9 Useful ASL Signs for the Early Childhood Classroom

9 Useful ASL Signs for the Early Childhood Classroom

Introducing Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom

So you’re thinking about adding some American Sign Language (ASL) to your early childhood classroom – that’s fantastic!

If you’ve got questions about getting started or looking for a place to start, I hope this article will help you.

The are so many benefits to using sign language with young children as a learning tool. But if you’ve never studied ASL, it can be a little overwhelming. Which signs should I start with? How do I learn to do the signs? How do I introduce them to the classroom? Am I qualified to teach this?

Teaching American Sign Language When You’re a Student Yourself

I’ll start by saying that, in an ideal world, every classroom would have access to an experienced ASL user and member of the Deaf community, as well as a skilled interpreter, to help you introduce signing to your young students. But since that’s probably not possible, you’ll have to do your best on your own – and you can totally do this. You already teach the little ones in your class songs with fingerplays already (hello “Itsy Bitsy Spider”), and introducing basic ASL vocabulary is basically the same process. You can totally do this!

It’s ok if you are learning the signs right along with your students. You don’t have to be fluent to introduce the basics. Just as you don’t have to be fluent in Spanish to teach your students that rojo = red, you can teach some basic ASL vocabulary in your classroom with just a handful of signs in your repertoire. Just be warned… your little ones will get the hang of signing quickly and start asking you the signs for more items once they get the hang of it…so be prepared to ramp up your learning too.

American Sign Language for Classroom Routines

To get started, I recommend adding sign language to your existing classroom routines. Every classroom, whether an infant, toddler, preschool or mixed-age setting has a daily rhythm and structure to their day. The order will vary from classroom to classroom, as will what you call each activity or time of day, but almost all early childhood classrooms will include some – or all – of the following in their daily routine:

  • Arrival Time
  • Meeting Time (or Circle Time)
  • Play Time (or Free Choice or Center Time)
  • Clean Up Time
  • Story Time (or Quiet Reading Time)
  • Snack Time/Lunch Time
  • Outside Play or Recess
  • Nap Time (or Rest Time)
  • Dismissal Time

Does your daily routine look something like this? If so, you can easily add a few signs into your existing routine seamlessly. Even if your schedule is not super structured, you can easily add a few basics signs throughout the day and before you know it, it will become a fun part of your day and something your students look forward to and enjoy too!

Signs for Daily Classroom Routines

Here are some really easy to learn, basic ASL signs that you can start using each and every day of the week in your classroom:

  • BOOK
  • EAT
  • HELP
  • PLAY
  • WAIT


A Resource to Help You!

We’ve created the perfect resource to help you confidently introduce signs into your classroom! Introducing Sign Language for Daycare – a small collection of videos and a helpful printable so you can start signing today!

Start signing today!

With Sign Language for Daycare, you’ll learn the 9 best American Sign Language (ASL) signs for daycare, tips for using them, PLUS a printable with illustrated instructions to post in the classroom!

Signs for Baby’s First Foods

Signs for Baby’s First Foods

Hooray for First Foods!

The transition to solid foods is a big and exciting milestone for you and your baby! Mealtime creates a wonderful opportunity to teach your baby new signs as you sit eye-to-eye across the high chair tray.  In today’s blog post I’ll show you 8 signs for popular first foods for babies…

In the below video, you’ll learn how to sign AVOCADO, BANANA, CHEESE, CRACKER, FRUIT, VEGETABLE, POTATO and YOGURT. I hope you enjoy!

Baby’s First Foods…

Before you go… download your free printable!

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9 American Sign Language Signs for Spring

9 American Sign Language Signs for Spring

Learn Some ASL Signs to Teach Your Baby this Spring!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item via a link here, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Spring is coming and there are so many ways to enjoy this season with your little one! It’s a great time of year to explore nature, even if it’s from your back porch or the playground. There are leaves, bugs, flowers and so much more to explore and experience.

As you are out enjoying the wonders of Spring, you can also take the opportunity to introduce & expand your child’s vocabulary with the help of American Sign Language.

Think Spring! Learn 9 ASL signs with a Spring theme in this free video, as well as a list of fun Spring activities & books for babies, toddlers & preschoolers. Download a free printable of the signs as well!

Here are a few ideas of things you can do in the spring with your little one:

  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
    Use a carrier or stroller if your baby isn’t walking yet, but if you’ve got a toddler or preschooler, let them walk and explore! You might not cover too much territory, but it will be a wonderful experience for them to get to touch and explore things.
  • Visit a local farm.
    Spring is a great time to visit the farm as there are often lots of animal babies to see. You can learn some American Sign Language signs for farm animals here.
  • Blow some bubbles.
    There’s nothing better than blowing bubbles on a nice spring day. People always ask me what kind of bubbles I use in my classes and storytimes. It’s top secret though. ;)

Think Spring! Learn 9 ASL signs with a Spring theme in this free video, as well as a list of fun Spring activities & books for babies, toddlers & preschoolers. Download a free printable of the signs as well!

  • Play at the playground.
    Enjoy the beautiful weather while swinging and sliding at the local playground. You can learn some American Sign Language signs for the playground here.
  • Have a picnic!
    Take a blanket and your lunch outside and share some of your favorite foods under the shade of a tree.
  • Read a book about spring time – here are some of my faves:
  • Learn some American Sign Language signs for spring!
    How do you learn ASL signs for spring? Easy! Watch the video below I made just for you and learn how to sign 9 spring-themed signs.


9 ASL Signs for Springtime

In this video you’ll learn how to sign SPRING, RAIN, FLOWER, UMBRELLA, BUG, WORMS, BUTTERFLY, GRASS,and BIRD.


Instructions for 9 ASL Signs for Spring

Use the below instructions to help you remember how to do 9 ASL Signs for Springtime or scroll down to download a beautiful color printable guide to print and keep as a helpful reference.

Spring – Fingers of dominant hand come up through “C” shape of non-dominant hand. Fingers open as hand rises to show a plant growing out of the ground

Rain – Bend your wrists and and bring your hands down to show the rain falling

Flower – Touch your fingertips to both sides of your nose like you are smelling a flower

Umbrella – Stack your closed fists and lift the top one like you are opening an umbrella

Bug – Put your thumb on your nose and bend your pointer and middle finger together like a bug’s antennae wriggling

Worm – Wiggle your pointer finger across your opposite palm from wrist to fingers to show a worm wriggling through the earth

Butterfly – With palms facing body, cross hands and hook thumbs then bend your fingers to show wings flapping

Grass – Place your palm under your chin with fingers curved upward and brush upwards

Bird – Open and close your pointer and thumb in front of your mouth like a bird’s beak

Plan to enjoy this Spring!

So now you know 9 new ASL signs that you can use as you play and explore this spring! Use these signs, as well as the list of fun activities above, to help plan some low-key and fun experiences. Take advantage of the beautiful weather to make some memories you’ll keep forever!



Learn 10 ASL signs for Easter

Learn 10 ASL signs for Easter

Do you know how to sign bunny?

It’s spring and everywhere you turn you’ll find bunnies, eggs and (best of all) chocolate! Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or another Springtime holiday, this time of year is a great time to introduce some new words and signs to your little one or students.

Easter season is a great opportunity to learn the American Sign Language signs for EGG, BUNNY and more. There are plastic eggs at every checkout line and they make a great tool for supervised play and learning. In fact, Pinterest is filled with great ideas for activities for young children that incorporate plastic eggs.

And you don’t have to bring lots of sugar into the mix to make those plastic eggs interesting. Hide little toys or other unexpected items in each egg. You can also use this as a vocabulary building opportunity by placing items that you’d like to teach the sign for in each egg. Hide a small toy car in an egg and then teach the ASL sign for CAR when your little one finds it!

It doesn’t take much to surprise and delight your baby, so take advantage of this.  Let your baby play with a bucket full of plastic eggs… or supervise some sensory play with real (or pretend) grass. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life this holiday and remember to snap some photos or videos as well.

Now I’d love to show you how to sign some of my favorite signs for Easter in the video below. You’ll learn how to sign EGG, EASTER, RABBIT, CANDY, CHOCOLATE, CHICKEN, BASKET, GRASS, HIDE & SEEK. I hope you enjoy!

American Sign Language (ASL) Signs for Easter

Instructions for 10 ASL Signs for Easter

Use the below instructions to help you remember how to do 10 ASL Signs for Easter or scroll down to download a beautiful color printable guide to print and keep as a helpful reference.

EGG – Make a “U” handshape with both hands (pointer & middle finger extended). Tap the fingers of your dominant hand on top of the fingers of the opposite hand and then move them apart and down to represent cracking an egg.

EASTER – Do the same motions as the sign for EGG (above) but with an “E” handshape. Another way to sign EASTER is to make an “E” handshape and wave it side-to-side.

RABBIT Place your hands at the sides or your head with your palms facing back and bend your 2 fingers backwards to show the rabbit’s floppy ears.

CANDY – Place the tip of your pointer finger at your cheek and twist it.

CHOCOLATE – Place your hand in a “C” handshape on top of your opposite fist and circle it around like you are stirring melted chocolate.

CHICKEN – Open and close your pointer & thumb in front of your mouth.

BASKET – Place your non-dominant hand in front of you to represent the top of the basket and show the shape of the bottom of the basket by moving your dominant hand from wrist to elbow of your opposite arm.

GRASS – Make a “claw” handshape with your dominant hand and brush your palm away from your chin 2 times.

HIDE – “Hide” your fist (with a thumbs up handshape) under the palm of your opposite hand.

SEEK – Circle your “C” handshape in front of your face.

I hope you enjoyed this free video on how to do 10 ASL signs for Easter! Have fun enjoying this fun time of year and learning something new.

If you enjoyed this please share it with your friends and on your favorite social site. Thanks in advance!

Thanks for watching and Happy Spring!

Baby Sign Language: Winter Theme

Baby Sign Language: Winter Theme

 It is COLD here in New England!

Today I’m sharing with you my favorite winter signs AND one of my favorite winter-themed board books that is great for teaching baby sign language to your little one. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it with your baby!

Each new season brings an opportunity to share the wonders of nature with your baby. Winter can be challenging if you’re feeling cooped up inside with your little one, but if it’s too cold to play outside or go for a walk, you can always bring a little bit of nature in for your baby to explore.

Activity Ideas

Too cold to play outside? Bring a little bit of winter inside! Fill a plastic shoebox with some snow to explore in the bathtub – just be sure those baby toes and fingers don’t get too cold. Or pick out some winter-themed books to read. You can also use some of these ideas to keep your baby busy & active indoors!

In this video I’ll show you some fun winter signs and a story you can share with your baby…

In this mini-lesson you’ll learn how to sign COLD, WINTER, SNOW, SNOWMAN, SNOWBALL, HAT, SHOES & BOOTS.