Makaton signing for Babies and young children

Makaton signing for Babies and young children

The training is designed for families, carers and staff to use with babies and young children. The participants may have no experience of Makaton or of signing for babies.

Who is Makaton Signing for Babies?

The training is designed for families, carers and staff to use with babies and young children. The participants may have no experience of Makaton or of signing for babies. Or, they may already be using Makaton or have an interest in signing and want the opportunity to meet others.

There is no particular age range specified for babies and young children, as children vary in their developmental milestones, particularly if they have any special needs. Experience has also shown that, right up to school age, children particularly enjoy signing and will also enjoy many of the other activates suggested in the training.

The best stage for a baby to attend the Sessions with his or her parents or carers seems to be when he or she can sit supported, that is, from about 6 months. Between 1 year and 18 months babies are more interested in gross motor skills, like standing, crawling and walking, than in sitting, watching, listening and communicating. But their interest often returns after this.


The training is arranged in six Sessions. This is the minimum number of Sessions you can run. However, you can extend this if you need to and there are suggestions in the guidelines for doing this. Each Session has a mixture of 'Information Giving' and 'Practical Activities', with the information being a very brief but important element.


Although the content must be given, the time spent on each section is flexible, depending on the needs of the group. The programme can be run with one Session a week over 6 weeks, with each Session ideally lasting 60 minutes. However, you can adapt these Sessions by adding more revision and activities. In this way you can run the Sessions over a school term (approximately 10 weeks) in 30 to 90 minutes slots.


The signs have been arranged in six groups, so parents do not feel overloaded. They follow the order of the Makaton Core Vocabulary, so the signs from Stage 1 are first, followed by Stage 2 etc. This also means that they follow a sequence, which is in line with the development of language.
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"Thank you so much. What an amazing experience. Our team now feel confident in implementing Makaton in our school."

St James Primary School, Surrey