65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More 'Baby Signing Time' Please!
I have been signing a handful of words with my 8 month old daughter for about two months now. She's been very attentive when I've been signing, but until we started watching 'Baby Signing Time' she hadn't really attempted any sings on her own...However, we've had the DVD for less than a week and she's already started signing 'milk.' I'm not claiming that this DVD is a...
Published on April 9, 2007 by L. Wilks
170 of 191 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Original Signing Time is MUCH Better
We too were so impressed with the original Signing Time that we decided to try this one for our nearly one-year-old baby. While we're not fans of TV for children under two, the first Signing Time was so straight-forward and simple that we were comfortable watching it with our child. It took only a few times of watching it before she was using the signs all the time...
Published on March 20, 2007 by MountainTopMama
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More 'Baby Signing Time' Please!,
I have been signing a handful of words with my 8 month old daughter for about two months now. She's been very attentive when I've been signing, but until we started watching 'Baby Signing Time' she hadn't really attempted any sings on her own...However, we've had the DVD for less than a week and she's already started signing 'milk.' I'm not claiming that this DVD is a miracle...I think my efforts to be consistent with the signing, in combination with her evolving developmental maturity have a lot to do with the fact that she is starting to communicate non-verbally. However, I really think this engaging video has helped. I find this DVD to be very age appropriate and entertaining, as well as educational. The music is upbeat and the songs are catchy. The repetition may be boring for some adults, but for babies repetition is an effective teaching tool...my daughter has plenty of time to hear each word and she gets to see each sign multiple times. I think she really enjoys seeing other babies use the signs she's been watching me use for the past couple of months. Plus, I find it helpful to see a variety of kiddos using the signs, as it gives me an idea of what it might look like when my daughter starts to attempt new signs herself. I also have a three year old who has really enjoyed watching the video with her baby sister...she practices all the signs and is starting to use them when talking with the baby throughout the day, which I think is great. We haven't watched the original series so I am unable to compare the two; but I feel pretty sure that we will be investing in some of those DVDs as our household becomes more sign savvy.
170 of 191 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Original Signing Time is MUCH Better,
We too were so impressed with the original Signing Time that we decided to try this one for our nearly one-year-old baby. While we're not fans of TV for children under two, the first Signing Time was so straight-forward and simple that we were comfortable watching it with our child. It took only a few times of watching it before she was using the signs all the time!
So we were excited when the Baby version came out and ordered the first two volumes. But these are way too "produced" in comparison to the original one, and the cartoon graphics and music are annoying and distracting. We let the baby watch it and she sat like a zombie, which worried us, since she'd been so engaged by the original one. But Baby Signing Time was far less effective in terms of teaching her than the low-budget/realistic original one.
If you're looking to start your child on the path to learning ASL, I strongly recommend you stick with the original Signing Time series. The Baby version is just too close to that mindless entertainment junk you find in most children's videos today, which is a real shame, since the original series are so engaging and interactive.
I gave this two stars as it's not the worst thing for a baby, but in comparison to the original series, it was very disappointing.
Edited to add: It's been a few years since I posted my review. Clearly there are some folks out there who do not feel the same as I do about this series. ;) And that's fine. And when a friend bought us volume 3, we decided what the heck, we'll give it a shot with our youngest.
She had the exact same reaction to Baby Signing Time that our eldest did. We tried all three DVDs, thinking maybe it was just a fluke (I know, silly, but there you have it. The naysayers here had me second guessing myself). Nope. She hated the Baby Signing Time DVDs. And our eldest wasn't interested either at that point either ("That's a BABY. I'm not a BABY. Pfft.").
So I ended up giving the DVDs away to a friend who learned her infant was deaf.
My oldest is now 5 and my youngest is 2-1/2, and both of them still love the original Signing Time (Series One), especially the first three volumes. Which amazes me, because those are by far the least produced looking of all the Signing Time videos. Yes, my girls like eye candy cartoon TV as much as the next kid, and neither of them need to learn ASL technically, but they enjoy the original Signing Time series. They BOTH still enjoy it. And it's educational, which I love!
Bottom line is these DVDs are not cheap. If you're going to invest in any, I still recommend going with the original Signing Time series instead of Baby Signing Time, because if for no other reason, than your kids might still want to watch it when they're older. Baby Signing Time doesn't have that same long-lasting value as the original Signing Time. At least it didn't in our house. So while some folks might love Baby Signing Time even more than the original, keep in mind that the original is appealing to both little ones and bigger kids. The baby one may not be. Our kindergartner had forgotten most of the signs until her baby sister started watching Signing Time. My eldest was able to re-learn the signs along with her sister. Totally worth every penny. :)
123 of 138 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the original Signing Time,
I bought this because my 11-month-old daughter loves Signing Time Volume 1 of the original series and I thought the baby version might be even better for her. I was wrong - she's just not into this one. The original Signing Time (vol. 1) is much simpler and just shows kids in natural environments doing the signs. This baby version has more cartoon content and is much more "high-energy" which seems to turn my daughter off (and is less enjoyable for me as well). This might be great for some babies, but mine prefers the simple, low-tech version.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish there were more,
We bought this for our son about 5 or 6 months ago. He's now 11 months old. He's an extremely intense and focused baby. Even at a young age. When we popped volume one into the DVD player, we were kind of bummed that he didn't take an interest to it. However after a few times, he was absolutely glued to the TV. He's been watching both volumes one and two for awhile and only makes a few signs (milk, wash hands, ball and we're working on please), but recognizes many others. It's the ONLY thing that will keep his attention. I could bomb the house down around him and he would be sitting in the ruins still glued to the TV. He has a crush on Rachel (the host) and smiles big and silly whenever she appears.
I haven't seen any of the original signing time videos, save for a few clips online) but it seems to me as if there's a divide. If you started watching the original signing time, you may not like these and vice versa. I love the Baby Signing time because it has lots of songs and music (and babies!) to keep his attention. Which is exactly the point. It's for babies. Older babies and children would probably find it boring.
We don't let my son watch much TV, occasionally Sesame Street and Baby Signing time, as I think both of them are educational. I also find that the music on signing time, is about the only music on children's programming that doesn't make me want to put a gun to my head. We love to sing the songs to him. The only way I can wash my son's hands after a meal is done, is to sing the "wash hands" song.
I would say that this DVD is ideal for kids 6 months to 1 1/2 years of age.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful even if you don't care about signing,
Frankly, we didn't care about signing before we watched this DVD...but now we're fascinated by it, and our 18 month girl just did the sign for "juice" and we're ecstatic. The thing is, though, this is a very upbeat video with a lot of footage babies find engaging such as of dogs, cats, ocean, bugs, food,, etc. It's an entertaining interesting DVD for any baby and also gives them a sense of their own capabilities and place in the world because all the aforementioned footage is interspersed with shots of very cute babies trying out different signs with varying degrees of success. The mood is very cheerful and Rachel his a terrific guide. The music, which appears to be original, is very good too. BTW, we also got "My BMy Baby Can Talk - First Signs and like it, but not as much as this one.
Update hundreds of viewings later:
This is hands down--or up!--the best DVD for babies. Period. As in: there is no DVD our baby enjoys more. We don't particularly care about signing--she just loves it. And we love it too. After having watched it about a gazillion times--by popular demand of our baby--I don't see a single flaw or weak moment in it. It totally shines, has gotten us really interested in signing, and even has greater artistic value: when I view it it gives me a perspective on what it means to be a mother than is hard to come by in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The footage is heartwarming, the music is far above average, Rachel the host is fantastic, the camera work is first-rate. They really have captured some special moments. This DVD is a total winner and I would recommend it for everyone who has a baby. Fifty stars!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Baby Signing Time vs Signing Time,
We checked both Baby Signing Time & Signing Time out of the library before buying. Our daughter 5 month old at the time seemed to enjoy both. The reason why I would lean toward Signing Time as opposed to Baby Signing Time (BST) is that the latter (BST) uses younger children (toddlers) to demonstrate the signs. The demonstrations therefore aren't as 'exact' so I questionned whether our daughter would really learn the signs...The tunes in BST are catchy though...I found myself humming one of the tunes several days later while on a business trip....Either way, I'm sure you can't go wrong. (we did decide to order the regular signing time dvd)
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Spastic. More hyperactive entertainment than education,
I bought this after borrowing the original (before it was remade) Signing Time from the library. (Rachel in her red sweater with long hair.) I loved the original Signing Time. It was educational, calm and still entertaining. I got Baby Signing Time thinking it would be similar, but with signs more specific for a baby. But, Baby Signing Time is distracting and spastic. The signs are buried under so much extraneous movement, color, scene-shifts, music, etc, that the video's educational value is questionable.
This is the hyperactive, short-attention-span-encouraging, cutesy stuff that I did not want to expose my child to.
I much preferred the low-budget, real people, original Signing Time. Unfortunately, I don't know if it's even possible to get that anymore.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Signing DVD For Kids, Hands Down!,
My 23 month old son was diagnosed with mild autism and a speech delay. At 22 months, he was saying about 5 words, and not regularly. His communication was about that of an infant learning to point and fuss for what he wanted. Intellectually he is very bright, so it was frustrating for both of us. I did a lot of research on the best way to help him in his communication, and I found Baby Signing Time. I cannot say enough good about this series!!! My son is communicating! Within the first TWO DAYS of owning the DVD, my son was already signing all of the signs on the DVD. At meal time now he will sign for food or drink instead of crying. He's happier, and it seems to be encouraging him to try new words. While he is imitating signs (which he seems much more comfortable with) he is also occasionally repeating spoken words now too...something he never did! This has been an absolutely huge breakthrough in communication for us. I recommend this to any parents or loved ones of a child with a speech delay. For us, it's just amazing.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems "overproduced",
I got this after realizing my 13 month old son starting picking up sign language from the Comcast on-demand selection "talking hands." Since the comcast on-demand selections rotate, I wanted to have a sing language DVD at home to make sure we had something in case talking hands went off air. I checked out a few other dvds from the library and chose this one because it seemed the most updated.
The good part of this DVD collection (I got both) is that tells you what words will be taught in each DVD and it's got catchy songs (I find myself getting the songs stuck in my head throughout the day and it's kind of annoying actually - the producers ought to make TV commercials!). The teacher is very animated, almost *too* animated.
The bad part of these DVDs is that they rely heavily on cartoons to illustrate the word. For example, for the word "frog" they use a cartoon frog, who for whatever reason, has a diaper on. They show an actual frog for about a second, but its mostly the diaper-wearing frog that is used. I just feel like they ought to use real pictures more - especially for small children. When they go through a review of the animal words, they start with the word bird, then the cartoon bird "flies" into the screens for the other animals, so even if when they are reviewing the word "horse" the bird is still in the picture - confusing! There is insufficient connection between the word and an illustration of the word. They'll show lots of kids signing the word, but then only show a picture of the word very briefly at the end. They should intermix more or use picture in picture.
My son seems to "burn out" on Baby Signing Time very quickly. Despite the songs and animation - he gets bored with it after one or two segments. Maybe it's just too busy for him.
Frankly, I think the "talking hands" is better, even though it is obviously old, low tech, and the signers are not very animated. The format was far better for learning because it was slower-paced, showed lots of variety, illustrated the word with real pictures, and showed a picture of the word just as much as a sign for the word.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well produced and entertaining,
We have a 10 month old and started working on signing at around 7 months. She is breastfed and I wanted to start teaching her a non-verbal way to ask to nurse so I began using the sign for milk when she nursed. At around 8.5 months old she started signing for milk and I decided perhaps we should begin teaching some more signs. Several friends recommended the Baby Signing Time videos as good resources.
Having seen young children in our extended families who are entranced by TV and are watching several hours per day by the age of 1, we made a conscious decision to sharply limit our kids' exposure to television while young. The only exceptions so far have been old Sesame Street episodes (70s and 80s vintage) and Baby Signing Time. We will turn on the Baby Signing Time DVD a few times a week for about 15 minutes and she really enjoys it. We watch the video with her and sing and do the signs along with Rachel, the host.
We also do certain signs throughout the day and I believe that the frequent reinforcement is how she's actually learning the signs - not from watching the video. Realistically we could have used the many free ASL resources online to learn the signs that we're teaching her. That said, she enjoys this DVD a lot. The production values are good and she's a baby who loves music, so the songs are a real hit. I find myself humming the tune to the "More, More, More" song throughout the day! I can't find anything I dislike or find inappropriate about Baby Signing Time and that is a sharp contrast to many of the childrens' shows on TV today. So while it probably isn't teaching her much it is enriching and enjoyable for us to watch the DVD and learn signing together.
So far she can sign for "milk" (nursing), "mommy", "daddy", and "more" and we're working on "water" and "food".
Our daughter's signing vocabulary exploded at around 11-12 months. She can do most of the signs in Baby Signing Time volumes 1 and 2. She usually uses the correct context for each sign and at 16 months is starting to string signs together as well as to say many of the words while signing them. Her speech development is typical of a child her age, but signs give her an additional means of expression. We believe this broader range of communication options helps reduce the frequency and duration of meltdowns and tantrums - we can ask her to use her signs to communicate her needs rather than having to guess. Both at home and at daycare she can let us or her teachers know if she needs a diaper change, if she would like more food to eat, if she needs a drink of water, or if she's tired and needs to rest. Signing is a total win-win for all of us!
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