Signing Time

Common Sense Media says

Sweet introduction to American Sign Language.





What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Cast:Rachel Coleman
Topics:Numbers and letters
TV rating:TV-Y

This review of Signing Time was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of an infant and 3 year old Written byamberking April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

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, and she's loved them since she was little. They're entertaining - with adults, kids, animals, songs, cartoons - and educational - they say and show the words, as well as sign them. My daughter knows over 60 signs thanks to Signing Time. It's interesting and informative for kids and adults alike!
Kid, 10 years old June 12, 2014

ages 6-14

6-14 years
What other families should know
Great role models
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 understand what Rachel is trying to teach but 3 year-old's will catch on.
What other families should know
Great messages


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