Tag Archives: hats

Snow Day (indoors and out)

My in-laws live next to a lake about 10 minutes away from Whistler Blackcomb, host mountains to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Whistler, B.C. Their little cabin overlooks the lake with both mountains tucked in behind. It is gorgeous here year-round, but it’s especially snowy and beautiful in winter. Every year for New Year’s Eve we come up and stay with the grandparents and play in the SNOW!
Indoor snowball by Snowtime Anytime
(Disclaimer: lots of wintry words ahead, but if it’s not snowy where you are, I have a really delightful indoor solution for you and your littles at the end of this post.)
How to sign SNOW in American Sign Language --www.SigningBabies.ca
To sign SNOW in American Sign Language, hold your hands up in the air. Flutter your fingers as you move your hands down and side to side.

We don’t get much SNOW where we live in Vancouver, so the 90 minute drive up to Whistler always excites us as we watch the terrain slowly morph from shades of brown and green in the city into a frozen wonderland in all shades of white.

As soon as we arrived, I rushed outside while it was lightly snowing and took some photos so I could show you some snowy ASL signs!


To sign COLD in American Sign Language, hold up both arms with closed fists, and shake them sideways like you’re shivering in the COLD.

Every SNOW day requires you make a SNOWMAN! Here’s our little guy ready to greet the trains passing by, not far from the cabin:

Signing SNOWMAN is easy -just sign SNOW with your fluttery fingers (see sign above), then sign MAN:
How to sign MAN in American Sign Language --www.SigningBabies.ca
To sign SNOWMAN in American Sign Language, first sign SNOW, then MAN by tapping thumb once to your forehead and then bring thumb down to tap once on chest.

A good PLAY in the snow always tuckers out my kids, hallelujah!
How to sign PLAY in AMerican Sign Language --www.SigningBabies.ca
To sign PLAY in American Sign Language, twist both hands with pinkies and thumbs out (middle fingers stay tucked in).

Of course, a steaming cup of HOT CHOCOLATE is always in order after playing in the snow, right? It’s almost the best part, and always a fitting ending to all that snowy fun.

To sign HOT CHOCOLATE in American Sign Language, sign HOT by placing your open claw hand beside your mouth, then turn it away from your body (like it’s too hot to touch). Then sign CHOCOLATE by circling your ‘C’ hand on top of your other hand in a closed fist.

*Okay, so here’s my find of the year, brought to me by my Very Inspiring Friend, who first found these incredible Indoor Snowballs online here.
She then showed me they carried them at a local dollar store near her house and I promptly bought two dozen snowballs to tuck into everyone’s stockings for Christmas. We had a huge snowball fight right after opening our presents and it was completely hilarious. The kids didn’t get tired of chucking snowballs at each other but they did get just as tired as playing outside. The adults had the biggest child-like grins on their faces as they pelted each other, too. The snowballs are made of tightly bunched soft yarn so they aren’t likely to injure people or knock down things in your house. They’re incredibly realistic-looking and just plain fun to throw!

And that leaves me with one more word for you to sign with SNOW:
How to sign BALL in American Sign Language --www.SigningBabaies.ca
To sign BALL in American Sign Language, hold both open claw hands in front of you, like you are holding a BALL.

Are you having some fun this winter in the SNOW (inside or outside)?

Happy New Year!

-Lee Ann

The Colours of Sports Day

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Every year my school-aged kids have Sports Day, and I have to admit, I love it. I have vivid memories of my own sports days as a kid – I absolutely loved the running, the games, the parade, the 3-legged race, the relays, and admittedly, I loved the doughnuts and hot dogs. All that still happens at my kids’ school now (including the doughnuts!), and it’s like a fantastic jump back in time for me. Literally. There’s a hilarious Parents-Only Sack Race & 3-Legged Race at the beginning to kick off the kids’ day.

Another big part of Sports Day is the COLOURS (yes, in Canada we spell it with a U, bear with me, my south of the border friends!) Each year the kids are assigned to a team with a team COLOUR. For me, I was always on the orange team, which was almost impossible to find clothes in, of course, but my mom did her best to make sure I had one tee shirt with some scrap of orange for sports day. Now that I’m the mother, it’s my job to dig through the dresser drawers for the right tee and shorts to match my kids’ team colour, which changes each year. Sigh.

You should know that I refuse to buy
clothes just for one day. I won’t.

And for some reason, neither of my kids has EVER been on the blue team. Why not? Blue clothes are stacked aplenty in our closets. And why hasn’t there ever been a pink or purple team? That would be handy for the two entire years my daughter refused to wear anything that wasn’t pink or purple. Instead, I’ve repeatedly had to find green, yellow and red, which are unfavoured, scarce clothing colours in my house.

Last year, Ian was on the red team, and I managed to find a red-ish tee in his closet, yay! But it was a scorching weather week, and as Sports Day edged closer I realized he would need a hat to stay cool and protected. That morning, digging through the front closet yielded a cargo green hat. Green! Dagnabbit, I needed something red. After some thought, I decided I’d paint the hat red. I know, I know, that is a pretty silly idea, but I was determined to use what we had. I didn’t have time to paint the whole hat, so I thought about something that could make the hat appear more red than it was, at least from the front, and I remembered something Ian loved that could ensure the hat was a success and worn for Sports Day.

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Not bad for an 8am paint job.

Sports Day has rolled around again, and Ian informed me that he is not on the red team again, but on the green team this year. Green.
Of course.

What lengths have you gone to for Sports Day colours?

For more COLOURS, check out these Signs of the Month on my website
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HATS (not) Optional

HAT in ASL  www.growingsigns.com

I love hats!

In summer, I know wearing a hat is the best way to protect myself from overheating, sun exposure, and glare. Same goes for winter, but for warmth and keeping dry (hats also really help on days when my hair could use some extra TLC but there’s no time to give it any).  But my family hasn’t always shared my same enthusiasm for wearing hats.

My first baby was born in early springtime, and by June, the rays of summer came hot & heavy upon us as we strolled and took in summer fun around town. Besides always using the stroller’s built-in sun shade, I remember popping lots of cute bonnets and brimmed hats into my diaper bag for her. By August, as she got older & more dextrous, I remember lots of cute bonnets and brimmed hats being tossed out of the stroller -she did NOT like wearing a hat.

Every time she’d pop her hat off, I’d pop it back on and sign HAT. Every day, over and over. Sometimes I’d try really roomy hats that I’d hope she wouldn’t feel being stealthily put on her from behind…no good. But I kept trying. HAT. We wear our HAT. Mommy’s putting on her HAT. Here’s your HAT.

The following summer when she was one, I found myself repeating HAT a lot: Let’s put on our HAT! Even though she was talking, I’d realized that it really helped to use signs along with my verbal words for commands or, shall we say, emphatic statements. One day, after weeks and weeks of relentless hat tossing (why do babies never tire of some things?) and HAT signing (well, I’m pretty stubborn too), I was almost blown off my own feet. As we were leaving the house for our daily jaunt, the sunlight almost blinded us through the open door: “Mommy, I need HAT!” Wait, what? She was reminding me!

Now, I keep hats for all of us by the front door and back-ups in the car. My kids know wearing their hat is part of being outside, and thankfully, you can find cool-looking kids’ hats everywhere now. Luckily my son has been more amenable from a young age to wearing a hat and doesn’t fight me on it (there’s other battles, don’t worry).


Yesterday, our family strolled down Fourth Avenue in the blazing sun and took in the annual Khatsahlano Street Party music festival, all in our straw hats.


Don’t give up if your baby resists your efforts to wear a HAT. Try signing HAT every time you see hats, wear hats, pick up hats, put on hats. As I’ve realized is true with all parenting efforts, including teaching signs: consistency and repetition are key. And it helps if you wear a hat, too!

How to Sign HAT in American Sign Language

The American Sign Language sign for HAT is tapping at the top of your head with a flat hand to indicate where a hat is worn.