Singing and signing

I promised a post on singing nursery rhymes together with MAKATON signing. So here it is.

The MAKATON signs can be used while you sing the traditional nursery rhymes as the Signing Hands do. These two ladies sign while singing. Have a look at this song, which is the well-known ‘Ba Ba Black Sheep’ with signs.

Easy to learn, right? Their songs, which are available on the net, give us the opportunity to learn more signs.

Some more common songs with MAKATON signs:
The Wheels On The Bus
Row row row your boat
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
We wish you a merry Christmas Little Peter Rabbit
Something Special, the BBC series, also includes some songs like the Rainbow Song. On the link you can find Mr Tumble singing and signing it.

After you have learnt a lot of signs, you can use them with other songs or rhymes.
Within 1-2 months you can learn 50-70 signs without an effort. Of course, it doesn’t mean you HAVE TO use all of them. You’ll see what the two (three) of you really need.

How we did it when E. was 6-8 months old:

When she couldn’t sit properly, but could only crawl, she got tired easily and became grouchy. This was the time when I made her lie on her back looking at me. Then I sang the songs and a signed along. She smiled and even laughed out loudly. She could enjoy it even for 15-20 minutes. This was enough for her to be refreshed and we could play again, or have her food etc.

Now, when she’s 11 months old it’s changed a little:

E. can stand and cruise (tiptoe along some furniture) so it’s very difficult to keep her in one place. I don’t bother to make her lie down any more. When we play and she sits for a while I sing two or three songs followed with the signs. No more because she moves on quickly and doesn’t really care any longer. But she is screaming and/or flapping her hands with joy during the songs. We do the short singing/signing sessions twice or three times a day.

(Have you noticed how easy to misspell or misread the two words singing and signing? 🙂


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