What's in a Name?
A lot! In fact, names are one of the first ways that children are exposed to letters and sounds! Name practice activities can be an engaging and easy way to teach children letter recognition while at the same time helping them work on the important skills of recognizing and writing their own name. It’s important to teach children how to write their names correctly as the first step towards developing writing skills. Being able to recognize and write their name helps to build confidence and self-esteem as well as improve their fine motor skills. Whether for preschool or for kindergarten, name activities are an important part of the first weeks of school!
When I teach letters and sounds, I try to make it personal for my students. We start with names because learning the letters of their name and their friends' names is very motivating to students.
Starting on the first day of school, I use a personalized crown for each student:
Coloring their name hat is a fun activity for my students, and gives me a few minutes when everyone is sitting and coloring so that I can speak with any parents in the room, do attendance and lunch count and then take a few moments to touch base with individual students as they finish their name crown. Bonus:
since they're wearing their names on their foreheads, I learn their names a lot faster!
There's nothing like play dough for engaging students AND strengthening fine motor muscles!
But, many students have to be taught how to manipulate play dough - rolling it into balls, stretching it into snakes. These editable name mats give students practice with rolling and stretching the play dough before they use it to spell out their names. Students will stay engaged longer and work their finger muscles more!
Next, students have to practice forming the letters of their name correctly. Using a variety of tools helps to keep students engaged! Whether its dry erase markers, crayons, paint or cutting out and manipulating letters, the more novel ways you can find for students to practice tracing their names the better!
And what better way to show student progress in both writing and drawing than with Self Portraits? I have students make a monthly self portrait and then bind them together at the end of the year for their parents to see how far they've come over the school year! It's amazing to see the growth in their handwriting and drawing skills!
The best thing about all of these name activities is that by entering my list of student names just once, all of these activity pages autofill with the names! It takes me less than 5 minutes to type in my class list and then I can hit print!
These name practice activities will help your students learn how to write their names in fun and engaging ways, while building fine motor muscles and self-confidence!