These are some of my favorite activities for teaching young children how to recognize their names in the beginning of the school year. Some of the activities pictured here will help children learn to identify their own names, and others will help them learn to identify the names of their classmates too. Both types of activities offer opportunities for learning letters in ways that are fun and meaningful.
1. Clothesline Names - You can read the directions for making this activity on the blog HERE. Great fine motor practice too!
2. Crayon Resist Watercolor Names - Write child’s name with a regular, white crayon on white construction paper. When the child paints the paper with watercolors his or her name will magically appear!
3. Dot Names - Write the child’s first name or the beginning letter on construction paper. The child uses Do-A-Dot markers or Scentos dot dabbers to cover the letter(s).
4. Play Dough Names - Children love using these alphabet dough stampers to stamp their names in play dough.
6. Bottle Cap Names - Write letters on the top of water bottle caps with a permanent marker. Children can spell their names using the bottle caps.
7. Letters in My Name Class Book - Create a class book with a different number on each page. Students write their names on the page that matches the number of letters in their name. Add their photos next to their names to provide cues for independent reading.
8. Wikki Stix Names – Write the child’s name on construction paper and provide them with Wikki Stix to form their names on the paper.
9. Kool-Aid Names – Write the child’s name on construction paper and have him or her squeeze liquid glue over the top. Next, pour Kool-Aid over the top of the name and let dry.
10. Letter Hunt - Children hunt for letters in their name in a sensory tub filled with colored rice and magnetic letters.
11. Class Books - Use class books to motivate students to read. They love seeing their own names and the names of their friends in print.
13. Tactile Names - Write the child’s name with a permanent marker on construction paper. Have the child squeeze liquid glue on top of the letters and allow it to dry completely overnight. Place a sheet of copy paper over the top and the child can make a rubbing of his or her name with a crayon.
14. Rainbow Write Names - Children use Scentos markers to trace over their names in a variety of colors and scents.
15. Word/Name Wall - Put children’s names and pictures on the word or name wall in your classroom.
16. Name Chart - Place student names in pocket chart in alphabetical order. Call attention to the first letter of each name by writing it in red. These cards can be used for many different activities such as sorting by first letter, comparing and contrasting the number of letters in each name etc.
17. Pasting Pieces - Children love to search for letters and glue them to paper to spell their names.
18. Connecting Cubes - I found a box of 100 connecting cubes at Wal-Mart for $9.99. Write letters on the cubes with a permanent marker and children can practice spelling their names with the cubes.
19. Letters in My Name T-Chart - Write the child’s name at the top and have them sort magnetic letters on this printable t-chart. Click on the picture above to get your free copy of this printable t-chart.