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Monday 24th , 2014
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1610 The internal world of another adult is hard enough to navigate so how are we supposed to navigate the internal world of our children and babies? There is an intrinsic need to communicate to others, for survival, comfort and for plain relationship building.  The ways in which we communicate with our cohorts just won’t cut it with our babies.  Luckily, all humans have a common language of gesture. Though the roots of official sign language go back to the early 1600’s we can thank Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet for bringing it to the United States after traveling to France in 1816 to study an already vibrant French sign language. Official language or not, gestural communication is one of the best ways to help babies and toddlers learn to comprehend and communicate about the world around them and inside of them.

The integration of multiple senses helps to build neural pathways in developing the brains ability to make lasting connections to the world around them. This is why babies and toddlers giggle and smile as adults wave to them and encourage the child to wave back. The child has built a complex schema that tells them “waving produces positive reactions”.  The same thing is true with “blowing kisses”.  But why stop there?  Baby sign language is a wonderful way to continue to build positive bonds with your children and boosts communication, literacy and language skills. Sign language for infants gives babies a way to communicate what they are truly thinking, feeling and/or needing with less frustration.

Here at Kidspace Children's Museum we host our Happy Hands baby signing class.  Happy Hands is part parent workshop, part early learner class, that utilizes sign language coupled with visual, kinesthetic, and auditory activities to increase creative thinking and cognitive development fostering an increase in left and right brain connections. Happy Hands welcomes children 24 months and younger. We even encourage expectant mothers to join the class in order to get a head start on their basic baby signing skills. Our next four week session starts on Monday, March 3rd and ends on Monday, March 24th. Classes will be starting at 9:30am and ending at 11am. All guests are required to attend the parent orientation on Monday, February 24th from 5:30-6:30pm at Kidspace Children’s Museum. Call us or visit online to register today! Just look for the Hands-on Learning tab and click on classes to find all of the Early Childhood classes we offer here at Kidspace. If you have any questions about class content please contact Alan Bruni at abruni@kidspacemuseum.org. For registration questions contact Amber Rhodes at arhodes@kidspacemuseum.org. Start bridging this communication gap and join us this March.

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Amber Rhodes, Early Childhood Specialist, has been with Kidspace for over a year teaching on the Museum floor, the school discovery programs, and also the Early Learner classes Happy Hands and Baby & Me.  Before joining the Museum, she taught abroad in Japan and Africa, and also worked with children with disabilities and at-risk youth.