Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Spelling and Writing Your Name a before kindergarten skill

practicing writing name

Every paper that your child hands in will need to have their name written on it, so your child will get lots of practice! But if she doesn't know how to spell it or have an idea of how to write it, it can start the activity off on the wrong foot.

The kindergarten teachers I've spoken with have indicated that their preference is for children to know the letters in the correct order as well as knowing that the first letter is a capital letter and all the rest are lowercase (unless your child has a capital in the middle somewhere!).

Spelling Your Name

So, first we need to spell it and spell it quickly or fluently.

I love songs! And although I am not a great singer, I love to sing! We make up songs about everything in our house - putting on our shoes and socks, our children's whole names, brushing our teeth, cleaning up, and on and on!

Here are some simple songs to familiar tunes that you can use to practice spelling your child's name:

3 Letter Names to the tune of Three Blind Mice

4 Letter Names to the tune of Are You Sleeping

5 Letter Names to the tune of BINGO

6 Letter Names to the tune of This Old Man

7 Letter Names to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

8 Letter Names to the tune of Them Bones

9 Letter Names to the tune of the Mickey Mouse theme song

Put your child's name into one of the songs and finish the song with phrases like "that's my name" or "that's me!" or "is how we spell my name" etc..

Writing Your Name

To practice writing, you could do something boring like write your name 10 times. No thanks! You could make it a little more fun and have her write it in rainbow colors or spell it out in stickers and write it under the stickers. That's ok if she'll do it.

I like to make activities purposeful. I think something like "when would I really need to write my name?"

  • Well, on a present I would need to see my name to know it's for me. So have your child write on tags then you put them on little presents (a snack could be a present... I'm not saying go out and buy a ton of stuff!). New stickers.  Individual markers. Trinkets from a party store. Etc...

  • What about at dinner and putting out name table settings? Your child could create place settings and have that be a part of her chore when she sets the table.

  • Create a picture and sign it. Don't all famous artists put their names on their art work?

practicing writing namepracticing writing name

practicing writing name

  • Make labels for the inside of books. "This Book Belongs to _____________"

Since setting the table is one of Big Sister's chores, we made table setting cards.

Set It Up!

Cut some card stock (a light color since your child will be writing on it) into quarters. Then fold it into four long, skinny columns. See the picture:

creating a name place card

creating and folding a name place card

Then on the bottom quarter write your child's name so she can copy it. Since Big Sister's name is so long, not only does it give her practice writing but it shows her about how big each letter needs to be in order to fit.

creating and folding a name place card

Make It Just Right for Your Child:

After she writes it the first time, flip it upside down and write her name again on the bottom quarter. Have her write it again so that it ends up on both sides of the name card (and facing the correct direction!).

creating a name place cardcreating a name place card

Then fold it to create a triangle and secure the ends where you wrote her name. You can use tape, glue or staples. We tried all three, they all worked fine!

To work on writing letters in general, you could have her write each person's name. All you have to do is write the names on the bottom sections and let her copy them! This would be a great activity to do if you were going to have visitors stay for a meal! She could create one for each person.

creating a name place cardcreating a name place card

Tips for Success!
  • Let your child use any writing tools she wants
  • After the names are written, use stickers, glitter, sequins, etc... to decorate the name cards
  • Show your child that their work was purposeful by talking about how you know where to sit at the dinner table because of the wonderful, awesome, beautiful name cards (pick the adjective that would be the most meaningful to your child)

In the past I've used this activity with children to help them with name recognition. So, for Little W, we'll put out the name cards and have him find his own!

There are lots of things you can do with these name cards, be creative! Have fun!

practicing writing name

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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