Category: American Sign Language Tips & Videos

Benefits of Baby Sign Language

Benefits of Baby Sign Language


After signing with both of our daughters and teaching ASL vocabulary to more than 100 babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, I have witnessed countless benefits! Parents love knowing exactly what their little ones are thinking about and the child’s self-esteem is strengthened. Here are five more benefits of baby sign language:

  1. Sign language is helpful for all learning types, especially visual, tactile, and kinesthetic!
  2. Signing often reduces tantrums and increases the bond between child and caregiver.
  3. Signing allows preverbal children to initiate conversations with the adults in their lives.
  4. Isolating hand movements for each sign builds fine motor and gross motor skills.
  5. One study showed that a group of children who signed when they were preverbal had higher IQ scores as second graders than the group of children who did not sign.

What is YOUR favorite benefit of signing with your child?


Potty Training and American Sign Language: It’s Potty Time!

Potty Training and American Sign Language: It’s Potty Time!

Our younger daughter is 34 months old today*! As she nears the exciting age of three, we’ve been crossing major milestones off the list. We recently turned her carseat forward, and she’s been asking for a “big girl” bed for about a month.

When we returned from our family vacation at the end of June, I knew it was time to begin our BIG potty-training adventure!

We offered Kate several opportunities to use the toilet over the past six months, but she would happily sit there for several minutes at a time…with no results. We watched our Potty Time DVD multiple times and downloaded the Potty Time app (FREE!)–the perfect fit for our Signing Time/Rachel Coleman fan!

About Potty Time from Signing Time on Vimeo.

I wanted potty-training to be a positive experience for both of us, so I picked up necessary supplies and cleared our calendar for a week. I knew that Kate needed to learn her body’s cues, and that meant a lot of time near the potty chair.


Our supplies (affiliate links used for your convenience):

Our strategy:

Week 1–we stayed home and Kate spent her days in underwear. I quickly realized that she could stay dry for hours at a time, so setting the timer for every 30 minutes was incredibly frustrating for both of us. I lightened up considerably by Wednesday afternoon, handling accidents with a smile and reassurance. By Friday, she had figured out the feeling and was making it to the potty chair with plenty of time to spare!

Our trick? Cumulative Smarties! The first success of the day earned her ONE piece of candy, the second earned her TWO, and so on! One roll of candy lasted all day long.

Week 2–we had some setbacks over the weekend, so we both had to relax and re-learn the routine. It was clear that the Potty Time app was great incentive for Kate. She LOVED putting a digital Hopkins sticker on her chart and “calling” Rachel when she had a success. (Note: she did NOT like calling Rachel for the accidents. I think it embarrassed her, so we focused on the positive.)

Week 3–we were able to leave the house IN UNDERWEAR for errands! She successfully used the public restroom on three different occasions and no longer had accidents during the day at home. She found her routine–stopping during play, pulling shorts up and down, and washing her hands in the bathroom with the step-stool!

We’ve promised our sweet girl her own “big girl bed” as her reward–and I am thrilled with fewer laundry loads after three years of cloth diapers. I know that we still have a few more milestones to go when it comes to toilet training, but I am very proud of her quick progress over these past few weeks!

I’m so thankful for the role that Rachel Coleman and Potty Time played in Kate’s success. Using ASL signs allowed Kate to communicate her needs quietly and gave us the opportunity to celebrate with her every success!

Have you used ASL with potty-training? Any other helpful tips that worked for your little ones?

This post was originally shared on my previous blog ( on July 7, 2014.!

* This post was originally written and published on our previous blog ( in July 2014. Kate is now 5 years old. 🙂

Winter Boredom Busters

Winter Boredom Busters

The cooler temperatures have arrived in Iowa, just about the same time that our youngest has stopped napping regularly. I am upping my game when it comes to having a stash of fun and easy activities ready to go!

Starting in 2017, I will be offering ONLINE sign language classes for the entire family! These courses will be based on the amazing Baby Signing Time DVDs—featuring stories, songs, activity ideas, and more—and empowering YOU to bring sign language into your family culture. You can get a sneak peek of these new classes in our exclusive, five-day course all about WINTER! You can try this class for just $4.95.


And if you’re looking to keep your little ones learning and exploring throughout the winter break, I have a Christmas Tree mini-unit coming out on December 18th! I’ll have 20 or so activities to build literacy, math, and fine motor skills with your kiddos ages 2-6, all for $4.95.


If either of these offerings interest you, fill out this quick form and I’ll be in touch!

Melissa Droegemueller
Rolling Prairie Readers