Bringing Signing Into Your Daily Activities!

By Tanya, My Smart Hands Saskatoon

My Smart Hands Saskatoon provides tips and ideas in their classes and workshops on how to incorporate signing into your day to day activities. Signing is meant to promote early and effective communication between a child (infant, toddler or preschooler) and their parent and/or caregiver. Baby and toddler sign language is fun, helps with routines and can help your day run more smoothly! Want to know more? We will provide a few ideas on how to bring signing into your day from the moment your little one wakes up to the time they close their eyes for bedtime.

Wake Up With Signing:

A great game to play when you first hear your little one waking up is ‘peak-a-boo’. From the hall way or your bed ask your little one “Where is mom?” Pop in from the hall way or poke your head out of the sheets and say “Here is ‘MOM’!” while signing mom. These small signing games will bring a smile to your little one as they will see you and begin to recognize then sign ‘MOM’ back. Plus, why not start the morning off with a fun game that teaches: words, signing and object permanence!

Signing can be used for your morning wake up routine. You can then decide that it is “Time to ‘CHANGE YOUR DIAPER’ as it is ‘WET”!”. Signing ‘CHANGE DIAPER’ has helped children to stay more still on the change table as they are watching and interacting with you and will try to sign back when ready.

‘BRUSH YOUR TEETH’ ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch, ‘BRUSH YOUR TEETH’. This Raffi song makes brushing teeth so much fun! Together you can ‘BRUSH TEETH’ while signing and bring music into your day.

Signing On The Go:

Stuck in Traffic? Are you hitting every light red? Are you traveling across the city to play group or baby sign class? This is a great time for signing and singing. Our favorite song to sign and sing in the car is the alphabet.  Dream English is a wonderful site that promotes early language development and has simple songs that all children love. Or even bring your exclusive My Smart Hands’ CD to sign and sing about airplanes, old McDonald, twinkle twinkle little star or play it again! What a great bonding experience when you are in a car signing and signing with your child. Make sure your always driving

Are you in the grocery store shopping for the? I love signing with Elijah when we are shopping. Elijah will see and sign to fruit and veggies! We love to combine words to sign such as we see ‘ORANGES’ and will sign ‘ORANGE JUICE’, or asking if he sees the ‘PURPLE GRAPES’. We will often sign what we are looking for such as we are going to look for “BEANS”, oh here is the can of “BEANS”. This provides a visual image, ASL sign and verbal language. Such a wonderful chance for learning and communicating!

 Play Time:

Follow your child’s lead. With which play are they playing? Are they playing with a big and small ball? Watch and start signing! Keep playtime fun with signing. Let your child know that they are playing with a ‘SMALL BLUE BALL’. If they are working with blocks, ask them to stack the ‘PINK BLOCK ON the PURPLE BLOCK’. Let them know that they are driving their ‘ORANGE BIKE FAST’. The signing that you can do during playtime is endless and so much fun!!

Bed Time Routine:

Signing is great to help with transitioning from meal time, to play time and finally bed time. Signing what your routine is every night will help your child to transition from playing to a more calm and relaxed state. We have signed our bedtime routine to Elijah since he was 4.5 months old. We would verbally say and support with signing that we will take a ‘BATH’, ‘BEDTIME SNACK’, ‘CHANGE DIAPER’, ‘MILK’, ‘READ A BOOK’ and ‘SING BEDTIME SONGS’. We have found when Elijah knows what is happening next the transition from one activity to the next is much easier (most nights)! Bring signing and singing into each of these transitions creates a fun and educational bedtime routine. Signing in the bath is so much fun. You can find foam alphabets and numbers, rubber toys and boats to make this time even more enjoyable and promoting learning and exploration. Also, when washing body parts, sign and sing “This is the way we wash your _______”!

We would love to hear from you other ways to bring signing into your day. Join My Smart Hands Saskatoon for a class and learn even more ideas and ways to bring signing into your daily activities. Remember the key is to be able to communicate with your child in meaningful ways!

Happy Signing!

Please view original post on the My Smart Hands Saskatoon Website – Thank you Tanya, for your contribution!

Fireese’s Musical ASL Adventure – Our new DVD!!

We are excited to announce that our new signing DVD is now available for sale! It’s been a long, fun project in the making. Fireese and I had a blast working on this video project together. It’s been such an amazing experience seeing Fireese grow up into a very smart little girl from a cute signing baby. She has grown with my company and one of her favorite things to do is help me teach babies how to sign. Now in this new DVD Fireese is the star of the show, teaching me  (mom) and your child how to sign key words in fun and engaging songs! To read more about the DVD please click on the  ‘buy now’ button below.


Your can purchase your very own Fireese’s Musical ASL Adventure DVD HERE!

Here is an example of a video you can find on the DVD:

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.


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.

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!

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