Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sign Language, Flash Cards, Simple Words, oh My!

Alright, I've gotta come up with a list of simple things that we should be able to communicate to a 4 year old. I'm thinking stuff like "tired", "hungry", "sad", "sick", "bathroom", etc.

We're gonna try to make up some flash cards for Ping, so that hopefully she can use them to communicate with us, and us to her.

But I can not think of what it is that we should be able to say.

Maybe its "adoption brain" - and the realization that there is about 2 ba-zillion things we need to get done, and no where near enough time... or maybe its something else... so here, feedback away and post what it is we should be able to say to our daughter.

Oh, and to my Cantonese speaking friends, you know I'm gonna be asking for phonetic spellings of these words in Cantonese to put on the back of the cards.

Also, what has anyone else found useful? Did sign language work for anyone? Is the Chinese Pee-Pee dance the same as the Canadian Pee-Pee dance?

Anyway - help me out here, post some useful phrases I should get on flash cards! :-)



  1. Our guide shared with us how to day "I love you" to Sylvie. I am not sure how to spell then properly, but our guide taught us how to say them phonetically it:

    Mama eye knee, or Baba eye knee

    When she cries, to soothe her while cuddling her, smooth the back of her hair and say k-why. A hard "K" sound and then "why" blended together.

    You might also want to make a card for thirsty

  2. We used picture cards and learned a bunch of sign language. Our 3 almost 4 year old daughter was interested in the picture cards but didn't really get that we were "trying to communicate with them". Not to mention they were awkward when trying to communicate in the moment. We ditched them pretty fast and went with sign language - single signs mostly "pee" "drink", "eat", "milk", "juice", "more", and some simple one word Chinese words that we tried to pronounce (didn't work so great either)

    We said the English word and used a sign at the same time. She got it pretty fast, not to mention you get to have eye contact (good for attachment). She was signing "pee" and "more" back to us within 48 hours. Of course "more" meant a lot of things than just more at first(e.g. more milk, more eat).

    We used lots of signs at home for about 2-3 months as she transitioned to English. It worked great for us.