I mentioned in my first name activities for preschoolers post that this was an area that we were having a little trouble remembering in our daily routine. I am glad to say that with the new organization system and the rotating name bags, we now have a good routine going.
It is taking us about 2 minutes per day. After the first month the kids are still enjoying the activities, and they have both shown growth in letter and name recognition. I am also using the time when they have completed each daily activity to incorporate a few extra skills. I usually only ask one of these questions per day, but some of the questions I ask after a child is done spelling are:
1) Can you please spell your name out loud?
2) How many letters are in your name?
3) Which letter is first in your name?
4) Which letter is last in your name?
5) Can you say the sound represented by each letter in your name?
6) What is another word that starts with the same sound as this letter in your name? (Usually the child will go through each letter saying another word that starts with the same letter.)
7) (While looking at two names) Which letters are used in both names?
What other questions would you ask?
This Month’s New Name Activities
For this month we will continue to practice spelling our names using our name bags. We will experiment with writing them outside of this morning practice time.
You may differentiate the activities a bit by adding the child’s last name as kids are ready. I should also note that we do a mixture of all capital letters for some activities and standard format (capital at the beginning only) for others depending on what materials I have available. This way kids are exposed to both formats.
Toy Car Names
I found some toy cars on sale recently, and I knew these would be a very fun way to spell names. I simply wrote on the roof of each car with a black Sharpie marker. The kids will spell their names by lining up the cars. After I check the spelling, they will play with them for a while as they wait for snack (or others to finish).
We will incorporate a little fine motor practice by using small alphabet beads. There are so many alphabet bead options to choose from. Just be sure to check the size of the hole in the bead so that it isn’t too challenging for kids to work with. I rolled one end of a pipe cleaner (chenille stem) so the kids could have a small handle to hold and to keep the beads from falling off the end.
Paint Chip Names
We had a few paint chips in our supplies, and I am loving all of the colorful paint chip crafts I am seeing around the web. I added 1-inch vinyl letters to spell each child’s name. Ours were left over from an old mailbox project, but you can find them in the hardware department or use whatever labeling method you prefer. I love the way they look, especially for longer names (just be careful the paint chip you choose is long enough for the letters of the name). The gradual change in color also gives a self-checking option to help guide the kids, which I think is another bonus.
If I were still teaching in the classroom, I think this would be a very neat activity to go along with The Crayon Box that Talked or a general getting to know you project. Each child could spell their name on their favorite color. Then attach a picture of the child and make an adorable wall display. Cute!
Re-purposed Lid Names
We have been collecting the clear Gerber containers and lids. For this activity I attached 2-inch letters (a surprise set that I found in the package from the paint chip letters!).
Foam Shape Names
Last month we used foam letters, and this month I wanted to include a little touch of Valentine’s Day. Although I could definitely use hearts any time of year. These hearts came in a pack from Walmart for a little over a dollar, and I am seeing many different options as I shop at others, too.
You can also find more ideas now on my Learning Names Pinterest Board.
Personalized items can also be a fun and natural way for children to recognize their names. Frecklebox has a great selection of stickers, lunchboxes, notebooks, coloring books, story books, and more.
What are some of your favorite activities for learning names? How do you incorporate them into your schedule?