Makaton is a visual communication tool used specifically with children and young people. Makaton consists of gestured signs and can be extended to include black and white picture supports (such as the ones below). Many staff at Little Hands have had official training in Makaton and regular role modelling from the more experienced team members.
Reasons we love Makaton:
• It gives all children an additional method of communication with those around them
• Children who might struggle to communicate verbally can be less frustrated and better understood by those around them
• Children and staff enjoy communicating verbally and physically with each other
• Those children who may be too young or unable to speak can still show incredible understanding of communication through the use of signs with their peers and key workers at nursery
The first of our favourite signs is ‘FRIENDS’.
Here, Beth shows one hand in front of the other, with thumbs linked. Fingers are out straight and almost preparing for a handshake. Whilst the hands remain together, they are moved up and down while the word ‘FRIEND/S’ is spoken.
This sign is a particular favourite within the setting as the children love to use this sign amongst their peers.