Preschool Name Writing Activities
I’ve been asked why I don’t have name writing activities in The Playful Learning Plan. So, I thought I’d do a post about all the ways our kiddos practice their names here at our house almost daily.
The most important thing you can do for your preschooler to understand sounds, syllables, endings and blendings is read. This is why we read everyday and throughout the day. We have a library shelf full of books that our kids can grab and look at the pages whenever they’d like.
Your library shelf doesn’t have to have 200 books. Pick a good dozen to start with that your preschooler loves.
“As you read to a child, you’re pouring into the child’s ears (and brain) all the sounds, syllables, endings and blendings that will make up the words she will someday be asked to read and understand. And through stories you are filling in the background knowledge necessary to understand things that aren’t in her neighborhood.” says Jim Trelease in The Read Aloud Handbook.
And background knowledge is important for your preschooler to have to understand what a book and/or teacher is trying to teach him/her. That’s why I encourage to take field trips related to a story you’re reading for the week or some kind of outing or special activity so you can talk to your preschooler further about a topic.
So, the first step for name writing activities is reading.
Read alot. Make it fun, so your preschooler develops a love for books. It will help prep your preschooler for reading and writing later.
Second step for name writing activities is scribbling and shape recognition.
Yes. Scribbling and Shapes.
Before, I had my kids tracing or writing letters, I’d set out a basket of crayons and blank paper and just have them go to town (letting them scribble, draw zig zags, circles or whatever). I’d look at how they were holding the crayon and adjust their hands. This activity is great for pre-writing skills. They need to get use to holding a pencil/crayon and moving it around. They need to develop those fine motor skills – those small muscles in their hands (which each lesson in the The Playful Learning Plan has 4-5 fine motor activities to do).
Tip: the skinnier and shorter the pencil/crayon, the better. It will help them hold it properly.
Also, Sami from Literacy for Littles has some awesome Handwriting Tips and Tricks on Instagram.
Shapes. Identifying shapes help train your preschooler’s eyes to identify letters later. So, draw shapes on a piece of paper and introduce them to your preschooler, gather shape puzzles and flashcards, turn playdoh into shapes, point out different things in her environment that are shaped like a circle, triangle, square, octagon, etc. “Oh, look the pizza is a circle! This side of your cereal box is a rectangle!”
And after your preschooler has been doing this for a little while, introduce him/her to a movable alphabet or name puzzle.
We made our own name puzzle out of the flap of a diaper box. Easy peasy and just about free! Yay!
You can check out the DIY on the sister site, The Mama Workshop: DIY Name Puzzle.
I put this out in our tray that sits on our coffee table after the kiddos go to bed. So, they wake up to their name puzzles to play with while I drink a hot cup of coffee.
The Movable Alphabet can be used for so many activities.
We have a colorful movable alphabet that you probably have seen pictured around our website and on Facebook and Instagram. It’s a tray with colorful wooden letters. I use it to have them practice building their names. I write my kids’ names on a blank piece of paper and have them match the wooden letters to the written letters.
Tip: Don’t have a movable alphabet? Make one! Paint letters on rocks for your preschooler to build her name.
If you want to save on paper, using a couple flashcard sets, spell his name out with the flashcards and have him match the wooden letters to the cards. We have a big flashcard set in our shop that preschooler’s get to design to help them remember the letter better and the sound the letter makes. See the set HERE.
We use the movable alphabet to spell out words we are learning too! So, after we went through the first 4 letters of The Playful Learning Plan, we practiced building Cat and Mat. My kiddos got so excited!
Another name building activity we did was with my son’s favorite, Lego. I wrote his name really big on a big piece of paper and had him trace it with Lego bricks. Then, I had him try to build it without the paper.
Then, comes the tracing of the name…
Yesterday, we watched a video about how to make a comic. So, this morning we started developing our characters.
#1 I had my son draw the superhero first and then the bad guy.
#2 Then, he named them. I wrote the names in yellow crayon for him to trace. I also wrote his name in yellow for him to trace.
#3 And then, I asked him to tell me about each character. I had him watch me write the words to expose him to those words.
Introducing… Peanut Parker and Mr. Poo Poo! LOL.
Preschooler’s tend to write large. So, begin with tracing letters that are large. For example: roll out a large piece of easel paper and write your preschooler’s name in highlighter really big. Have him trace his name with a crayon.
Have your preschooler write his/her name on everything they do.
Doodles, writing practice, math work, anything that is on paper, have your preschooler write her name on it. If she needs help, do the tracing method (write her name in highlighter or a yellow crayon and have her trace it). Coach her through the directions the letters are written (be consistent with it).
Have her try writing her name by herself during the week too.
More Fun Name Writing Activities You Can Do
- Beth from Days with Grey has a name building activity you can setup the night before for your preschooler to wake up to! It will get your preschooler critically thinking of what letters are missing in his name. Check that out HERE.
- Clarissa from Munchkins and Moms has a Name Recognition Movement Activity that surely will have your preschooler wanting to play this over and over again. My kiddos love balancing on things.
- Sam from Simply Everyday Mom is sharing a Doggie Name Puzzle you can print out and get your preschooler recognizing her name!
- Terri from Creative Family Fun has a Name Recognition Sensory Bin you can put together to get your preschooler familiar with the letters in his name.
Free Fish Name Recognition Garland Printable
I also made a fun Fish Name Recognition Garland Printable for you! It’s exactly like our Fish Number Garland in The Playful Learning Plan Letter F week. But, I made it into the full alphabet for you! Your preschooler can build his name and then make a garland with it to hang up in his activity corner.
Simply click the purple YES PLEASE button below, enter your email address and I will send it to you for free. Yay!