• Tearri Rivers

Our Sign Language Tray: Toddler Early Language and Pre-Reading Skills

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Our toddler curriculum is also from Experience Early Learning. We began using the curriculum in October, and before using the Experience Toddler Curriculum, a couple of our toddlers also were young enough to use Experience Baby curriculum too. It has been a joy watching them grow while using a curriculum that expands the ages for all who attend our family child care program, and effortlessly prepares them for the next plane of development.

Our large group activities include some lessons that come from Experience Toddler. In the toddler curriculum learning sign language is one of the components of the program. All of the children look forward to learning new signs during our story time, or during music with movement.

We have accumulated about 20 signs. The Signs are introduced through different participation story activities that are part of monthly theme. Each week Experience Toddler has a specific story focus.

In following their interest I put together a Sign Language Tray with matching objects of the words that were introduced as an artifact, or the vocabulary was introduced by songs and stories.

There is a special book each month called "...Follow the Path." For example the theme of the month for October was Down on The Farm, so the title of the book was "...Follow the Path Farm". There are audio recordings of all the books included on the CD that is included in the curriculum kit. Experience Early Learning indirectly shows the child how to read from left to right, by making the " ..Follow the Path" books engaging. Through modeling and using our hands more to communicate the children are now using their fingers to "follow" (track) the path. Very exciting!

We used the objects above in different ways to practice the sign. The popsicle is part of a game we played in one of our lessons to help practice signing "wait" and to foster patience.

Since making our Sign Language Tray they recently have been reading aloud the word they see when signing and matching the objects to the cards. I must mention that the cards are supplied with the monthly theme too. Without the cards our Sign Language Tray would not have been so easy to put together.

I was kinda worried that the length of the book The Shoemaker would be too long of a story for our toddlers. Nope, not at all! They ask to read this again, and again. They enjoy hearing this book on CD too and when hearing the word shoe they sign "shoe" and the same for "mouse" for "Hickory Dickory Dock".

So much goodness in the "...Follow the Path" books that come with our Experience Toddler curriculum. The size, realistic photos, and simple text of the books makes reading so much for the tots.

And as if the books and activities weren't enough to get us excited about using our hands to talk we also learn and practice our signs while dancing and singing.

We just recently added two more signs to our Sign Language Tray since I first started writing this post. Our language/ literacy lessons are very enriched thanks to Experience Early Learning offering curriculums that is appropriate for all ages in our family child care program.

As an Experience Early Learning Blogger, I receive the Experience Early Learning Preschool curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic experiences. As always, my opinions are 100% my own. #preschool #familychildcare #EELblogger

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