Baby talk

Three-year-old Charlie Schaap put his right hand on his left elbow, giving the sign for "cracker."
Krystle Wagner
Jan 16, 2014

Charlie looked up toward his mother, Kendra, who also performed the sign for “cracker” during an introductory course on sign language for children Wednesday at Loutit District Library.

Shyle Lyons, owner and instructor of Small Talk Signing, led the class. The Grand Haven woman also taught the small group basic American Sign Language for milk, water, juice and orange.

Lyons is certified through Two Little Hands Productions.

Schaap said she previously used some signs with Charlie, but she wanted to do more with her 18-month-old daughter, Elliot. The Grand Haven woman said sign language cuts down on the grunts and sighs her children express when she can’t understand them.

“It takes out a lot of the frustration,” she said.

Lyons said sign language has also helped her understand her son, Crosby, who's nearly 2. Instead of standing in front of the refrigerator crying and pointing, Lyons said her son signs what he wants.

Lyons said she's always had an interest in sign language, but she first started working with her son when he was about 10 months old, using Cheerios to teach him the sign for “more.”

Each time her son looked at her as though he wanted more, she both vocalized and signed the word.

“Once he realized he was communicating with me, he picked it up really fast,” Lyons said.

Lyons will be teaching signing courses at Spring Lake District Library in February. Registration is required. Call the library at 616-846-5770, ext. 134, to register for the course.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




I am so excited to share sign language with other parents in Grand Haven! Thank you for the great article! Quick correction:the Spring Lake library class is free and takes place for 4 weeks in February. There will be continued classes at my home as well. See or for specific dates and more information!

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