Tiny Fingers Baby Sign Language Classes

Baby sign language classes & workshops for babies and their parents at your place or ours! We also offer teaching kits to start teaching your own classes.

See our website at www.tinyfingers.com for more details!

Operating as usual

Why We Will Never Get Over It 03/21/2022

Why We Will Never Get Over It

Why We Will Never Get Over It Why We Will Never Get Over It by Angela Miller Unfortunately bereaved parents get judged often. By those who know us and by those who don’t. We are often criticized and pathologized for grieving (for remembering our child.) People erroneously think we are stuck, depressed, and/or clinically-someth...


Tiny FIngers Baby Sign Language Workshops

Workshops can be arranged for your private group.

You will learn 35+ practical signs for general use and some specific to mealtime, 2 or more familiar songs, and you will be engaged activities to reinforce the signs.

Please contact us to schedule a workshop for your group at a mutually convenient time and place. Workshops can be held either at our Fairfax location or at your home.
We require a minimum of 6 adults for our workshop.

Timeline photos 09/14/2016

Whose hands are behind
tiny fingers?

All Tiny Fingers teachers are fluent in American Sign Language.

The tiny fingers program was developed by Eileen Ladino. Eileen is a state certified teacher with a B.A. in Elementary Education from the State University of New York and an M.A. in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. She has spent the past 15 years teaching both hearing and deaf children of all ages and abilities. She has taught in both mainstreamed and self-contained settings for various programs in New York, Virginia, and South Korea. In addition, Eileen has enjoyed working as a freelance sign language interpreter since 1989 and is currently experiencing the joy of using American Sign Language with her own daughter. Eileen is dedicated to improving communication between babies and their parents & caregivers through her tiny fingers classes.


Q1. Why should I sign with my hearing child when he is already developing normally?

A. Signing with your pre-verbal baby can:

•Enrich your parent - infant bond.
•Accelerate verbal language development
•Increase his IQ.
•Increase her interest in books.
•Change the way you interact with him.
•Avert temper tantrums.
•Empower him to communicate at a younger age (8-9 months old), expressing his wants, needs, and feelings.
•Stimulate intellectual development.
•Reduce frustration.
•Build self-esteem.


Q2. When should I start signing with my baby?

A. Drs. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn, researchers in the field, suggest you can start modeling signs from birth. After 6 months, however, babies are more likely to possess the ability to remember signs and the motor skills to produce them. You can consider the indicators of readiness below to determine whether your baby is showing interest in communicating. An answer of "Yes" to any one of them means that this is a good time to sign with your pre-lingual baby or toddler. Once your baby has started talking, I would recommend you continue to sign with him (this is still no too late to start, either) and introduce new signs since it will be at least another year before he can clearly pronounce all the words he'd like to say. Once he sees that you understand his spoken word, he will begin to drop his signs, one at a time.

•Is your baby at least 6 months old?
•Is your baby bringing toys or objects to you and looking for a response?
•Is your baby beginning to wave bye-bye or clap hands?
•Is your baby beginning to shake his head "yes" or "no"?
•Is your baby beginning to take an interest in picture books or in finger plays (i.e., itsy bitsy spider or "so big")?
•Is your baby frustrated when you don't understand what he needs?
•Are there still important things your baby doesn't have words for? It probably isn't too late (see Question 6).


Q3. How long will it be before my baby signs to me?

A. It depends, but if you begin signing when your child is 6-7 months old it is quite possible that by the time your child reaches 8-9 months he/she may be signing back to you. Many children do not start signing back until they are closer to 11 or 12 months old. Typically, they will start with the signs and gestures that involve facial expression (blowing, panting), then whole arm signs & gestures (i.e., bye bye, clapping), then hand signs (i.e., hat, milk) and finally signs involving various hand shapes and more dexterity (i.e., cat, pointing) Once they have seem these signs modeled enough to internalize the meanings of them and have developed the cognitive and motor skills necessary to sign, they will communicate to you. This process is similar to how a child learns speech.


Q4. Does using sign language with babies interrupt or delay their speech development?
A. Actually, research states the opposite is true. Using American Sign Language with your child can accelerate their speech development. Since they are already using language in their heads and putting signed words together to communicate things, once their articulators are able to form the sounds, they quickly add speech to their signs. Gradually, the drop the signs and only use the spoken word. There has been no indication of a resulting speech delay. Click here for supporting documentation resulting from 20 years of research by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn.


Q5. Do I have to learn an entire new language?
A. The intention of using baby sign language is not to teach you or your child a second language, but to facilitate earlier communication. You will be supporting spoken English by modeling signs for key words. Your child will then sign those key words which will become launching pads for language exposure.

Baby Signs “pull” verbal language from adults

When babies use Baby Signs to call attention to things, adults quite naturally respond with lots of appropriate words (e.g., “Oh! You see a kitty! That’s right! That is a kitty! That kitty looks just like our kitty, doesn’t it!”). And we know that the more language a baby hears, the faster language acquisition proceeds.

Acredolo, L. and Goodwyn, S. Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk.
New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2002


Q6. When is it too late to start signing? My baby already says some words.
Babies are usually close to three years old before they get wonderfully full vocabularies. Up until then, you can teach them signs to be able to communicate about the things they cannot pronounce yet. It may take awhile for them to say crocodile or hippopotamus but your child may like to be able to sign to you while you are reading a book to him/her and let you know that she knows what the picture is! So, even though your child may be pronouncing some words, it is not too late to begin signing with your child. They will likely pick up the signs for the words they cannot say. In fact, the older the child, the faster they will learn to sign back to you!


Alexandre signed "fan" a few weeks ago for the first time. He now makes us walk back and forth between our room and his room so he can point to the ceiling fans and make the fan sign. The coolest thing was that last weekend we were outside having a BBQ and after the sun set things cooled down and a breeze kicked in. As I was nursing him, a breeze blew over his hair and he stuck his hand in the air and signed "fan". I could never have had that amazing moment without your class! Thanks so much.


If you sign with your baby, you will:

reduce frustration with communication

strengthen your parent-infant bond

jumpstart language development with signs

stimulate intellectual development

enhance infant self-esteem

realize that signing with your baby is as easy as waving bye bye!
. . and gain insight into your baby's world!


Why should I sign with my baby?

*Your 8-month-old could ask for milk when she's hungry.*
*Your 10-month-old could tell you he saw an airplane.*
*Your 15-month-old could ask you to read a book.*
*Your 18-month-old could tell you if she has an earache.*
*Manage behavior in public without your voice.*
Unlock the thoughts, observations & wants of your child with the gift of
American Sign Language!

Related articles on cognitive and linguistic benefits:

The Speech & Language Benefits of using Sign Language
author unknown

5 Reasons Parents Love to Sign with Babies
by Eileen Ladino. Published in Washington Families, Dec. 2003

Hearing or Not: Sign with your baby!
by Lesa Thomas, Contributing Editor to What's New!

Does Baby Sign Language Work? Hoes it Help?
from Dr. Greene.com

The New Baby Talk: Sign language lets babies communicate long before they can speak -- and may even make them happier and smarter.
from Parents.com

How Signing Help Hearing Children Learn to Read
by Laura Feltzer, MBR

Hearing Students, Sign Language & Music: A Valuable Combination
by Steve Koket


The Tiny Fingers program was developed by Eileen Ladino, a sign language interpreter and certified teacher of deaf and hearing children with over 20 years of teaching experience. She teaches all the Northern VA and Maryland classes herself!


Host a class for you and your friends! Contact me for more info.




5311 Gainsborough Drive
Fairfax, VA

Other Schools in Fairfax (show all)
Acting for Young People Acting for Young People

AFYP provides actors of all ages with professional-level training in a supportive and fun environmen

Kindermusik of Farifax Kindermusik of Farifax
3810 Meredith Drive
Fairfax, 22030

Truro Preschool and Kindergarten Truro Preschool and Kindergarten
10520 Main Street
Fairfax, 22030

We are a Christian Developmental Preschool located in the heart of Fairfax City in Truro Anglican Ch

Falmouth Institute Falmouth Institute
3702 Pender Drive, Ste 300
Fairfax, 22030

Since 1985, American Indian and Alaska Native governments have turned to Falmouth Institute for the

George Mason Bookstore George Mason Bookstore
4400 University Drive MS 3A6
Fairfax, 22030

Get information on textbooks, events, buyback, promotions and more!

Gesher Jewish Day School Alumni Gesher Jewish Day School Alumni
4800 Mattie Moore Court
Fairfax, 22030

Northern Virginia's Jewish Community Day School

The Mason Spirit The Mason Spirit
4400 University Drive, MS 2F7
Fairfax, 22030

The Mason Spirit is the award-winning magazine for the George Mason University community, including

Visiting Filmmakers Series at Mason Visiting Filmmakers Series at Mason
Film And Video StudiesGeorge Mason University
Fairfax, 22030

See your world differently.

English Department English Department
4400 University Drive, MSN 3E4
Fairfax, 22030

The official Facebook of GMU's English Department! Follow us on Instagram @GMU_English

Valor Dictus Valor Dictus
5035 Sideburn Road, Rm 503
Fairfax, 22032

The official page of the Valor Dictus. Robinson Secondary School's student media group.

Volgenau School of Engineering Volgenau School of Engineering
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, 22030

Nova Labs MakerSchool Nova Labs MakerSchool
3850 Jermantown Road
Fairfax, 22030

We offer authentic learning, play, and experimentation to create the global innovators, leaders and