As a teacher, around this time of the year is when I often hear from fretful parents telling me their child is starting school next year and they still don’t know their own name.
They are usually nervous at the thought of their child walking into a classroom and suddenly needing to identify their name on bag labels, work tubs, pencils and more.
Firstly, it’s OK if your child doesn’t quite know their name yet and is starting school. That’s what school is about in my opinion! Children do pick up things quickly and most, when encouraged will eventually begin to succeed at knowing how to read and write their name.
There are some easy, fun, crafty ways that you can give your child a head start in knowing their name though. And it doesn’t have to involve a laborious task of tracing their name on dotted lines over and over again. The best first experiences involve getting in there with their hands, touching their name and tracing with their fingers. These are great stepping stones to having your child identify their name and eventually be able to hold a pencil and write it on their own. And most of all, they are fun! And the best learning is always done when the learning is enjoyable!
It’s fun, easy to make and is perfect for those gorgeous, chubby little fingers to squeeze, press and manipulate. Playdough helps little ones build up the muscles in their hands and fingers that will help them hold a pencil. Have them run their fingers over their name after they’re done and say the letters out loud.
I love these letters. They are perfect for little hands and they are textured so they can run their fingers over them. Shuffle them up and put them in order or hide them around the house and play a name treasure hunt!
This is as simple as a baking tray and a layer of salt. It is fantastic for children learning the letters in their name and the direction they go in when writing them. It is a great transition to using a pencil!
Remember the more times children see their name, make their name, say their name, the more likely they are to recognise it! Making it with macaroni, glitter, paper, crayons and more is a great way to help them identify it. You can write their name for them and have them go over it with a variety of mediums.
Label drink bottles, lunch boxes, items in their bedroom. Have your little ones label them with you and ask them to find particular items when needed. It especially helps if they have siblings with items of the same colour. They will need to check the name to see which one is theirs!