||“It was of great importance to me that staff at Ashton House Nursery use makaton with all the children. My son has Downs syndrome and signing is his first language which was understood and developed at Ashton House. His friends sign readily and that helped to make him feel part of the nursery. Thank you.” Helen Avraam
We are very proud that children and staff have been practising Makaton sign language in the Nursery every day for over ten years and all of our staff are trained by our own Makaton tutor.
Makaton is a fun and easy way to learn to sign with your child. Signing while speaking has been shown to encourage the development of communication and language skills and help you to more easily understand your child’s needs. Children are first encouraged to communicate using signs, then gradually, the signs are dropped and speech takes over.
Our babies can begin to use Makaton from about six to eight months. ‘More’, ‘milk’ and ‘sleep’ are usually their first signs. Babies find signs easier to learn than spoken words, which is why babies use gestures before they can speak. Makaton is a great help if a child has difficulties with understanding and speaking and is especially beneficial for children who are late beginning to talk. Through Makaton, children are able to develop important communication skills.
Our children love to use Makaton when singing songs such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Baa Baa Black Sheep. They also use signs to ask for simple things such as ‘drink’ and ‘toilet’. Children learn ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and enjoy signing ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon’ during registration times. As the children get older, they enjoy signing their own names during circle time.
Please click here to download free Makaton resources to use at home.