Dr. Jennifer HanesWhy I Recommend Signing Time

by Jennifer Hanes, DO


As a mom and doctor, Signing Time is THE brand I have recommended most to parents and friends over the past five years. As a physician, I can say that signing helps enhance communication for children of all ages. Babies and toddlers can sign long before they are able to verbalize their wants. As they grow, sign language helps clarify their words. As an example, when my son was younger, he was frustrated because I misunderstood him saying “work” when he was actually trying to say “rock.” I asked him to “use your signs” and we immediately connected.

Some parents have expressed concern it could delay their child’s speech or hinder development in some way. This has been the subject of intense research and the findings consistently reveal the opposite to be true. Children that sign have a broader vocabulary when entering kindergarten.

Click image to see Jennifer's kids sign!

There are multiple other benefits of signing that continue on for school age. For example, many signs consist of finger spelling the word, like toys. The child signs t-o-y-s. It introduces the concept early that letters make words. I will caution you, however, that my son could spell p-a-r-k when he was just two years old, so you will lose some of the secret adult spelling “code.” Many signs also incorporate the beginning letter into the sign. This repetition made letter sounds a breeze for my children. Through signs your child can learn to identify letters long before being verbal and that each object has a name, or sign. As you progress, logic begins to develop as children notice that similar themes have similar signs. For example, the signs for “family,” “team,” and “class” are all based on a common hand gesture signifying their common group of people.

As a testament to Signing Time, the series helped my children learn to read very early. My daughter began reading chapter books in kindergarten. I credit the daily repetition of written words on the screen as she associated the oral reading with the sign. It gave her a head start on her reading.

The benefits continue for adults as well. You may also be lucky, as I was, to be moved to the front of the plane to help the attendant communicate with a passenger. It was a thrill to help an elderly woman with signs I learned on Signing Time and help make her trip more enjoyable. The airline upgrade I got as a result was also nice!

Still need convincing? This fantastic series educates your child, not simply about signs but about how to set a table, household chores they can help with, and the correct order of the colors of the rainbow. The music is uplifting and stays in your head and heart all day. Because of Signing Time, our family signs, rather than yells, in public places. Frequent signs when they were younger included, “pay attention,” “have fun,” “wait your turn,” and “I am proud of you.”

Signing Time

All of these amazing benefits from a fun-to-watch, lighten-your-heart, enrich-your-child series. Can you say this about your current entertainment? Signing Time, my highest praise for the in-your-heart, on -your-mind, with-your-hands products.

Dr. Hanes is a Mommy MD Guide contributor and author of Lady in Weighting