A children’s names are the most important word to young children. Often they will learn those letters first, because they make up their own name and it’s important to them. These fun name activities are a great way to help children learn the letters of their name.
- letter recognition
- name recognition
- print awareness
Homemade Name Activities
There are so many name activities that you can make yourself. Use stickers, bottle tops, craft sticks, pool noodle slices and more. The more ways that they can work with the letters of their name, the better. Use this free printable to make name puzzles and a name matching activity.
- Print two copies of the strip of the appropriate length.
- Write their name on both strips. Use an uppercase letter at the beginning of the name or write their name in all capital letters. It depends where each child is developmentally. Write the letters of the name in different colors (optional).
- Cut one of the strips apart into individual letters and keep the other strip as the name mat.
- Challenge each child to match the letters of their name on top of or below the name mat.
- One of my favorite things about this activity is that there will be a time where the child doesn’t need the name mat to match the letters to. Then, they can arrange the individual pieces in the right order.
Print a name strip and write the letters of each child’s name.
- Challenge them to match magnetic letters to spell their name.
- Write the letters on clothes pins. Clip each letter to the matching square of the name mat. This is a fun way to strengthen fine motor skills as they work on spelling their name.
- Print the letters on bottle caps and put those in order, matching them to the name strip.
Download the FREE Name Strips
Roll and Build Your Name
Toddler Approved used a printable die template, added letters of their name to it, and used it to play a roll and build your name activity. What a fun way to practice putting the letters of your name in order.
Name Recognition Activities
These awesome name activities give each child a chance to see their name in print in the world around them. The more chances they have to recognize their name, the faster they will be able to identify it and work on spelling it.
Make a name book for your classroom or home. Have each member of the class or family draw a picture of themselves. Write their name in marker at the top or bottom. Put the pages together into a book by stapling them or binding them. This is an awesome name recognition activity because children are emotionally connected to their family members and classmates. Children will love to look through this name book and find their friends and family members names. They will start to recognize their name faster as well as the names of other important people in their life. You could also use photos instead of having them draw a picture.
Use the printable name strips from the top of the post. Put the names in order from shortest to longest on a large piece of chart paper in the format of a bar graph. There are so many things to observe on a name graph. Compare the number of letters that each name has. How many names have the letter E? How many names start with N? It brings awareness to each unique name and that names are made up of letters.
Turn your child’s name into a craft. Children love seeing their name and here are a few fun ways to do that.
Fantastic Fun and Learning made a fun name craft that uses all 5 senses. They made scratch and sniff names with just a few simple ingredients.
Write each child’s name with a white crayon on a piece of paper. Have them use water color paint to reveal the mystery name. This activity is always an exciting one as the name is revealed.
Name Writing Activities
Writing your name doesn’t have to be with a paper and pencil. You can work on forming the letters of your name in many different ways. Use stickers or dot markers to trace letters. Write the letters of your name on the wall of a dark room with a flash light. Walk along giant letters that are written with sidewalk chalk. The possibilities are endless and you can try them all before a pencil is even picked up.
Make name cards for each child in your classroom or each member of your family. On the card should be a photo of the person and their name. As children make things for each other, encourage them to find the name card of the person they are giving it to and use it to write their name. If your child isn’t ready to form the letters of their friend’s name yet, that is ok. Have them find the card and write it for them while saying the letters aloud. This is an important prewriting experience too.
Play Dough Names
Fantastic Fun and Learning used play dough and pom poms to form the letters of their name. Roll out a piece of play dough until it is flat and wide. Use a toothpick to write the letters of your child’s name. Then, challenge them to form the letters by pushing the pom poms into the play dough on the line of each letter. You could also use buttons or gems for this activity. This is a fun and beneficial way to practice forming the letters of your name.
Make your own salt tray on a plate or a shallow container. Pour salt to cover the bottom. Put a letter next to or above the salt tray. Write the letter with your finger in the salt.
Child of the Red Woods has several songs and a name game to use in circle time. Children use gross motor skills and language skills as they chant and sing their classmates names. Whether they are in the middle of the circle or on the outside of the circle, children will joyfully learn and appreciate each of their names.