Using sign language engages the children and gives them another or pathway, for a message to be interpreted in the brain. Sign language is part of our whole body learning approach and can aid in receptive language skills as well.
We also use sign language with recorded music. Before playing the song for the first time we practice the signs. The songs we choose either have signs we've worked on previously or a repetitive chorus. Some of our favorites include:
You've Got a Friend in Me -Randy Newman (from the movie Toy Story)
What a Wonderful World -Louis Armstrong
Three Little Birds -Bob Marley
The Lion Sleeps Tonight -The Tokens (from the movie The Lion King)
Put a Little Love in Your Heart -Jackie DeShannon
When we aren't signing the words to the song, we sign "music" which is a great sign for cross lateral movement!
In our music therapy sessions we frequently utilize sign language to engage the brain and body. Many of our songs include parts where children are encouraged to sign colors, objects, letters, animals, and sea creatures. While learning and practicing signs with many of our songs children develop motor imitation skills, gross and fine motor skills, bilateral motor skills and expressive language skills.