‘Sing & Sign’: Baby Signing Classes at Horfield Methodist Church

Last week I had the pleasure of going to a Sing and Sign class at Horfield Methodist Church and learning some baby signing!

In case you haven’t really come across baby signing until now, baby signing encourages good communication by teaching your baby simple and easy signs such as ‘more’, milk’, ‘tired’, ‘mummy’ or ‘change nappy’, to name but a few.

Learning such signs helps babies to recognise such important words quicker and enable them to communicate with you before they are able to talk. Baby signing is easy to learn and fun!

Sing and Sign classes are held every Monday and Thursday at Horfield Methodist Church in term-time and are led by Helen, a local mum of three children. However, there are also Sing and Sign classes held throughout greater Bristol.

There are classes available for different ages and stages: ‘Babes’ classes are for babies aged 2 – 6 months, Stage 1 classes are for babies ages 6 – 14 months and Stage 2 classes are for toddlers aged 14 months+.

Your baby or toddler can start Sing and Sign classes at any age: they don’t need to have done the Babes classes before starting Stage 1, not the Stage 1 classes before beginning Stage 2.

Each Sing and Sign class begins with a friendly ‘Hello’ song in which all babies are welcomed by name. Every session has a different theme; the theme of the session I went to was ’emotions’ so babies and parents/carers learned and practised signs such as ‘tired’, ‘loved’, ‘grumpy’, ‘sad’, ‘happy’ and more.

Every Sing and Sign session is full of songs, stories and rhymes which help both you and your baby to learn different signs.

In the session I was at we sang songs such as the Crocodile rhyme, Naughty Little Monkey, Walking through the Jungle, The Wheels on the Bus, the Teddy Bear song, If You’re Happy and you Know It and the Change Your Nappy song.

Throughout each song and rhyme you practice different signs, for example, when singing the Walking through the Jungle we sang about the different animals in the jungle, using the signs for elephant, lion, monkey etc.

There are also fun toys and props used in Sing and Sign sessions including beautiful coloured scarves, musical instruments (babies learned signs for loud and quiet), plus ‘Jessie Cat’ always makes an appearance, a firm favourite of babies!

The babies also loved the ‘Shaky Bag’ and liked choosing various items out of the bag such as a teddy bear, fluffy spider, bus, boat and baby.

A book about Jessie Cat was also read to the babies using all the signs, and Helen used pictures of animals to practise animal signs also.

The session always ends with the opportunity for parents to ask about different signs and also about the educational books and props used in the class. Parents and carers are also encouraged to stay and have a chat.

I really enjoyed my visit to Sing and Sign and it was lovely to meet Helen and the parents/carers and their babies.

Sing and Sign classes are fun, friendly and are a great way to encourage your baby’s communication skills!

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Sing and Sign is run by two local mums, each operating a section of the Bristol area.

To find out more about Sing and Sign classes nearest you, please contact either
Verity Jowett at verityjowett@singandsign.co.uk or Katherine Amor at katherineamor@singandsign.co.uk and say where you live and they will direct you to your closest class.

Their Facebook pages will also tell you more information and can be found here: Sing and Sign – Bristol and Portishead and Sing and Sign – Bristol and S. Glos.

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