On Wednesday we turned our voices off for an hour.
It was only an hour, but an hour is a long time in the lives of a 3 and a 6 year old, it’s almost a lifetime.
We chose to turn our voices off after dinner (didn’t think we’d get anyone’s attention on an empty stomach). Halfway through dinner I reminded everyone what was happening and placed some pens and paper on the table. My boy gave me a pleased smile and and mouthed ‘pudding’ while miming spooning a yogurt into his mouth – he got it!
After dinner I asked the kids to clear up by miming putting the plates in the kitchen and I pointed my husband towards the full bin. The cat meowed and we all turned to stare at her – my 3 yo daughter may have got it for a short while but my cat definitely didn’t!
Before we started I had explained to the kids that some people can’t hear or speak and use sign language to communicate. My son was very keen to learn some so we headed over to Exeter Deaf Academy‘s YouTube channel and learned a few key words, please, thank you and love. These were used keenly!
For the rest of the our we mimed and drew our way through conversations with much laughter. I carried on through the night communicating silently on Twitter. It was a great family experience to be involved in.
Hats off to the Deaf Academy for a great idea to raise awareness! You can find more info here.