Children love learning American Sign Language!
Here are just a few reasons to introduce ASL to your family:
Development of gross and fine motor skills. In order to make signs for the letters of the alphabet, words, and numbers, a child is encouraged to use their gross and fine motor skills. It is an excellent practice for them to further develop their skills.
Fosters early language development. Before they can speak, babies and toddlers typically use their hands to form words. Teaching them some basic signs can help foster early language development as they learn to associate words and actions.
Development of focused learning. While learning sign language, children need to be focused. They need to concentrate on forming the signs and learning the words associated with it. Apart from developing their signing abilities, this also helps in the development of their communication, visual, and listening skills.
Strengthens recall of words and memory. Multiple learning styles, such as verbal, visual, and physical, are used when learning words with ASL. This strengthens a child’s ability to recall words and boosts their memory as they learn to associate certain words and actions.
Development of self-esteem and self-confidence. Children who are able to successfully communicate with others around them may feel more self-confident. Even if they aren’t able to formulate words yet, signing will definitely help them communicate better, thus, boosting their confidence in exploring their environment.
A fun, bonding activity. Teachers, early childhood educators, and parents can use ASL as a way to bond with children. While teaching them how to sign, you can incorporate it into different activities (i.e. stories, songs, games, etc.) making it a fun, educational experience.
There are many incredible videos on YouTube that will teach you and your family some basic ASL.
There are also many ASL Story Tellers who sign popular children's books.
Here are some YouTube channels:
The Rocky Mountain Deaf School has a fun channel with many books and basic sign instruction: https://www.youtube.com/user/RMDSCO/playlists
Here is their Story Telling Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLM43Rq802SyvLUWzcNpqD3tbPGw8He-J0
PETE THE CAT: I LOVE MY WHITE SHOES! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ_il2E0WBg
And this site has a VERY long list of titles for all ages! https://signsforhope.org/asl-resources-childrens-books-in-asl/?fbclid=IwAR2575rdZoQQhvefYFJlO4cWdYaRyClC5wXwUzSpJ1cFAkgpd00veDO4F08