THERE’S nothing like starting them young... just ask the mums.

A new class has opened in Hampshire teaching babies sign language.

Liz Morland has started classes at Woodley Village Hall near Romsey and another at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church under the umbrella of the Tiny Talk franchise.

For up to an hour babies aged from zero to 24 months are taught how to sign.

Liz said: “During the first half-hour we learn signs around a central theme, for example the family, bedtime, playing at home or going to the park.

“We learn in a fun and interactive way, we sing songs, read books, play instruments and have a wide range of sensory activities which introduce the babies to their senses through fun and imaginative experiences such as bubbles, flashing balls and mirrors.”

Liz, 39, who is married with two young children, Matthew and Daniel, is a trained speech and language therapist and she said the Woodley class on Thursday mornings is now fully booked and people have already signed up for next term.

She added: “I feel that communication is a fundamental life skill and when I had my first child, Matthew, I used many of the strategies I knew from my experience as a therapist to help develop his communication skills.

“One of the best things to do to help young children learn to speak is to slow your language down and use signs and gestures as you speak.

“Teaching a baby how to use signs to communicate is like giving them a voice.”