DVD – Fireese’s Musical ASL Adventure

Enter the wonderful world of ASL in this super entertaining video. My Smart Hands has created this DVD to teach young hearing children the beauty of American Sign Language. Kids around the globe will enjoy this mother/daughter take on learning ASL.

Developed by Baby Sign Language expert, Laura Berg and starring her daughter Fireese, this DVD was designed to be both captivating and educational for children. All five songs on the DVD teach key vocabulary words. You and your little one will learn to sign with friendly, seven year old Fireese and her mom.

Children will delight in learning key ASL signs from Fireese, a little kid just like them! Your child will be signing in a few short lessons and it won’t be long before they memorize the words to all five songs on the DVD.

Join us in this fun ASL journey and teach your child lifelong signing skills he or she won’t forget.

fireeses_musical_asl_adventure_3D(1)




Canadian Customers $15.99+ HST
plus $5 shipping



US Customers $15.99
plus $5 shipping

 

 

 

Example Video on DVD:

 

Parenting Tips: Keep Kids Spare Clothes Clean and Dry

So often are we asked to pack a clean set of clothing for our children when they leave the house. Whether it be for school, an outing with friends, or summer camp it’s required. Now think to yourself, how often have you sent them off with clean clothes, and had them return with messy, wet and sometimes dirty clothing that wasn’t even used? Just from being tossed around in their backpack with everything else? Watch the below video for a great tip on how to keep those spare clothes clean and dry!

 

5 Photo Ideas for Back To School!

Do you remember those school albums your parents used to have, the ones where each year they put in all your information, dreams, pictures and only our BEST art projects? Do they even exist any more? In a digital age, things are definitely changing!

Depending on where you are, School is almost (or already) back in session! Browsing Pinterest we came across a ton of really fun ways to capture the excitement of Back To School in photos with your child and thought we would share. Do you do anything special for back to school?

Enjoy – and congrats parents! ;)

Find Pin HERE

Find Pin HERE

Find Pin HERE

Find Pin HERE

Find Pin HERE

New Passion Project – Needs YOUR help! #PPD

 Deadline for participate extended to Aug. 31st

I am working on another passion project and I need your help. Can you please share this with your networks.

I am looking for moms who have suffered with postpartum depression in the past.
I need either a short video or a picture of you with a sign for a new video project I’m working on about postpartum depression. 

1. If you are submitting a video I need two short clips (can be in the same video)
a) Tell me what’s once piece of advice you would like to share with people who have a loved one that is suffering with postpartum depression. What is one thing someone did for you or that you wish someone had done for you that would have helped? (hold the baby while you shower, cooked you dinner, did your laundry… it can be anything). I am looking for just one quick tip we can share to help loved ones help the new mom.
b) A second tip on what you would say to yourself when you were going through it. What is one piece of advice you want to share/tell to the mom who is struggling with this right now?

2. If you are submitting a picture just write the above tips on a paper and hold it up in the picture with you.

Tips:
I can edit the videos so no worries about sending me a perfect shot.
It doesn’t have be professional. Capturing your video on your smartphone is great.
Please shoot horizontally on your phone if you are using a smartphone.
It’s okay if you show emotion in your video. It’s an emotional topic.

The deadline to participate is Aug. 31st. Please send me your stuff as soon as possible so I can begin to include you in this meaningful project. And thank you so much for participating and sharing!

Please send video clips to laura (at) mysmarthands com
Write in the email “I give Laura Berg permission to use my video clips (or pictures) in a postpartum video she will be posting on YouTube. My participation in this project is voluntary and I grant Laura perpetual rights to use my clips.”

How to Make Homemade Ice Cream using Plastic Bags

Who doesn’t love Ice Cream? Here is a fun activity you can have your children do this summer – make their own in a plastic bag!

Recipe:
1 cup cream (can use milk)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (you can add whatever flavour you like)
3/4 cup rock salt (sea salt)
1 (or 2) large kitchen bag filled half way with crushed ice
1 (or 2) small sandwich bags

You can mix this recipe in one bag or split it in two depending on how many kids you’re making it for.

Watch the video below for instructions on how to do it!

 

Our 500th YouTube Video!

It’s been 7 years and 500 videos! I’m exited to upload our 500th video and a look back at 7 years. I’m biased (as the mother) but I get choked up seeing them grow up right before my eyes. Thank you for watching and being a part of our YouTube journey!

Trick to Getting Kids to Clean Up!

As kids get older, and the amount of toys in your house add up, clean up time can get a little tricky. Just like when we were kids, cleaning up is a chore that isn’t very desirable.  Here’s a great tip on how to teach your kids the importance of putting their things back where they belong.

 

And check out this fun dice game to make cleaning up a little more fun!

Do you have any fun clean up advice? We’d love to hear it!

Happy Signing, and cleaning!

Signing Stories: 2.5 year old Finger Spelling

I’ve been with My Smart Hands for over 5 years now. When I first learned about Baby Sign Language I did a lot of research into different companies and classes and decided that I loved everything about MSH and wanted to become an instructor myself. I had already started signing with my son, and really enjoyed taking him to classes with me while I still could. H always picked up on signs very quickly, his first at 6 months, and about 60 by the time he was 1 year. His first words also all consisted of the signs we were doing with him.

He is a very visual child, and loved looking at different letters or signs, and by 2 he started to ask him to read everything to him. By 2.5 he was already fingerspelling a handful of words. I was so proud! Everywhere we went he’d want to stop and read signs and finger spell along to them – it was amazing!

From there he started reading short books, and everything else he could come across he’d still try. It really was amazing.

I still remember H’s Kindergarden classroom visit the Spring before he was going into JK. While his teachers were both busy greeting other parents, he loudly read out ‘Be All That You Can Be’ which was above the chalkboard. Both teachers turned with amazed expressions on their faces that a 3 year old could read that – Talk about proud mamma moment!

I really do attribute the use of ASL to H’s advancements. Not only did it help us immensly when he was non-verbal as a baby, but helped him and his skills beyond that!

Here is a video of him at 2.5 years old doing some fingerspelling. At the end, you will see a sign he made up for his Cheesy Pasta (Mac and Cheese) The signs for ‘Cheese’ the letter ‘E’ and the sign for ‘Pasta’ – too cute!

 

Karen Hewko
My Smart Hands Hamilton

Postpartum Depression Video Project – Need Your Help!

**Postpartum Depression**
I am working on another passion project and I need your help. Can you please share this with your networks you never know who has suffered with this until you share! I need all of you to make it great!

I am looking for moms who have suffered with postpartum depression in the past.
I need either a short video or a picture:

1. If you are submitting a video I need two short clips (can be in the same video)
a) Tell me what’s once piece of advice you would like to share with people who have a loved one that is suffering with postpartum depression. What is one thing someone did for you or that you wish someone had done for you that would have helped? (hold the baby while you shower, cooked you dinner, did your laundry… it can be anything). I am looking for just one quick tip we can share to help loved ones help the new mom.
b) A second tip on what you would say to yourself when you were going through it. What is one piece of advice you want to share/tell to the mom who is struggling with this right now?

2. If you are submitting a picture just write the above tips on a paper and hold it up in the picture with you.

Tips:
I can edit the videos so no worries about sending me a perfect shot.
It doesn’t have be professional. Capturing your video on your smartphone is great.
Please shoot horizontally on your phone if you are using a smartphone.
It’s okay if you show emotion in your video. It’s an emotional topic.

The deadline to participate is Aug 11h. Please send me your stuff as soon as possible so I can begin to include you in this meaningful project. And thank you so much for participating and sharing!

Please send video clips or pictures to laura (at) mysmarthands com
Write in the email “I give Laura Berg permission to use my video clips (or pictures) in a postpartum video she will be posting on YouTube. My participation in this project is voluntary and I grant Laura perpetual rights to use my clips.”

Realistic Camping Tips for Children

Summer is here, and that means camping season! If you haven’t yet camped with children, you will soon realize that it is a lot different than camping alongside only adults. Check out this great post my Karen at That Mom Blog, also a My Smart Hands Instructor!

That Mom’s Camping Tips

I love camping, always have and normally I am one who is very easy going when it comes to it, but kids change all of that. If they are not happy and relaxed, you are not happy and relaxed. And I go camping to be happy. And RELAX.

Here is a list of ideas to make your camping with your kids a little more enjoyable, for all of you!

Pack a special bag for each child:

I picked up these large clear plastic Cars bags at the Dollar store. I put each kids name on it, along with a couple of little treats for them. Activities, flashlights and let them pick out a couple of toys from home that they wanted to bring along. When they started to get restless, or needed some quiet time, we would break out their bags and let them do an activity.

Plan fun activities

I can’t take credit for this one. This was all my great friend Tammy (That Mom Tammy@ThatMomTammy). She came up with this great idea of having a treasure hunt for the kids. Since we were using the exact same site we used the year before, we knew the layout. She drew up a special map for each of the children with their own path to follow. We would start off doing circle time to centre the kids, then find out who the secret camp pirate left the first map for. They ate.it.up. Whoever’s turn it was would lead the group along to their map. They would need to follow the specfic route with their friends towing behind - climbing across logs, under picnic tables, and in and around the tents. Their treasures would be found in the bushes, behind rocks, or tied in trees. 6 kids, 6 maps and one day = LOTS of entertainment. It was also a great way to get some structured fun in as well. Thank you again Tammy for the great planning!

Because we had a large group site, we also brought a small pool, and a hose with a sprinkler. HOURS of added fun for the kids!

Be one with Nature

Make sure to really embrace the outdoors. Don’t be afraid to go look for bugs and toads. Your kids will love it, and it will make you feel like a child again. I chased this toad pretty far into the bushes on one of our walks, just so I could bring him back for all of the kids to see. We played with him for a little while, and I may have even tricked a couple of them into giving him a little peck to see if he would turn into a prince. No such luck. Before releasing the little guy, we made sure to sing “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” letting him go on the last verse.

Don’t be afraid to get MESSY

Its inevitable. Your camping. You and your children WILL GET MESSY. And if they aren’t, your not having enough fun. Seeing my kids covered in dirt and food at home makes me shiver a little. All I can think about is what those hands will be touching, and what I will need to clean. I don’t like to clean. I try not to worry about this while camping – extra stress you don’t need! Your outdoors, there is mud, there are bugs, embrace it. Camping in a large group made clean up at the end of the day more fun. After sticky-icky marshmallows, us mamas would head down to the bathrooms for what we call “Assembly line bath time”. One mama in the shower washing the kids down, another drying, one dressing, and another brushing teeth. Works like a charm. Quick, easy, and yes, loud and wet.

What Routine? 

8:00pm bedtime? Forget it! While routine is great, sometimes you just need to let it go. Trying to get your children, let alone a group of children, to bed at their perspective bedtimes while camping is not something I would call fun. Let them stay up a little later. Pack up some fun after dark toys like glow sticks, or these awesome finger lights we picked up at the dollar store. Run them wild and tire them out. Of course, if you let them, they would stay up later than you, but a little later than normal doesn’t hurt anyone.

And when all doesn’t go according to plan…..

…do what you need to do. This is one of the problems we ran into last year. H would NOT go to sleep in the tent. This year it was Q. We still have some major bedtime issues with him and I didn’t think it was fair for the entire campground to put up with his antics. Finally, out of desperation he went into his brothers booster seat, with Mickey Mouse on the vans DVD player. Yes, I did it. TV WHILE CAMPING. Roll your eyes, snicker those snickers. I did what I had to do. Mama has to relax too! (And don’t worry, windows cracked, me right there, and of COURSE he went into the tent when it was my turn to crawl under the sleeping bag.)

Anyways, I hope this gives you some good idea’s when it comes to camping with your kids. Don’t be afraid, take it slow, and put a little planning into it. Maybe start out with one night and see how it goes first, or even in your own backyard. I am a BIG fan of camping, and think that it is something wonderful to expose our children to early in life.