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American Sign Language: "umbrella"


The sign for umbrella is done by miming the opening an umbrella.



Ivy Beringer of Northern Virginia Community College writes:
Hi Dr. Vicars:

My name is Ivy, and I am a full-time Faculty member in the early childhood education department at Northern Virginia Community College.  I have a keen interest in signing with babies.  I am teaching a course on infants and toddlers this fall and am planning to require my students to learn the signs from the Baby Einstein DVD, "My First Signs:See and Say with Baby."  I just came across your lifeprint web-site and plan to use the baby signs there as well.

My baby signing interest also comes from being a grandmother.  I have a 16-month-old grand-daughter (Riley) who is signing.  Recently her mother, Heather, saw her create her first sign sentence.  Heather was packing Riley's diaper bag and included one or two of her Little Einsten toy characters.  Riley signed, Me - More - Babies.  She was telling her mother to pack a few more of her character toys!!!

Since our last name is Beringer, our grandchidren call me and my husband, Mama Bear and Papa Bear.  After seeing Shamu at Sea World, we entered one of the novelty stores.  Papa Bear was holding Riley, who upon eying the stuffed animals, promptly signed Me-That, pointing to a stuffed Shamu toy.  Of course her Papa Bear bought it for her!

Here is my question on behalf of Riley.  She loves to sit outside on the deck and she loves to look at the umbrella there as well at the beach and when we are out other places.  She has asked me several time for the sign for umbrella.  I tell her the word, but I don't know how to make the sign. Can you help me?
Hello Ivy,
I have posted the general sign for "umbrella" at my umbrella page at  You just "mime" the opening of an umbrella.
But to show a Beach-type umbrella to a child, the first few times I'd do the sign a bit bigger and add an "upside down bowl shape" to show the top as well. 
Then I'd go ahead and just do the regular sign for umbrella.




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