On Saturday we visited The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. To finish up our tour we let each of the kids pick out one item priced under $7 from the gift shop to take home. Owen was having a hard time being, well, not a toddler, he was making quite a ruckus of excitement and wanting to climb the shelves in that teeny tiny story so we had to exit and have Dad choose a toy on his behalf. Thank goodness he's not a little bit bigger where this poses a problem where he would have absolutely wanted to pick it out on his own (that time is coming soon!). Instead when Dad handed Owen the white space shuttle after getting into our car to leave, Owen took it in his little chubby hand and immediately took his other little chubby hand open up to his mouth and signed THANK YOU. It was one of those very adorable moments where you know something you've taught them over the past week with prompting now has settled into their mind and has meaning. He was truly grateful for this new toy, afterall airplanes and anything that flies are one of his favorite topics.
Today when I picked the kids up from a play date, Owen turned to give back a toy he was playing with and signed THANK YOU to his friend. I love that he is able to show appreciation through signing even if he does not yet have the words.
Sign4Baby Tip: Practice signing thank you in your family regularly in order to show baby what the value and meaning are. Refrain from requiring your baby/toddler to sign/say thank you until they have the cognitive ability to appreciate. Child development experts say this milestone is usually reached by age 2, though in my experience, signing babies have such a great grasp on language that they can understand and use the sign on their own somewhere between 15-18 months.
For more great tips and stories and to learn how to "discover what your baby is thinking" enroll in an upcoming class at www.sign4baby.com.