The Signing Stars Story..
Are you hungry? But you seem tired….You are twisting in my arms, maybe you have pain? I’m sure these conflicting thoughts sound familiar to every mother. Working out what your baby wants and needs is an art, a guessing game, a mystery…What if there was some way that babies could communicate their needs before speech?
We believe that there is!!! And here is our story…
Signing Stars was formed during a session at our local playgroup. We discovered whilst chatting that we were all interested in using baby sign language with our first babies but couldn’t seem to find Auslan resources that made it easy for parents and children to learn together. This got us thinking that there had to be a better way to learn sign language and integrate it into every day life for families. So…what started as an idea in late 2009 quickly turned into the beginning of Signing Stars and our philosophy became about making learning sign language enjoyable and effortless for the whole family, including both hearing and non-hearing children.
Now, as Mum’s to signing bubs we all have experienced the amazing benefits of using sign language to communicate and we are passionate about sharing this with other parents!
We have worked hard, with the aim to create modern, colourful and quality sign language products that are 100% Auslan(Australian Sign Language). In our first year we have received a lot of positive feedback from those already involved in the baby signing industry as well as from parents that have had success using our products with their babies and toddlers.
It has been a labour of love and we are proud of the learning tools and products we have created and we hope that they will bring joy to your lives.
The Signing Stars team consists of Sonya, Amanda and Kylie and our little Signing Stars Maija, Harri, Aiden, Milly, Ava & Olivia.
I’m Sonya. I have found using sign language to be a fantastic learning and bonding tool with my kids. We first started signing with Maija when she was around 18months and in the early stages of her speech development. She really enjoyed learning new signs and was very proud to show them off, I believe using baby sign language enhanced her spoken vocabulary greatly. It was a fun game we would use when reading as well as going about our day. Maija couldn’t wait to start teaching her little brother to sign. We started signing with Harri at 5 months and it was so exciting to see him sign back to us at the age of 6 months. Harri is now 12 months and already using a handful of signs himself as well as watching intently when we teach him new signs, he claps for us whenever we show him a new one, its very cute!
My working background is as a Dental Hygienist, when I became a Mum I took time out from this and was looking for something to do that would fit in with being at home with my daughter. Starting up a business with two other Mums has been a great way to fit enjoyable work in around the needs of my family. Signing Stars has been a great learning experience in many ways; I am really excited about our future and looking forward to sharing our products with many Australian parents.
A little bit about me…My background is in psychology and child protection. When I became a Mum 3 years ago I stopped paid work to raise my son. Whilst I loved being a Mum, I missed the stimulation from working so Signing Stars has since become the perfect project that I can work on around my kids. I also feel like I am contributing something important for the benefit of children.
My husband and I started signing with Aiden when he was 2, so being a bit older he picked it up very quickly and now helps us teach Milly to sign. We started signing with Milly when she was 6 months old. It took three months of teaching and repetition for her to sign back but she was definitely taking it all in as, within that 3 months, when I would ask he if she wanted milk by signing ‘milk’, she would wave her arms in excitement! She obviously knew what I was asking! Milly signed milk back to us when she was 9 months and by 11 months she could sign eat, finished and Mummy. Amazing to experience it first hand! My hope is that our signing journey’s will motivate other parents to try it out and enjoy the benefits!
My working background is Vet nursing, and for the last 7 years I have been practicing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Specializing in Urology and Gynaecology Cancer. I have also started my Auslan training, and am planning on furthering my education in sign language.
I sign with both of my girls. I started with Ava at 2 years and Olivia at 6 months. Ava picked it up really easily because she could already talk, and Olivia signed for the first time at 10months of age.
When I started with Olivia at 6 months of age I did feel a little disheartened when after a lot of repetition of signing ‘milk’, and ‘eat’ she was not signing back to us. But then one Easter when we went away to the south coast where we were staying at the beach she finally signed back to me! She signed two words in one day. I was so excited! She signed ‘eat’ and ‘bird’ which I only started while we were away because there was seagulls everywhere. We have not looked back since! They both enjoy signing and learning new words.
From all of the Signing Stars Team good luck with your own signing experiences.
We hope you find it as enjoyable as we have!