Name writing is one of the most important things a teacher can pass on to a Pre-K student. There are many different tools, art mediums, and sensory experiences to practice this important kindergarten readiness skill. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with practice each day, most students leave preschool writing their names. These name writing activities are a fantastic place to start!
1. Rainbow Name Writing
One easy way to help students practice is rainbow name writing. Write each student’s name on a sentence strip. The student uses markers to trace each letter, over and over again, to make a “Rainbow Name.” When the name is finished, the teacher can tape the strip together to make a name hat!
2. Bingo Daubers
Just because a student hasn’t yet mastered a pincer grasp doesn’t mean they can’t start practicing name writing. Bingo markers are an easy way for students to paint their names with dots. This helps them get a feel for the letter shapes and builds letter recognition.
3. Dry Erase Markers
An economical way to practice writing is on dry erase markers. Print off a sheet for each student and insert it in a plastic page protector. Provide students with a dry erase marker to trace over the letters of their name and an old clean sock to use as an eraser. When they finish, place the marker inside the sock and put both pieces inside the page protector for easy storage. This method can be used for a variety of name writing activities and more!
4. Water Colors
Students love to use art supplies! So why not use art supplies for name writing activities? Filling in each letter with watercolors allows students to recognize letters of their names.
5. Sensory Tray Name Writing
Sensory trays, such as rice, salt, flour, or sand, are terrific ways for preschoolers to practice writing their names. The extra benefit of adding sensory learning uses more of their brains and helps cement the letters they are learning.
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6. Push Pin Letters
Students must have foundational letter knowledge to write their names. A fun way to practice letters in their names is using large push pins and carpet squares. Write the letters of each child’s name onto colored cardstock using a wide marker. Students place the page on top of a carpet square and push dots through the letter’s path. (*Review proper use of the materials prior to practice to ensure safety.)
7. Shaving Cream
Writing letters in shaving cream (or whipped cream) is another excellent sensory-rich way to practice. It is messy, so be sure to have students wear protective smocks. Even if they are not creating letters, movements like the swirls pictured below are excellent pre-writing practice.
8. Magna Doodles
A great addition to a writing center is a set of Doodle Pro writing toys. Students love the playfulness of this type of practice and gain valuable practice in the process.
9. Make It Practical
It is crucial that preschoolers write for real purposes. Students can create waiting lists in class whenever there is a line of children who want to use a toy, center, or bike. Even if the name writing isn’t very legible, students can identify their names and begin to understand the purpose of writing in an authentic way.
Incorporate sign-in sheets throughout the dramatic play centers. Students “sign-in” to be seen by the doctor at a hospital dramatic play center. Putting the sign-in sheet inside a clear page protector and using a dry erase marker can help extend supplies.
10. Writing at Home
It’s also important to make sure parents realize the importance of having writing materials (pencils, crayons, pens, and markers) easily accessible for their children at home. A small pack of writing materials – such as some mini notepads and silly pens – make a great gift as well! Click the image to the right to download the free printable.
Additional Name Resources
- Should Children Write their Names with Capital Letters?
- Easy Do-It-Yourself Name Activities for Preschoolers
- Spelling Our Names Practice Ideas
- Easy Name Practice Worksheets
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