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These are some of my dearest activities for training youthful children how to recognize their names in the beginning of the school year.
Some of the activities included 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 suggest opportunities for learning letters in ways that are joy and meaningful.
Disclosure: Amazon links included below
1. Clothesline Names – You can read the directions for making this activity on the blog HERE. Superb fine motor practice too!
Two. Crayon Stand against 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 emerge!
Three. Dot Names – Write the child’s very 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).
Four. Play Dough Names – Children love using these alphabet dough stampers to stamp their names in play dough.
Five. Alphabet Stamp Names – Children stamp their names using alphabet stamps.
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.
Ten. Letter Hunt – Children hunt for letters in their name in a sensory bath packed with colored rice and magnetic letters.
11. Class Books – Use class books to motivate students to read. They love witnessing their own names and the names of their friends in print.
12. Alphabet Bead Names – Children string alphabet beads on pipe cleaners to spell their names.
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 permit it to dry entirely overnight. Place a sheet of copy paper over the top and the child can make a caressing of his or her name with a crayon.
14. Rainbow Write Names – Children use Scentos markers to trace over their names in a multiplicity 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 very first letter of each name by writing it in crimson. These cards can be used for many different activities such as sorting by very first letter, comparing and contrasting the number of letters in each name etc.
17. Pasting Lumps – Children love to search for letters and glue them to paper to spell their names.
Eighteen. 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.
Nineteen. 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.
20. Touch and Write App – You can program your student’s names into this app and they can choose which medium they would like to write with such as pruning juice, pudding etc.
More Literacy Ideas from Pre-K Pages
Nikita jones says
Hello Ms. Levin. I came to techies and dinosaurs in Charleston this summer, and I sat in on a few of your sessions. There was a wonderful idea (amongst many) that you introduced me to. I’m attempting to reminisce the use, but there was a little garbage can that you got from the dollar store that you out googley eyes on and drew a little tie and had a hat on it. I picked up the puny garbage can with the spin top, but I don’t recall the activity you associated with it. P,please help! I remembered I loved the idea and I would like to implement it in my classroom! Thanks!
Hi Nikita, Thanks for attending Techies and Dinosaurs! I think this might be the activity you are thinking of: http://www.pre-kpages.com/talk-blocks-letter-sounds/ Hope that helps ??
Tami Smith says
Thank you so much for all of these ideas. I have done several, but you can never have enough. Thanks again.
In my pre-k class the very first two weeks I dedicate to helping my students recognize their names, the letters in their names and the order the letters come in. One of the things I do is trace the letters, cut them out put them in individual baggies jumble them out and have my kids unscramble them, put them in order and glue them on sentence strips. I love the kool aid names idea and think may add it to my lesson plan for this week.
Hi Shannon, thanks for sharing your name puzzle idea. I like that one too, it is one I have used often. Have a fine year!
I love your website! So many good ideas. Thank you!
Thanks for stopping by Sarah, I’m so glad you like the site!
Hello Ms. Levin I have seen your top 20 activites. I liked all the activites but the most is names hunt and names book. I would like to implement in my lesson plan for my classroom.Please post me fresh updates for more exploration.Thanks
Hi, I’m glad you like the Top 20 Name Activities post. The name hunt and name book are two of my favorites as well. To get fresh ideas delivered to your email inbox as soon as they are published all you need to do is type your name and e-mail address in one of the boxes on the right side of the screen (if you’re viewing on a computer) and you will receive an e-mail with a confirmation link to click.
Good ideas fir my son Ivan. Very creative ways for him to learn the letters in his name and spell his name.
Thanks for the ideas! I use some of them but always like to mix it up a little. I use the pasting chunks idea as a family project. I encourage parents to use newspapers or magazines but supply the pasting lumps if they don’t have access to newspapers or other print. Keep providing us good ideas!!
You always have such meaningful ideas to share! We LOVE learning with names in my pre-k class, and I cannot wait to attempt out some of your Top 20 ideas. ??
What font do you use for the names on the pocket chart?
About Pre-K Pages
I’m Vanessa Levin, an early childhood teacher, consultant, public speaker, and author. I was born to train! I have spent more than two decades instructing youthfull children in public programs for at-risk English language learners. I believe learning should be joy! Here at Pre-K Pages, you can find hands-on lessons, themes, activities, and printables for preschool, pre-K, and kindergarten classrooms.
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These are some of my beloved activities for instructing youthful children how to recognize their names in the beginning of the school year.