So, We played a game where I asked Mason to find things that started with a letter again. We did only a through E, but that is ok. We also added "Cow" to our repertoire of words because I found a card that had the word on it. It seemed like a good idea.
I also spent some extra time reading a book with Zander, he really enjoys story time with me. I try to make it fun, and be silly, which is great for my health. I think that being silly is just as important as breathing air and drinking water.
Today, we had a real show of my efforts. It was such a big deal I actually shouted with delight. We have been practicing a few words here and there, though only focusing on "cup" "ball" "daddy" Zander" "drink" and "cow".
So, I set a bucket of cheese balls down for the boys to snack on today. Mason pointed to the words on it and I asked him what it said. He was not really into answering me, and didn't really read it. He did recognize the letters, however, because he turned to look at the same word written on a piece of paper on the door. Just for kicks, I turned to Zander, pointed to the word "Balls" and asked him what it said. He looked at it and after a second said "Balls". I shouted with delight, as I mentioned. I was so proud. He knew what it meant. He could "read" it. He is only 18 months old. Imagine how he will do in a year? 2 years? I am really looking forward to learning with these boys.
I can't recall if I had mentioned something, and wanted to be sure I did. My boys use sign langauge in addition to spoken word. All of the words i am teaching them to read, they either knwo the sign language for or I teach that in addition. I learned about baby sign language when Mason was about 2 months old, but did not put any stock in it. At 13 months old, Mason had a speech delay for no apparent reason. his hearing was tested and was fine. he did not appear to have a learning disorder or behavior problem. At 14 months old, Mason could only truly say one word- Dadda. Many people said I was overreacting. They said he would talk when he was ready. But I wanted to help him. I called early intervention. They showed me how to play with a child in a way that boosts speech learning and development. And they showed me resources to teach him sign language.
It took about 2 weeks to see progress with the sign language at his age. But once he started, he blew me away! He signed more than he could talk, and impressed even early intervention. Soon, his speech started happening. And it never slowed. now, at 2.5, He knows at least 100 signs, and speaks very well. Zander did not have any delay, but I saw no reason not to teach him to sign before his words became clear. Now, he speaks very well for his age group, and knows around 20+ signs.
The best part, they both enjoy sign language. they use the signs in every day life without thinking, and enjoy learning new ones. We have the "Baby Einsteins: First Signs" movie and it is still thier favorite...they could watch it 20 times a day, I swear.
I am way too busy to write everything on my mind tonight, so I am going to stop here.
Leave me a comment if you are interested in learning how to boost your baby's first words through play. This can be done even with a newborn!