Monday, March 10, 2008

Sign Language Flash Cards

My six-year-old came home from kindergarten recently with excitement oozing out of her. A guest speaker had visited her class, and had introduced them to the ASL alphabet. She was eager to try out her newly acquired skills. For the remainder of the day she replaced a verbal "Yes" or "No" answer with a signed response. After a few days passed, however, she realized that she could not remember all of the letters she had previously learned. She would start to sign a word and then ask....."Mom, how do you sign a (place any letter here)?" Of course, "mom" is the source of all knowledge (at least when you are 6), so she was shocked when I could not provide an answer.
There are a few charts on the internet that you can download and use to teach you children the ASL alphabet. However, each chart I would print off ended up drawn on, or chewed up by baby brother- so I set out to find something a little sturdier to help us in our sign language studies.
I came across this set of Sign Language Flash Cards in Pottery Barn the other day. It includes 26 cards (all of the letters of the alphabet) and their corresponding sign. It is made of very sturdy material. Usually when I think of "flashcards" I think of something pretty flimsy and relatively small. That is not the case with these cards; they are each very thick, durable, and measure about 9"x 4". I did not hesitate to purchase these, knowing they would be sturdy enough to survive to the day my child #3 wants to learn to sign the alphabet, plus- I knew my 6 year-old would love this set in her easter basket (and it is sugar free!;).
My one-and-only qualm with the set is the packaging. It comes in a very cute box, but it is nearly impossible to put all of the cards back inside (they are supposed to slide in). If it is a hard task for me to accomplish, I know it will be impossible for my kids. So, the original box will end up in the garbage room, and the flashcard set will have to find a new home- probably in a zippered pencil case or something.
In all, a great educational teaching tool that will survive a lot of "love" from young kids. It retails normally at PotteryBarnKids for $14.00 a set, but is currently on sale "in- store" for $9.00. My guess is that the website will reflect the discount price soon.

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