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  • Writer's pictureAshley

Teaching Your Child How to Write Their Name

Updated: Dec 17, 2021




Teaching your child how to write their name is an important and powerful step toward independence. It means they are in control of part of their life and their learning. Adults don’t tend to feel quite so excited about small things like this, but kids see this as their first major accomplishment. Along with excitement about such an accomplishment, knowing how to read and write your name provides a new level of safety for children. Finally, learning how to write anything helps children build those ever-important fine motor skills, which will be used for so many things at school.


How do I teach my child to write their name?


First, it’s important to remember that rote memorization, or copying the name over and over in a worksheet-format, will not inspire or engage them. Make sure that your practice is fun and short.


Next, make sure that you are starting with only their first name. You don’t want to overwhelm them and cause them to give up before they experience success. So, start with their first name first. If your child’s name is long, you could even break it down into a shorter nickname and work up to the full name.


Last, make sure your child has plenty of models when you are practicing their name. In the beginning, activities will need to have them mostly tracing, then building, and finally writing with and then without a model. Make sure that you don’t skip too far ahead and leave your child set up for failure.


Hands-on ways to practice name writing


Tracing


As mentioned, you will need to start this process with lots and lots of tracing. Most likely you will be teaching letter formation along with the name spelling. Children need the model in order to learn to write their names!


Experiment with different writing materials. Have kids practicing tracing their names with markers, crayons, pens, pencils, highlighters, and beyond. You can also trade out the paper for cardboard, cardstock, tin foil, or fun colored paper.


Practice tracing with art materials. Get out the sidewalk chalk and trace their names big and small, in the sun and in the shade, and on different types of pavement. If you have a small chalkboard, they can trace with chalk and then trace again with a paintbrush dipped in water. Want to dry it off? Use a clothespin to hold a piece of sponge and they can trace it again to dry the board. Another option is to use paint for tracing. Pain can be applied with a paintbrush, q-tip, cork, or daubers.


Practice using glue and cover in fun materials. You can teach your child how to use a liquid glue bottle or pour the glue out and use a paintbrush. Trace the letters with glue and then trace again with a material such as feathers, rice, pasta, glitter, pipe cleaners, strips of cloth, or beads.


Building


The next step is to work on building your child’s name. Make sure that they have their model handy!


The easiest way to build your child’s name is to make name puzzles. Try these erasable puzzle pieces that you can use for many years and activities to come. You can also just turn over a puzzle your child is used to and write their name on the back.


Help your child learn to write their name by building their name out of wiki sticks or pipe cleaners. Bending the sticks into the correct letters will aid in letter recognition and formation, as well.


A more playful approach would be to incorporate sensory bins. You can put whatever you like into the sensory bin and have your child dig through to find the name pieces. You can hide puzzle pieces, magnetic letters, plain letter cards, or letter stamps. Kids will love digging through the sensory bin to find all of the pieces. Then they will need to assemble their name. You could hide different types of letters so that they end up building their name multiple times from different materials.


If you’re looking for a way to get your child up and moving while teaching them to write their name, try making a scavenger hunt. You can put letters around the room, house, or even backyard. They will have their model or a scavenger hunt sheet and will move around locating all of the letters. When they are finished they can assemble their name.


Writing


The last step in teaching your child to write their name is actually writing it by themselves. I suggest you have a model nearby that they can look at in the beginning and gradually fade it out so that they can write their name independently! #success


Get out all of those fun writing resources again! Have your child write with markers, crayons, glitter pens, highlighters, dry erase markers, etc. They can write their name on different kinds of paper, tin foil, windows with dry erase markers, and maybe even the bathtub with bath crayons.


Paints are another great way to have your child practice writing their name without tracing. Make it fun and new. If you didn’t use some of the above methods for painting, try them now. Let them paint on different surfaces with different kinds of paints. I know it sounds messy, but your kiddo will probably love it.


Now that they are not tracing, have them practice writing their name on magnetic drawing boards or rainbow scratch paper. Kids love these items and you can even tell them that they get to use these because they no longer need to trace.


Finally, if you are looking for sensory writing, try having them write in a small amount of sand, salt, or sugar. Bonus tip: If you put a fun piece of paper underneath the sensory material, kids will get to expose a cool pattern as they write.


What comes next to help child learn their name?


Now that your child is able to write their first name, work on their last name. This creates even more safety and ownership in their world. Use the same resources to work on their last name. Tell them how proud of them you are that they have learned something so important. Once they know their own name, move to other names in the family. This is so exciting!


Make sure that as they are learning to write names, they are also learning correct letter formation and letter names. I also encourage you to teach them a capital first letter and all the rest lowercase. We read and write with mostly lowercase letters so why teach those last?


There are several benefits of 1-1 tutoring. Could your child benefit from a private tutor? Contact me today to discuss if this step is right for you.


Do you remember using any of these fun and engaging activities when you were learning your name? I’d love to hear about your own experiences!


Are you looking for specific activities that are fun and engaging? Download my FREE guide that includes 9 examples of practicing skills in ways that children will love! You don't want to miss it.




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