Customer Reviews: Signing Time Series 1 Vol. 1 - My First Signs
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on December 18, 2003
I'd like to correct the reviewer who said that the Signing Time videos don't teach the words "please" or "thank-you". I own all three DVDs in the set, and I know those words are taught. Volume 2, "Playtime Signs", teaches both of those words. It even includes a song about them, called, "Magic Words". Currently, the desciption of the Volume 2 DVD on lists the wrong words, so don't trust it. For accurate information about the videos, visit the Signing Time website at [...] You can also see video clips there.
A strong point of the Signing Time videos is the fact that each word is demonstrated by several different people. This is important, because everyone signs a little differently. Other videos, which generally use only one demonstrator, have left me wondering how exact I have to be in imitating the sign in order to have it recognized as the intended sign.
This video is the first one in the series, and was made a year or two before the latter two videos. The producers appear to have learned a lot from making the first video, and the latter two are even better (they've added songs, present words in groups, have better filming, and moved the "Introduction" by Rachel into it's own segment, so you don't have to watch it every time you play the main feature). The latter two videos also include more words - about 30 each, instead of just 18, as in this video.
One thing that has disappointed me about the Signing Time videos is that they leave out a lot of important words that are commonly used with babies & toddlers (which is why I only rate it with 4 stars). I would rather learn "diaper" and "bottle" than "fish" and "bird". Happily, I discovered the "Baby See 'N Sign" videos, which do a great job of filling this gap. I would recommend "Baby See 'N Sign" to all serious baby-signers, in addition to the Signing Time series. The second "Baby See 'N Sign" video was made specifically from words that were requested by parents. The "See 'N Sign" videos aren't as cute as the "Signing Time" videos, but they are well-done, and they still hold my baby's attention. They also cover A LOT more words (60+ on the first video, and 100+ on the second). They're only available on VHS, which was a slight disappointment for me, but they are well worth having. Currently, only sells the first video, but you can order the second one from [...]
I certainly hope the Signing Time people keep making more videos. It would be great if they would teach simple phrases, like "come here" and "I'll be right back", instead of just single words. I would also like to see more video snippets of children using signs as they play together, or interact with their parents, instead of just seeing children doing a single sign by themself. I also think they should show the object being signed in the same picture with the person who is doing the sign, instead of showing the sign, then the object, then the sign - each in separate clips. (To be fair, there are a few examples of someone doing a sign with the object present - but most of the time, that is not the case - and in some of the cases, they show a cartoon of the object instead of a real object, which I think isn't as effective.)
Overall, the Signing Time videos are well worth having, since the manner of presentation is very engaging, and they do an excellent job of holding a baby's attention.
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on February 19, 2003
We LOVE these videos!! A year ago, I had purchased the "Sign with Your Baby" kit. It was really hard to stay dedicated to it, because it's only geared toward parents. I was disappointed. But just a week ago, I found and purchased these "Signing Time" videos , and my 21-month old son and I LOVE them!! We are both learning so much from them, and he has already signed 5 words! He loves to watch the children and babies using signs and imitates them, and when the songs are playing he gives 100% of his attention. I logged on to their website (signingtime) and purchased the 3 volume set and music CD. They have a few video clips so that you can see what you are purchasing. Check it out! They're very cute and soooooo worth it!!! By the way, my son has been requesting these videos, even over Blue's Clues and Baby Einstein.
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on June 26, 2002
This is such a fun way to teach your child better communication skills and a second language. We started teaching our son some basic signs that we had seen in a baby book when he was one year old (I wish we would have started even younger). We were amazed at how much it helped us to know what our baby wanted. He could express some of his wants without crying (like to tell us he wanted more of something or that he was all done) and we didn't have to play guessing games to figure out what he wanted.
Now that we found this Signing Time video, at age 22 months, our son's signing and speaking vocabulary has expanded immensely in just a few viewings. He loves the video and asks to watch it instead of his old favorites. This video is so well done with a mix of animation, real kids and music. Our 5 and 7 year old nieces love it too and remembered many of the signs after just one viewing. It is great quality, a super educational opportunity and exceptionally entertaining (even for adults). Every baby and young child should have one and parents can feel good about teaching their child a second language and helping them develop positive communication skills.
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on February 15, 2004
TEACH first with "Baby See n Sign." Then REINFORCE and ENTERTAIN with "Signing Time." Both are based on American Sign Language and are designed for hearing children. (This review is also posted on the "Baby See n Sign" product page) I purchased the first volumes of these two products when my son was 14 months old. At the time, he had a signing repertoire of about 10 signs, including "eat," "milk," "more," "water," and a handful of others. As a teacher of English as a second language, I know that teaching vocabulary to beginners in any language requires clarity and repetition. I found these 2 qualities most prevalent in "Baby See n Sign" Volume 1; over 60 signs are presented one at a time in a clear, focused manner, not amidst an entire story or series of songs. Admittedly, "Signing Time" is more entertaining with lots of real and animated images, lively music, songs, and children performing signs; but there are only 18 signs on the first volume, the signs sometimes lack context, and the children do not provide the best examples of how to produce the signs. Their variations, while cute and interesting to adults, may be too distracting and confusing for a young beginner. Save "Signing Time" for an entertaining reinforcement, and start with "Baby See n Sign." However, if your child is older and verbal (say over 2 years), then the "Signing Time" format would be OK to start with; just remember there are only 18 signs.
The 60+ signs on "Baby See n Sign" are divided into several categories, such as "Food," "Let's Get Dressed," and "Down on the Farm"; each category has about 8 signs. I do not recommend that a small child watch this video from beginning to end; there is too much information. What worked for my son and me was to watch one category every few days. We then practiced those signs while having a snack, getting dressed, or playing with his Fisher Price farm animals. And everyday, we watched that section of the video again for further practice and review. It took us about 3 weeks to get through all of the categories, and he now produces most of the signs, some more correctly than others.
We then moved on to "Signing Time" which has been such a fun reinforcement to "Baby See n Sign." Most of the "Signing Time" Volume 1 signs had already been introduced on "Baby See n Sign" Volume 1. My son really enjoys watching the other children sign what he already knows, and he adores the songs. He's even been able pick up the few new signs from "Signing Time"; I just make sure to demonstrate the correct sign on several other occasions. We have recently acquired the remaining volumes of both products. "Baby See n Sign" Volume 2 has over 100 signs and uses the same clear format. Volumes 2 and 3 of "Signing Time" have about 60 signs total, and the entertainment value gets better with each volume-a really great song called "Magic Words" on Volume 2 highlights the use of "please" and "thank-you," and my son loves "The Silly Pizza Song" on Volume 3.
"Baby See n Sign" and "Signing Time" have been instrumental in my son's progress with signing AND speaking. He is now 17 months old, and he recognizes about 80 signs; he can produce about 40 of them, and we're learning more everyday. We have so much to talk about all the time. I truly believe that using "Baby See n Sign" in the introductory phase of signing makes "Signing Time" that much more meaningful and enjoyable. GET THEM BOTH!! Another great resource for signs not included on either video is the Michigan State University's on-line ASL Browser at [...] There you'll be able to click on a word and see a live person demonstrating the sign. I've found this website invaluable for introducing signs for things my son is particularly interested in.
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on October 26, 2005
Volumes 1-3 were created first and then volumes 4-6. Volumes 4-6 are a lot more bright and colorful and reflect the DVD cover case images, but 4-6 are definitely more advanced. Volumes 1-3 are so much fun, both my husband and I and then our 4 yr old and 16 month old just LOVED them. Within about a week, our 16 month old was signing her first sign - airplane - every time she saw one outside. It was just so cute! Our son loves the challenge of us asking him what signs are when we're outside of the home, like "more" or "potty".

The songs are catchy and our daughter just LOVES the intro "Signing Time" theme song. In Volumes 4-6, the the theme song has more versus, and there's definitely imporved vocals on Rachel's part for all of the songs - just wonderful. The songs are all very creative and catchy! My husband is calling Racel the American Wiggles :) You will definitely not be disappointed.

We bought Volume 1 first, and I then quickly ordered Volumes 2-6 just as soon as I could once we realized how wonderful the first was! Thanks so much Rachel for presenting Sign Language in such a fun and cheerful way! It's truly amazing seeing our 16 month old trying out sign language and she definitely loves it - the 4 yr year old as well! Signing Time is all they want to watch now during their "tv time'!
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on October 24, 2002
Signing Time is a great video for anyone wanting to show their children how easy learning to sign can be! I am a presenter/Teacher for hearing parents of hearing children, using Joseph Garcia's Sigh with your Baby program in my classes and workshops. This video is one that I show my parents as an additional video to purchase. The signs are very clear which makes it easy to understand and it appeals to not only children, but to the adults that will watch it with their children. The music is great and will hold your child's attention through the entire tape! This is a MUST HAVE tape for your children!
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on February 23, 2003
My wife and I have purchased all sorts of videos for our children. After 2 or 3 viewings, the children don't seem quite as excited to watch them. The Signing Time video is different. The kids have fun watching it over and over because they enjoy doing the signs with Alex and Leah. The music is fun and engaging and stays with you. This is definitely a quality video that will both entertain and teach your family the beginnings of sign language. It has been fun to see my 1 year old ask for more milk with signs before he has learned how to say it with words. Bravo Signing Time!!!
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on April 10, 2008
This is the first time I've ever reviewed a product. I have to say I was sadly disappointed. I checked the "original" DVD out from the library and loved it. I enjoyed all the little songs and the words that were taught. When I went to purchase it, I noticed that they had the "new & improved" version. I was so disappointed when I got it. It only has 2 songs (that really don't even go along with the words that are taught) and it's way too visually stimulating. I also missed some of the words that were taught on the first video and not on this one. I guess I learned my lesson that newer versions aren't always better ones!
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on December 19, 2003
The Signing Time series is wonderful because it's fun and full of smiles and facial gestures that are totally lacking in other videos. Anyone who has seen sign in action knows that sign language has lots of facial gestures to help communicate what is being signed. This series not only has cute animation but the two children are delightful and so happy. The mother who signs is wonderful to watch and hear. The kids in our playgroup (we all have hearing children) really enjoy watching the videos and learn SO QUICKLY (especially if they are over 12 mos. old). I would and DO recommend this as your first video to learn sign language, children OR adults.
The only criticism I have with the video (and others) is why do they have to teach the sign for "cookie" to children!?! I can't tell you how quickly my son picked THAT one up, much to my chagrin. ;)
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on November 26, 2002
I ordered this video from [...] and after only one viewing both of my daughters knew every sign on it! They watch it every night and really have fun using the signs throughout the day. My daughters are both hearing but have speech impairments, this video has not only encouraged a second language but has helped build their self esteem knowing they can communicate with others that are deaf.
I feel that Rachel, Leah and Alex are fantastic! By reinforcing the signs taught by visual display they have captivated an audience of children and adults! Everyone can learn to sign with this unique series! The music is phenomenal and I am looking forward to the new video's VOL 2 and Vol 3 just released along with the music cd.
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