What’s in a Name? Tiles, magnets, spoons: the whole kitchen sink!

What’s in a name? Well, for the young ones let me tell you, quite a lot!!

Learning our names isn’t the first task of our literacy center – the first task is just to play with the materials – but by about the third week or so we begin using those materials to write our names. Here are some of the ways that work great for us:

1. Mosaic Names – I write the children’s names on big pieces of construction paper, and ask them to glue small pieces of paper along the letters to form their names. I hang them in the stairwell, where the kids can see their names many times a day.

2. Tile Names – I write the children’s names in a row of squares next to their pictures, above a row of matching but blank squares. They place tiles to match the letters in correct order in the blank squares.

3. Name Rub – I write the children’s names on card stock and then outline each name with Elmer’s glue. Once the glue dries the letters are raised and the children can make rubbings!

4.Poke a Name – I write the children’s names on large pieces of paper for the kids to poke with an oversized push pin.

5. Name Recognition Magnets – The magnets can be used in many ways, of course, but learning how to recognize letters, names and words is a real great one. Check out this resource for how to use them!

6. Stamp Names – I write the children’s names in a row of squares above matching but blank squares (as in the name tiles activity above). The children use stamps to match the letters of their names.

7. Spoon Names – Each plastic spoon displays one letter of the child’s name. The kids love this … it’s so silly and unexpected! Some kids can handle this without help, but for those who need it, I put name tags next to them as they work.

8. Paint Stick and Clothespin Names – This begins with writing each child’s name on a paint stick, and then writing each letter of each child’s name on a clothespin. The children then have to clip the lettered clothespins to their paint sticks to spell their names out.

9. Lego Names – Round stickers with letters for each child’s name are placed on Legos. The kids love “building” their names!

10. Popsicle Stick Names – I place a letter on each stick for the children to spell their names with.

These are some of my favorite name activities. Please share yours!! 🙂

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