The following is a post from contributing writer Jackie.
One of the first printed words a child learns to recognize, read, and write is their own name. When you teach your child the skill of name recognition you are giving them a word to read and write that is their very own.
Here are five hands on ways you can teach your child how to recognize, spell, and read his or her name.
Cereal Name Activity
Write your child’s name on a piece of paper. Help your child trace their name with “squeezy” glue. Then, ask your child to use cereal to cover the letters of his or her name. This activity is not only great for name recognition, but it is also great for fine motor practice.
2. Name Necklace
Write the letters of your child’s name on foam beads, or use pre-printed alphabet beads. Have your child string the beads on cord, yarn, or string. This activity is great for name recognition, fine motor skills, and is something your child will enjoy wearing.
3. Name Puzzle
Write your child’s name on a piece of cardboard (An old cereal box is a great source of cardboard.). Have your child color the cardboard. Cut the cardboard into as many pieces as you think your child will be able to handle. (4-6 pieces is a great starting point.) Ask your child to put the puzzle back together. This activity is not only great for name recognition, but also for critical thinking.
4. Mixed-Up Name
Write the letters of your child’s name on small pieces of paper. Mix them up and then ask your child to put the letters in the correct order. You can add another element to this activity by writing consonants and vowels on different colors of paper. This is another great critical thinking activity.
5. Letter Hunt Name Activity
Cut large letters out of newspapers and magazines and spread them out. (Make sure you have all of the letters of your child’s name plus extras.) Ask your child to find the letters of their name and put them in the correct order. This is another good critical thinking name recognition activity.
These 5 activities are just a few examples of how you can help your child learn to recognize, read, and write his or her name.
Note: I suggest teaching your child that the first letter of their name should be capitalized but not the others. It is much easier to start out this way as opposed to teaching your child all capital letters and having to learn it differently later.