Learning to recognize and then write their name is one of the earliest (and most exciting) literacy skills for young children. And even once they’ve mastered it, there is a pride that comes in celebrating it again and again! After all, don’t you want them to LOVE the name you spent countless hours mulling over and trying to agree upon with your significant other?!?
Here are some fun and easy (read: minimal prep!) name activities we have done to kick off the new school year!
1) Tracing and writing with pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, etc. – Simple, right?! But this will give you an excellent opportunity to assess your child’s pencil grip and fine motor capabilities, from there you can decide on appropriate letter size and whether tracing or copying is best suited for their level.
2) Q-Tip Name Tracing – Put out a variety of paint colours (we used crayola glitter paint for some pizazz!) and have your children use q-tips to trace each letter of their name.
3) Piercing Cardboard with Toothpicks – We had a few great layered cardboard pieces leftover from some IKEA packaging (you could also use Styrofoam or floral foam) that I printed each child’s name on. I then gave them a selection of plastic toothpicks and allowed them to pierce the letters of their names, naming each letter along the way.
4) Erasing – I printed each child’s name on a mini-whiteboard and allowed them to erase each letter as they spelled out their name. Without realizing, this allows them to practice letter formation by undoing instead of doing for a change!
5) Blocks – I labeled some mega blocks with the appropriate letters of each of the kids names, then I hid them in the rice table. The kids had to search for their letters and build ther name. Upon completion, I also had them count the blocks to determine the number of letters in their name.
6) Wax Crayon/Candle and Watercolour Resist – Using a birthday candle (or a white crayon) I printed the kids names onto a sheet of paper and asked them to read it. Both of them told me I was mixed up and needed a pencil not a candle (silly mommy!). I set them up with some watercolour paints and told them they could just paint the paper, since my ‘pencil’ wasn’t working.The wax writing resists the watercolour causing their name to ‘magically’ appear! This one is lots of fun and always a big hit with the kids, as it really seems as though the writing appears from nowhere.
7) Clothes Peg Matching – Print your child’s name on a sentence strip and then write each letter on a clothe peg. Allow your child to pinch the pegs over the matching letters on the sentence strip to spell their name. This is great for practicing the proper letter order of their name, as well sneaking in some fine motor skills.
8) Wooden Stick Puzzle – Write one letter of your child’s name on individual Popsicle sticks (or larger wooden craft sticks). Mix them up and have your child order them to spell their name. Little Momma added a picture across her finished puzzle, to make it more ‘puzzle-like’, too.
There you you have it – some great ways to encourage young writers about how fun writing can be, and all with their very favourite topic…THEMSELVES!!