Thanksgiving meal

Enhancing Mealtime Joy: The Magic of Baby Signs® During Holidays

Harmonizing Holidays: Baby Signs® for Joyful Mealtime Communication

Thanksgiving meal

Mealtime with little ones can be a delightful yet challenging experience, especially during holidays when families gather to celebrate. As parents, we constantly seek ways to make these moments more enjoyable and meaningful for our children. One fantastic tool that can transform mealtime into a language-rich and joyous experience is the use of infant sign language. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of incorporating basic sign language during mealtime and discover how these simple gestures can add an extra layer of magic during holiday celebrations.

The Power of the Baby Signs® Program:

The Baby Signs® Program uses simple gestures or signs to help pre-verbal infants and toddlers communicate before they can speak. Research suggests that introducing basic signs during mealtime not only aids in communication but also has several developmental benefits.

Early Communication Skills: Babies begin to develop the motor skills necessary for signing around 6-8 months. Introducing signs during mealtime provides a context-rich environment for them to learn and use these gestures to communicate their needs.

Reducing Frustration: Before babies can speak, they often experience frustration when trying to convey their desires or needs. Using simple signs offer a bridge between the pre-verbal and verbal stages, reducing frustration and fostering a sense of empowerment.

Building Vocabulary: Using signs during meals exposes babies to a variety of words associated with food, drink, and the dining experience. This exposure helps build their vocabulary, laying the groundwork for later language development.

Mealtime Magic During Holidays:

Now, let’s delve into how incorporating basic signs during holiday meals can add an extra layer of joy to these special occasions.


Thanksgiving Discussions:

– Teach your little one food signs as you prepare the Thanksgiving feast. Encourage them to use signs like “bread”, “apple”, and “vegetables”. It’s a festive way to involve them in the holiday preparations.

– Helping children learn to be truly thankful for the blessings in their lives is a challenge that every parent faces. Teaching the sign for “thank you” (fingertips moving in an arching motion outward from the chin) is a great way to get it started at a remarkably early age. And what better time to start than Thanksgiving!


Holiday Cookie Conversations:

   – Engage your child in the holiday baking process by introducing signs for ingredients like “cake,” “candy,” and “cookie.” As you create sweet treats together, your little one can communicate their excitement through signs, making the experience more interactive and enjoyable.

Practical Tips for Success:

Consistency is Key: Be consistent in using signs during meals, reinforcing the association between the sign and its corresponding meaning.

Start Simple: Begin with basic signs like “more,” “eat,” and “drink” before gradually introducing holiday-specific signs.

Make it Fun: Turn signing into a game by incorporating songs or playful gestures. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely your child will embrace and use the signs.

Incorporating signs during mealtime, especially during holidays, is a wonderful way to enhance communication, reduce frustration, and create lasting memories. The simple act of sharing a meal becomes a rich language experience, fostering connection and understanding between parent and child. So, this holiday season, let the signs speak volumes, adding an extra touch of magic to your family gatherings.

Holiday placemat
Holiday placemat

Baby Signs® Holiday Placemat

This poster can be used as a placemat during your holiday meal. Laminate the “poster” to make it reusable or to create a fun wipe-off board that can help entertain your child before the meal. Don’t forget to practice these meal time signs throughout dinner!

To learn more about the Baby Signs® Program or find class near you visit