I am constantly amazed by just how much language is all around us. Take a quick look around you and see how many words/signs you notice…are there windows? Doors? Chairs? A desk? Toys? Keep looking…I know there are more things to label! Are you in the bedroom? The kitchen? The bathroom? Names of rooms are important too! We spent a bunch of time in our homes with our families, so let’s get familiar with how to extract all that language from each room!
Whether you are speaking, signing or both, there is an abundance of information around you to label and provide to your kiddo! That’s exciting! But let’s be honest, it’s overwhelming too. I have had a hard time with feeling the need to be fluent in ASL immediately (which is just not possible), and then I get hung up on what I didn’t know yet and all that I still have left to learn. However, when I take a step back every once in a while, I’m always pleasantly surprised with my progress. All that being said, try your best to enjoy the whole process and remember to savor the moments and just be with your child sometimes. It’s so easy to get stuck in therapy mode and to forget to stop and breathe it all in! Note the “little” celebrations along with the big ones, focus on learning just a few things at a time, and give yourself some grace. You are doing an amazing and TOUGH thing learning a whole new language while also parenting and balancing everything else, and you will get there! You are an incredible parent, even when you don’t feel like you are!
Okay, back to our room full of language. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how our family got started with learning sign language. There is a LOT to learn! Early on, I realized there were tons of things around me and Odin for which I didn’t know the signs. One day, I grabbed some paper, went to his bedroom and just started compiling a list of signs I wanted to learn. I’d like to share these lists with you, room by room, so that you have a place to start! I have decided to write a series of posts that I’m calling the Room Full of Language Series, and we are going to start with the kitchen!
In my ASL learning resources post, I referenced “thinking in categories” (animals, foods, colors, clothing, etc.). Here, we are going to categorize by the room. Each word in the list below is linked to its video on an ASL Dictionary such as Lifeprint or Handspeak so that you have easy access to the sign! Click on the word to view its sign! I’m also sharing a video of our Deaf Mentor, Susan, teaching me the signs of our kitchen! Enjoy!
Note: There are a few words for which I did not find a matching sign in an ASL dictionary. These may be fingerspelled. Don’t panic!! Fingerspelling skills are super important too and can be fun! Don’t be afraid of fingerspelling or hesitant to fingerspell with your kiddo. Their brains are amazing, and they will learn the shape of the word by its letters over time (your brain is amazing too, but you may feel like your brain is moving at a snail’s pace to understand someone else when they’re fingerspelling haha!). To help you practice, I wrote a post about that too and shared a couple of songs/games that Odin and I do to practice our fingerspelling!
P.S. Also, I want to remind you that it’s totally okay to not know a sign when you’re with your kid. There are so many times when I don’t know a sign or don’t remember it, and you know what I tell Odin? I say and/or sign: “I don’t know that sign. Let’s learn!” Then we look it up on my phone, on the computer or in a book together. That helps me to take a little pressure off myself, and it teaches Odin that it’s okay not to always have an answer and that you can always learn!
Room Full of Language: KITCHEN
- Water faucet/tap
- Coffee maker
- Spoon, fork, knife
- Utencils: spatula/wooden spoon
- Pots and pans
- Stove, oven
Notice there are not any foods listed. Don’t worry, that is coming! I’m going to focus on doing all the rooms first, that way no matter what room you are in you have the potential to have some talking and/or signing points with your kiddo! Next up will be the bathroom! Stay tuned and thanks for reading!