by Lacey K. H. Wood, M.A.
Deaf Educator, Early Childhood
Signing Time! Volume 1 My First Signs (Ages 0-5)
Two Little Hands Productions (www.signingtime.com), 2002
VHS or DVD, 30 minutes, ASL, Closed Captions, Voice-over
Volumes 2 and 3 of this series are "Playtime Signs" and "Everyday Signs."
All three videos in this series are available individually in VHS or DVD format.
Narrated with the adorable and child-enticing voices of little ones, this videotape begins with a catchy song and continues to entrance its young audience with simple visual images, colorful animation, soft background music, smiley babies and young children, and signs that are frequently used by the young child. For the child with more language, the video gives helpful tips for remembering the signs taught. The signs are initially presented right after the printed word is displayed, and are produced in conjunction with the spoken English word. Repetition by a variety of little children of the visual images and signs in this video is the key to ensuring that all who watch will indeed learn and internalize what is being taught. Even mommies and daddies and other older family members and friends will find this video fun and entertaining!
Perhaps the most intriguing part for parents is the story behind the video. Before the signing time begins, the co-producer of the video, who is a mother of a young deaf child, tells the story of why the video was created, and explains to parents the benefits of signing. Her daughter was diagnosed as deaf at 14 months of age, and when her parents began signing with her, she immediately began using language like crazy! Her cousin, who is hearing, began signing with his mommy and daddy, too, and the two children have become the stars of this video series.
As an educator of young deaf children, I would highly recommend this video series to anyone with young children - deaf or hearing - in their lives. This video is PHENOMENAL!