These days, teaching sign language to babies is the newest thing. Teaching simple sign language to infants allows parents to communicate with their children even before the little guys learn to talk. Associating such words as “Mommy” and “Daddy” with hand gestures allows babies to learn to get their thoughts across without speaking.

As you might have guessed, there is already an app for this. Baby Sign Language for Android is a parent’s guide to basic ASL (American Sign Language). The app comes in two versions. The free version is more limited, with signs for only 33 basic words, including “baby”, “apple”, “daddy”, and “mommy”. For just $4.93, you can have the full version, which has signs for 300 words to help you interact with your little tike. With the full version, you can create a favorites folder and save words you want to refer back to there. It also offers a search function with words divided into categories (Food, Toys, Animals, and People, for example).

The hallmark of any good app, this one is very user friendly; the idea of an app is to get something done simply, not waste time figuring out how to use it. To use Baby Sign Language, just select the word you wish to sign from the alphabetical list, and a short video pops up of a woman demonstrating the sign for that word. In the video, she first signs it silently, and then repeats with with spoken instructions.

Also included is a quiz function that allows you to test yourself on what you have learned. With this option, the video woman signs words, and you select from a multiple choice list the words you have just seen. Personally, I think it would work better for the person being quizzed to sign the word, not the woman on the screen, but that functionality is just not there.

While the app is limited in this way, it is still easier for parents to learn sign language from this app than from still images in books. Consider picking up this app and get a head start on interacting with your youngster.

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