A MUM is teaching sign language to babies to help them communicate with their parents.

Oh Happy Sign group leader and owner Charlotte Phipps teaches babies as young as six weeks old all the way to four years old how to express themselves through signs.

Located at St Peter’s Church Hall in Darwen, each class is designed to encourage babbling, speech, development and confidence by personal touch with balls, balloons, parachutes, bells, signed songs and sensory trays.

Mum of two Mrs Phipps said: “Every family gets a bag full of props and I will pick a new topic each week to do an activity on such as nappy time.

“I teach things like hand shapes from British Sign Language, for signing nappy changes, but a simplified version.

“First, I teach it to the parents and then to the children along with their mums, so the child can repeat the action.”

Mrs Phipps started the classes in July 2019, after returning from maternity leave. She used to work for the Lancashire Deaf Service and has 10 years’ experience, is qualified in British Sign Language, and has a degree in English language and linguistics.

She said: “A family member was deaf, so I learned BSL to communicate with her.

“It helps everybody, not just deaf adults or deaf children, but everyone.

“I think having something like this is a skill that can reduce frustration in children when they are young.

“It helps their cognitive development, giving them a good head start at school, they have a bigger word bank, so it does not hinder their speaking.”

The classes can also help new mums make new friends, offering something different to baby sensory classes.

Mrs Phipps also looks after her two children and fits the classes around being a mum.

She said: "My children join my class and they absolutely love it because they can try out my new equipment and give me feedback.”

Classes take place on Mondays, with a Little Signers group for babies aged from six weeks to a year, from 10am to 11am.

A six weeks to four-years-old class is from 11.15am.

To book a class, visit www.bookwhen.com/ohhappysign or visit her Instagram page @ohhappysign