Thursday, November 6, 2014

Toddler Unit: Learning My Name

The one and only rule for teaching your child their name is to always, always write it correctly. That’s means the first letter is capitalized, the rest of the letters are lower case. 

Writing and learning in all caps may seem easier at first--but it’s incorrect and they will have to unlearn it when they begin school. The books your child will be learning to read will not be written in all caps. If they can’t recognize lower case letters they will struggle when they start school. 

However, it’s also important for them to be able to recognize their name in multiple forms, including all caps, all lowercase, cursive, and in a variety of fonts. 

*Do not worry if your young child is making letters backwards or upside down. These are developmental skills that almost all kids struggle with at the beginning. It only becomes a concern at about 2nd or 3rd grade if they’re still flipping letters and numbers.  

Build a Connection to Their Name
  • Practice spelling their name out loud. 
  • Sing the letters of their name. I sing the letters in my son’s name to tune from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It doesn’t fit exactly but it’s close. 
  • Practice how to respond when someone calls their name. For example: look at the speaker, answer with,”Yes” or “Yes, ma’am.”
  • Point out their name wherever you see it. Whether it’s a character in a book, or someplace in the house you’ve had to write it down. 
  • Get your child to recognize their name in various forms--typed, handwritten, painted, etc.
  • Count the letters in their name. Make sure they know the name of each letter.
  • Do the same with their last name once they’


Create their name using:
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Finger paint
  • Beads or beans
  • Craft feathers
  • Dry erase marker--on white board, mirror, refrigerator, tiles, windows, etc.
  • Make a homemade name puzzle like this one from Happy Hooligans
  • Paint it with water on the sidewalk.
  • Write it in bubble letters with sidewalk chalk outside, and let them color in the letters.
  • Paint or write the letters of your child’s name on flat stones. Kids can rearrange the stones to spell their name. 
  • Using wooden letters (like these from Melissa and Doug) press the letters of your child’s name into play-doh or clay.
  • Help your child make their name in M&Ms, cereal, Reese’s Pieces, etc. Then eat it!
  • If your child is into cars or blocks, use those toys to “write” the letters of their name. 
  • Write your child’s name with marker and let them paint over it with a paint brush and water.
  • Write your child’s name with pen and let them cover the letters with stickers. You can do this in giant letters on poster board or just with paper and normal size letters.
  • Write their name with highlighter and let them trace it with pencil or pen.


Glue Writing
Write your child’s name with glue then let them decorate it with:
  • Sequins
  • Yarn
  • Pom-poms
  • Seeds
  • Sand
  • Glitter
  • Torn up paper
  • Rice
  • Noodles


Spell Their Name With:
  • Alphabits
  • Magnetic or felt letters
  • Play-doh
  • Letter buttons
  • Alphabet pasta


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