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TinyTalk Isle of Wight

by Polly on March 27, 2010

TinyTalk Isle of Wight was launched in 2007. Emily Pritchard, who was bought up on the Island, took over the franchise in January.  Emily is Mum to 4 year old Daisy and 2 year old Poppy.  TinyTalk Baby Signing Classes are already held in Cowes and Newport and a new class in Ryde is to be launched soon!

Having read about the benefits of baby signing, Emily took 6 week old Daisy to her local class in Nottingham. Having enjoyed the class immensely, she soon realised its potential  for meaningful communication between her and her baby.  From that day, she had an ambition to run her own classes and since returning back to the Island last year she was thrilled to have the opportunity to take over the running of TinyTalk Isle of Wight, and join the growing team of TinyTalk teachers around the Globe.

“I started to sign with Daisy when she was just 6 weeks old and found the TinyTalk classes a great structure of learning everyday signs through nursery songs and rhymes. It was really something that we could use at home and I felt it really aided the special bond between us and knew it would help Daisy to communicate with me long before she could talk!  By 4 months old, Daisy had a good understanding of what was being said to her and got really excited when she was told it was bath-time by me using the bath sign!  The first signs she used were ‘Milk and Duck’. It was such a great insight into her world as she could express to me by signing what she wanted and had seen.  I really feel that signing has helped us to avoid the frustration many babies feel when they try to communicate but we adults are unable to understand them. Apart from being able to tell me when she was thirsty or hungry, she was also able to remind me that she needs to brush her teeth before bed!  I again started signing with Poppy from birth and she is signing amazingly well picking up more signs daily.  Signing has also allowed me to gain an insight into what she is thinking or looking at. It’s amazing how observant Poppy is, and when we are at the park or at home looking out of the window, she loves to tell me when she has seen a bird or a flower.”

Emily runs weekly classes on Mondays 10:00-11:00am at St. Mary’s church, Cowes, on Wednesdays 10:00-11:00am at Newport Methodist church, Quay Street, and on Fridays 10:45-11:45am at The George Street Centre, Ryde. Classes cost £4.00 per family and consist of ½ hour singing popular nursery rhymes and action songs with appropriate signs followed by ½ hour social time. This is when the babies can interact and play with toys whilst the adults enjoy a well-earned drink and chocolate biscuit (or two!). TinyTalk believes that baby signing can play a significant role in helping early communication and language development. The importance of saying the word at the same time as making the sign is always emphasised. Lots of other language development tips are taught in the classes, such as remembering to face the child every time a sign is used, the importance of repetition and to always keep it relaxed and fun!

Baby signing is not only useful with pre-verbal children but for older children as well. As  Emily has found out, “Around 18 months Poppy started to talk and can say some words quite clearly. As she is talking she is signing at the same time so I can understand her first attempts at words.  Obviously there are still some words which are harder than others to pronounce and will come in time. Signing has become an integrated part of our lives and I know that we will continue to have lots of fun with it.”

To find out more about TinyTalk Baby Signing Classes, please contact Emily on 01983 612577 or 07900 803521 or you can email emilyp@tinytalk.co.uk

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