Another step, a precursor to word identification, is identification in general. Here is a picture of an apple. It stands for apple. Later, here are the letters "APPLE." That stands for that red fruit you know is an apple.
I love See and Learn, because it starts early. In this video (which is awful quality) I'm showing Ellie the flashcards of the picture. She is signing/saying/approximating the word. After we finished, she dug through the bag of word pictures and was signing and saying words all by herself.
This post isn't sponsored, but if the good folks at See and Learn wanted to sponsor my blog, I'd say yes in a heartbeat. (If you know anyone at See and Learn, have them email me!)
Ellie is learning. She's using those signs and "words" to identify objects around us. Her latest word is "bike," which she picked up from my other favorite, "Baby Signing Time." She finally signed "bike" watching Olympic cycling, making mama feel better about having the TV on 24/7 until closing ceremonies.