely targets a very young age in a way that they can quickly grasp and get a foundation with.