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Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's in a Name?

It is always nice when an incoming kindergartner comes in already reading and writing his/her name.  This gives me an edge because I can use his/her name as a basis for letter and sound recognition. I can also praise the child for being both a reader and a writer.  I love the look on the kiddos' faces when they realize just how "smart" they are  for the first time. 

Simple Ways to Practice With Your Child's Name...

*Sequence the Letters: Working on sequencing the letters in your child's name is a great place to start.  I like to use magnet letters, letter tiles, or his or her name cut into individual letters from a piece of paper.

Place a handwritten copy of your child's name and the magnetic or tile letters into a storage container.  A ziplock baggie or school supply box work well.


1.  Have your child pull out his/her name plate and read it to you.  Place the name plate directly in front of your child on a flat surface. 
2.  Have your child practice pointing to the letters and saying the letter names. 
3.  Dump out the letters.  Have your child flip them all right side up and in the correct orientation to read them.
4.  Touch the first letter of your child's name.  Have him/her say the letter name.  If needed, supply the letter name for your child.  Ask her to locate the letter _ and place it in front of her.
5.  Continue in this manner until the entire name has been sequenced and spelled.
6.  Before picking up the letters, repeat step one.

*Note* If your child already knows the letter names, you can do this same activity working on letter sounds. 

Also, do not follow these steps every time as your child will become easily bored.  On fidgety days, simple hand the materials to your child and her put her name together.  Just for fun... nothing more.

*Fun Ways to Practice Writing a Name WITHOUT a Pencil:  Using a pencil is the final step to writing your name.  It is the outcome we all must achieve.  While your child journeys closer to his/her goal, have some fun when writing a name.

Use shaving cream on the counter or a metal cookie sheet.  I prefer non menthol.  It doesn't sting the eyes.

Pudding baggies get in some much needed practice and have the added benefit of becoming a snack when the activity is complete.  Pour a small amount of pudding into a ziplock and seal.  Get as much air out of the baggie as possible.  I double bag by inserting the first baggie upside down into the second one to ensure less mess.

Water painting is great fun on a sunny afternoon.  Hand your kiddo a bowl of water and paint brush and let her practice writing that name over and over again on the fence or sidewalk.

Use the pointer finger to practice writing your name in wet sand.  When you are done, use a bit of extra sand to create a fun beach themed picture.

Bath tub crayons are a must.  What could be better than practicing name writing while getting clean.

There are so many different ways to practice writing your name.  these are just some of my favorite kid-tested ways.

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