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Signing Time

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Signing Time TV Poster Image
Sweet introduction to American Sign Language.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

People with disabilities are shown interacting with others naturally. Kids in different age groups of kids are shown acting in beneficial ways, such as helping grown-ups.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational series doesn't shy away from showing images of children who are physically disabled; they're shown participating cheerily along with their peers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant and 3 year old Written byamberking April 9, 2008

Signing Time is fantastic!

We love Signing Time, and are thrilled it's now available on PBS. We've bought or rented the DVD's in the past for our now 2 year old daughter,... Continue reading
Parent Written bymichelejapan August 13, 2010

Great for School and Home

My 1-2nd grade classroom loved it as did my daughter who will be 3 soon. Highly recommended as something for all educators who teach primary and for anyone wish... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byButlorkitty05 April 7, 2014

Helps Kids learn signs

Signing time is a educational show. I watched it because I have a friend who is deaf so I could communicate with her better. Two year-old's might not under... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008



What's the story?

With a bouncy tone akin to Sesame Street's "learning can be fun" style, SIGNING TIME dives into the world of American Sign Language. Hosted by Rachel Coleman, the mother of a hearing-impaired daughter, Signing Time combines music, animation, and live-action footage to demonstrate and illustrate everyday signs like "help," "butterfly," and "cold."

Is it any good?

For very young ones, Signing Time's images are dazzling: birds flying through the air and toddlers helping Daddy sweep the driveway are just the sort of thing to pique older toddlers and preschoolers' interest. Meanwhile, parents won't be repulsed by the sweet, natural children who act out the signs. No precious, Barney-style li'l performers here -- just regular little kids showing the difference between small and tall or happy and sad. Sprinkled liberally amongst the cast members are children with disabilities, who are shown interacting naturally and happily with their peers. Coleman's deaf daughter, Leah, is also featured on the show, along with her cousin Alex (who is not deaf).

Were this program not airing in an era in which baby signing has become trendy, interest in Signing Time might be limited to hearing-impaired kids and their parents. But thanks to the recent focus on signing as a way to communicate with pre-verbal children, Signing Time will be of great interest to many. Parents who tune in will find a fun and easy introduction to sign language that's great to watch with their kids. This sweet, gentle little show is the kind of program you won't mind your child watching. It's educational TV that doesn't feel forced.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons why some children are deaf or otherwise differently abled. How should you treat such a person? What accommodations does a deaf person need in order to function in everyday life?

TV details

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