Name activities are a big part of early childhood learning. We love to create new ways to practice name recognition to continuously learn our names in new and exciting ways. Recently, we created a fun name building activity with the traditional pick-up sticks game in mind. As repetition is key, these pick-up sticks name games provide just that- lots of opportunity to continuously build your name in a hands-on way!
Whether you are preparing for one student or a classroom, just a few simple materials will provide a low-prep and exciting new way to work on name building.
Pick-Up Sticks Name Games
- craft sticks
- permanent marker
- small cup
- sensory bin (optional)
- loose letters (optional)
- markers (optional)
To prepare this pick-up sticks name building activity, write out the child’s full name across the center of a craft stick. Follow by writing individual letters across the bottom of each stick. We recommend color coding sticks for student names if you are prepping this activity for use in the classroom.
Ways to Play With Pick-Up Sticks Name Games
- Independent name building practice
- Scavenger hunt for classmate’s names
- Busy bag work
- Sensory bin
Play Pick-Up Sticks Name Games!
If this activity is set up as an independent learning game, provide the child with a cup and the sticks that make up their name. You may choose to demonstrate the activity and review how to recognize and spell their name. Kids will love to hear the sticks scatter across the table as they fall out of the cup!
Once the craft sticks are on the work space, it’s time to pick them up and arrange. The first stick located should be the one that spells out the name. This is used as the guide.
Finally, students will arrange the sticks to accurately spell their name. We say each letter aloud as it is placed beneath the name guide.
Name Game Scavenger Hunt
Kids love to go on scavenger hunts! Extend this fun name building game into a classroom center activity by providing classmates’ names to build. We placed ours in a sensory bin to make it fun to sift and sort through.
Students will find a friend’s written name first, taking notice of the color coding on the stick. For example, if the name has a red dot on the end, you will only begin searching for letters with red dots.
You may also provide a class list with names and photos as a resource guide as well. Kids will love learning to spell their friends’ names.
Name Recognition Busy Bags
You could also set this name building activity up as a busy bag for early work finishers in the classroom, or for those down-time moments at home when little hands need to be occupied. Just place the sticks in a sealed bag and have a pouring cup handy!
When the names are stored in this manner, it makes accessibility and clean up a breeze!
Name Building Sensory Bin
Put a little spin on the pick-up sticks name activity by providing a sensory bin for children to sort through loose letters.
Once the name has been poured out of the cup and the sticks have been assembled, have your little learners search for the loose letters in the sensory bin for some added letter and name recognition.
There are so many possibilities with these Pick-Up Sticks Name Games. We hope you get as much use out of them as we do!
MORE NAME ACTIVITIES
Printable Name Activity Resources
Thanks for this fun idea! I have sixteen in my class, so need to find a way to identify unique names, since I don’t have 16 easily distinguishable colors. I may use 4 colors and 4 shapes – e.g. Jack is red triangle, Leah is red square, Tony is red circle, and Nell is red star.Repeat with different colors. Add the colored shape to the bag.
It’s great to hear that you’ve come up with your own system that works for your class!