One of the first units I do every year is All About Me. This includes learning about our names. At the beginning of the year, my students range from not even recognizing their name to writing their name (first and last) fluently. Below are a few of the activities we did with our names this past year.
Puppy Dog Bones
I printed dog bones with everyone's name on them. Then cut the bones out and laminated them. I put the bones in the sensory table with packing peanuts (could also use shredded paper). The students have to search to find their name and then crawl across the carpet to the dog bowl and put their name in it. (The dog bowls are also laminated with a little slit in it.) This activity is great for encouraging name recognition.
I cut poster board in fourths and sent one home with each child with a note asking parents to work with their child to write their name on the poster. I encouraged them to use cereal, buttons, ribbon, stickers, pennies, or other items found around the house to make their child's name. I also included discussion prompts for parents to have with their children while completing the assignment. This is another great way to get children familiar with the letters in their names.
The first step in learning how to write your name is tracing it. We practice tracing/writing or name daily. I hope to blog about our daily name writing at a later time. But to start the year off, I use a few different large motor activities to get student familiar with their names and the concept of tracing. We trace our names with glue and sand (or glitter), bingo dobbers, and puffy paint. I put the puffy paint in a condiment bottle (can be found at the dollar store). It's equal parts glue and shaving cream. I encourage them all to do their best to stay on the black line when they are tracing. A few of them need a little hand over hand assistance at times, but overall most of mine are able to stay on the lines.
More name activities coming soon in part 2!
If you have a blog post about name writing, please leave a link in the comments. I love
stealing finding new ideas!