My father used to say that your name is one of the most important things you have. He stressed the importance of learning a person’s name the first time you meet. The next time you see that person and call him/her by name, it leaves a great impression. With this philosophy in mind, energize your children to take the writing of their names seriously. But remember, that they are little children so it has to also be fun and developmentally appropriate! Preschool name writing practice can be done in a variety of ways to build fine motor skills and make it interesting.
The WRITE Way
Here is a list of ways for the students to practice name writing:
1. The teacher or aide can use a black marking pen to neatly write each child’s name on a piece of lined writing paper for the child to use as a
template. You may even want to put the paper in a plastic sleeve to protect it for use all year long. Provide some tracing paper for the child to place over the template and trace the name.
2. Use your painting center to practice. Write the child’s name at the top of the paper. Give the child a thinner brush to copy the name with paint. How many times can they fit it on the paper?
3. Outdoor practice: Use the individual name papers that you prepared on #1. Take the papers, paintbrushes and small containers of water outside. Have the students copy their names using the brushes and water on the sidewalk or playground.
4. Buy inexpensive salt or use sand from the sand table. Pour salt or sand into a shallow baking tray (with sides). Students can use their index fingers to write their names in the sand/salt. **Remind students not to touch or rub their eyes while working.
5. Place the name templates on the table in a learning center and have the students use clay or play dough to form the letters of their names.
6. Use primary writing paper to write names.
7. Trade name templates and write each others names on writing paper. This also helps the children learn sight words by practicing the names of their friends.
8. Use colored pencils or markers to practice writing.
9. Do finger exercises before writing to improve fine-motor skills.
10. Use the chalk board and chalk to write names. Some classrooms have individual chalkboards or just use the one on the wall. You may have white boards instead but it is still fun for the kids to write their own name on the board that is usually reserved for the teacher’s use.
11. Print out individual worksheets for each child using Internet sites:
Some day, after a successful preschool handwriting lesson, you may want to read The Name Quilt, by Phyllis Root
in celebration of our wonderful names!