Teaching Preschoolers their Name (Part 1)

How to teach preschoolers their name. Teaching a preschooler to write their name is an essential task for life in kindergarten.  But, did you know that teaching children to write their name actually starts with recognition?

Recognition Vs. Spelling Name

Before children can learn to spell their name it is important for them to learn to recognize it.  This would be, seeing the name and knowing that the letters stand for you and your name. After one can recognize their name, then it is time to construct it (being able to put the letters in the correct order). After these things are mastered and it is *developmentally appropriate* it is time to work on writing their name.  Sidenote: It would not be developmentally appropriate to ask a toddler to write their name.  They do not have the dexterity to complete this task.  Please observe your child/students and where they are developmentally before introducing how to write names.

Recognizing Name

With young children (approx. age: 2) it is good to start with the first letter of his/her name.  My youngest is nearing two, so here some activities/ideas I would do with him to recognize the first letter of his name: R

-Label all his things with post-it notes with an R written on them.

-Create letter R’s for him out of playdough, in shaving cream, with fingerpaint and with sidewalk chalk

-Make a book (simple book, white paper, stapled together) full of R’s.  You can write them, cut them from magazines, stamp them or print them off of the computer.

-Using making tape make a large ‘R’ on the carpet for him to jump on.

-Go on a letter R hunt.  Using lots of R magnets, hide them and send your little one on a hunt to find them!

-Make a family name book.  Place pictures of family members and their names in a book.

-Hide written name in rice.  Use a paintbrush to find names! Another great idea from Teach Preschool!

Image source: Teach Preschool

*tip: remind your little one that this is his/her letter and also reinforce to him/her what their name is.

After children are recognizing the first letter of their name, then you can begin to help them recognize their whole name.  Use some of the same tips above, but using the whole name. When writing your child’s name to help them recognize it, be sure to write it correctly (example: Addison, rather than ADDISON).

Don’t miss an opportunity at Christmas or Birthdays to show your child his or her name written on gifts.  This helps make a meaningful connection between the letters that make up his/her name and the gift that is his/hers.

Move on to learning about: CONSTRUCTING our NAMES