Blog Archives

Sing and Sign with SignShine

Someone suggested that I try this SignShine app with Stella to sign with music. The iPad app is free to download, and it includes one free song (Itsy Bitsy Spider). For $2.99, you can get a package of 10 additional children’s songs. The woman in the video is Etel Leit, whose gorgeous smile seems to extend right down to her hands. She is a great teacher.

Stella caught on very quickly, and I’m tempted to get the 10-pack. I’ve actually seen other moms/caregivers use similar actions while singing songs to Stella (even in Nursery last Sunday!), but Stella seemed to be more engaged in this video format. Then again, anything transmitting from her beloved iPad is gold.

(Dedicated to Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011)

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Baby Sign Language App

I bought this Baby Sign Language app by EverydayASL.com a few months ago, but she hasn’t seemed ready for it until now. I know ASL pretty well, so I’ve been teaching her basic signs without the app since she was about 6 months old. Lately her attention span and level of interest in learning new words has jumped, so we gave this app a try today.

The app offers two very different experiences for horizontal or vertical modes. Each flash card includes a picture of a word, audio of the word, and a video of the word signed. I tend to draw more towards flash card apps that use more realistic pictures, but Stella seemed to understand the cartoon drawings just fine. My only complaint is that when you are in horizontal mode, the video for each sign skips really fast the first time you watch it, so you have to tap it again. (You’ll see it happen in the video.)

It’s not an app that Stella can run independently yet because you have to manually tap to hear the word or watch the video. When left alone with the app, Stella just wants to paw the screen to see the pictures move. By the time she’s old enough to use this app on her own, her speech will probably be advanced enough that she won’t need signs to communicate. But for $1.99, it’s still a neat app—even if you use it to teach vocabulary without the signs.