Signs by Age
Let’s consider different ages and how you can incorporate sign language appropriately. The younger the child, the more basic the sign to begin with. It is important no matter what age you are introducing signs to connect them with context as mentioned previously. There are multiple signs that you can introduce to babies and toddlers that are not unlike the gestures and movements that they naturally make when learning to communicate. Many adults will introduce signs that correspond to common first words or high frequency words in a child’s environment.
Children who are typically developing and are acquiring language can use sign language and benefit from it in many ways. They will gain helpful communication skills and may retain this information to help communicate with hearing and deaf individuals alike. Beginning with some basic signs can set a strong foundation for strengthening sign language skills. Sign language should be practiced often and in context. Using signs often and appropriately is the best way to become more comfortable and capable with sign language.
Below is a list of commonly introduced signs for young children. These include a variety of signs for people, places, and things. This is not an exhaustive list by any means but can be considered a good starting point for introducing signs.