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Bamba’s First Comforts Signing Kit

Submitted by on August 3, 2010 – 8:49 pmNo Comment

What can I say, Bamba has been a HUGE hit in our house – I have been amazed at how quickly Kai has responded. Not only educational and fun, but a lovely excuse to sit and spend some quality time with your child

Buy it online here (Baby Sign Factory)

Price £29.99

*****

Initial thoughts: Kai is now 14 months old and, like a lot of boys, is a little behind with his speech development. ‘Proper’ words are very slow coming but he gestures and mimics actions beautifully and although he is towards the upper age range for teaching baby signing, we thought teaching him some basic signs might be the perfect way to help encourage his communication and speech.

I had heard some very positive things about the Bamba’s First Comforts signing kit and jumped when the chance came up to review it. And the second it arrived and I unwrapped it I knew it was going to be something a bit special. Packaged in a beautiful sturdy gift box with soft yet vibrant colours, Bamba’s First Comforts contains everything you need to help start signing with your little one.

Bamba the monkey has long arms to enable you to make him ‘do’ the signs and is accompanied by five objects representing basic signs – a bottle (drink/milk), spoon (food), blanket (bed), wash mitt (bath) and mirror (look at me!). All are made out of the most gorgeous soft velour making them incredible tactile and inviting to hold and play with. The box also comes with an accompanying booklet introducing the concept of signing with your baby and teaching the basic signs which is very easy to read.

What we liked: Kai was immediately drawn to Bamba the monkey, wanting to hold and cuddle him close and keen to play with the items. I started spending just five or ten minutes a couple of times a day sitting with Kai and teaching him the signs as we played with Bamba. He absolutely loved it, and was soon gesturing for his box of goodies all day long. Within a day he had picked up which signs and words corresponded with each item and delighted me with responding to my signing and saying “Kai… can you give Monkey some food?” to picking up the spoon and role-playing feeding Bamba. He loved to ‘put Monkey to bed’ snuggling him up under the covers and giving him a kiss! This was the first time I had ever seen him ‘pretend’ and was really special.

We weren’t keen on: The only bad thing I have to say about the kit (and this is a very minor point) was the use of a bottle for ‘drink/milk’. Kai has been breastfed so bottles don’t have a lot of meaning to him! Of course, he picked up what it was for quickly once I had shown him, but considering the age that this kit is for (from 6 months), I think a toy beaker might have been more appropriate and not run the risk of making the assumption that a baby’s drinks come from bottles. I also think that the kit would have benefited from a cloth bag of some sort to enable Kai to take his ‘treasures’ out and about for practice on the move.

Overall: What can I say, Bamba has been a HUGE hit in our house. Beautifully made, high quality, and stunning in design, I would recommend this kit to anyone thinking of trying signing with their baby. I just wish we had started earlier! I have been amazed at how quickly Kai has responded to our play sessions – in the last day or two he has already begun to copy signs back to me for ’milk’ and ’night night’, both in play and in context. Not only educational and fun, but a lovely excuse to sit and spend some quality time with your child – I have a feeling that Bamba is going to be a treasured play companion for some time to come.

[By Josie]

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