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What is Makaton Sign Language For Babies?

Ever wondered how you could bridge the communication gap with your little bundle of joy? Enter the world of Makaton sign language – a super cool and playful way to connect with your child before words even become their thing. From adorable hand gestures for “more” when they want another round of snacks, to fist bumps that mean “all done,” Makaton is like a secret code between you and your tiny tot.

In this guide we’ll be covering:

  • What is the Makaton sign language?
  • Benefits of learning Makaton sign language
  • How to teach Makaton sign language 

What Is The Makaton Sign Language?

Makaton is a unique way to communicate using signs and symbols — so even your little munchkin who’s not quite a chatterbox can join in on the conversation fun. Think of it as a way to bridge the gap between baby babbles and full-on speech. This sign language is all about simple gestures, expressions, and signs that help your little one express their inner thoughts and feelings. That said, more and more people are jumping on the Makaton train across the UK, using it as this awesome tool to teach little ones how to communicate.

Benefits Of Learning Makaton Sign Language

Let’s talk about why diving into the world of Makaton is like hitting the baby jackpot. Here are some nifty perks that come with teaching your tiny human this charming sign language:

  • Less frustration, more fun: Imagine your baby pointing and grunting at stuff, and you have zero clue what they want (not fun, right?). With Makaton, they can tell you what’s on their mind – no cryptic baby messages involved.
  • Early communication: Who knew signing could be like baby brain boot camp? It’s like giving your tiny human their very own superpower – the power of communication! A 2021 study has shown that Makaton works really well in helping children become better at interacting with others by promoting the formation of speech.
  • Improved bonding: Sharing secret handshakes (or in this case, signs) creates a special connection between you and your tiny human. In fact, the whole family can join the fun in order for everyone to create a deeper bond with your child.

How To Teach Makaton Sign Language 

Alright, time to put on your teaching hat. Teaching Makaton is all about having a blast while your little sidekick picks up some seriously cool sign moves.

  • Start simple: You’ll want to start with the basics. Begin with signs that correspond to things your baby does or interacts with daily – think “milk,” “sleep, “eat,” and “play.” Remember, you’re not just teaching signs; you’re starting a conversation!
  • Incorporate it into your daily routine: Turn everyday moments into an opportunity to learn sign language. When it’s mealtime, introduce the sign for “eat” or “food.” When it’s cuddle time, throw in the “hug” or “love” sign. Soon enough, you’ll have a rich sign vocabulary with your baby.
  • Be expressive: Here’s where your inner actor shines. Use animated facial expressions and make signing a part of your everyday chatter. Eventually, you’ll be signing like a pro, and your baby will be your biggest fan (and possibly your most adorable critic)!

There are numerous free guides that you can find to teach Makaton. One of these is the Youtube channel ‘Makaton Charity’ which has lots of useful guides on learning more about Makaton.

So, whether your baby’s signing for more snacks or throwing you a “hug” when you need it most, remember that every sign is a step closer to understanding the magical world inside that tiny head. Now, get out there and sign like nobody’s watching – because your baby’s first words might just be in their hands!

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