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One of the first writing milestones for kids is learning to print their name. If you’re wondering how to teach a child to write their name, our friend Amy has some fantastic and fun ideas.
When Should A Child Be Able To Write Their Name?
By the time he goes to kindergarten, your child should know how to write his first name, but by making name-writing part of your everyday fun, your child may be the only student in the class who can write his first and last name on day one.
Even if you only have a minute or two, taking the time to talk about, play with, and write your child’s name with her is important and meaningful.
Here are some crazy-cool ways of getting your child to love writing his name:
Teaching A Child To Write Their Name
- Use Markers, Crayons, Pens, Paint: When you are teaching your child to write her name, give her lots of variety in colors and textures with different crayons, pencils, paints etc.
- Tic-Tac-Toe: There’s no reason that this old standby needs to be stuck hanging with X’s and O’s. Use the letters of your child’s name to really make the game interesting.
- Water Paint: On a sunny day, let your child paint her letter–or her whole name–on rocks, on your steps, on your back porch, or on the sidewalk using water and a paintbrush. Make sure she shows you what she painted before it disappears.
- Use Their Fingers: Have your child form the letters of their name in shaving cream, Jell-O Mix, sand, dirt or rice on a cookie tray. You can also use a ziplock bag filled with paint… but make sure it is sealed tightly!
- Play Letter Guess: Take turns writing one letter from your child’s name at a time on the cookie tray or paint bag. Then hand over the workspace to your child, and let her test you.
- Name, Name, Name: How many times can your child ‘write’ his name on the tray? Have him try to fit his name in as many times as possible, then count together.
- Write with What? Find something your child normally doesn’t write with—a fat poster marker, a toothbrush, a feather pen, a branch from a tree, or a super-skinny paint brush—and challenge him to write his name using those items.
- Make A Special Book: Every morning, right along with breakfast, have your child write her name on one page of a small, palm-sized notebook. Do it for the whole summer, and watch your child’s penmanship improve right before your eyes. It will be awesome for her to flip through the book to see how her writing changes in just a few short weeks. After she’s ‘mastered’ her first name, add her last name. Then add her middle name.
More Helpful Writing Tips
- Begin with the name in all uppercase letters, and when that’s mastered, move to lowercase.
- Post attempts — even if they’re not perfect! Talk about the beauty of the name, the way she held the pencil, the fact that she didn’t give up even though her name is ten letters long.
- Many parents have asked if they should correct their child when he writes a letter incorrectly, and the answer is ‘no’, not at first at least. If you have a model for your child to follow, maybe at the top of the page or on a card nearby, eventually he’ll recognize that something’s not quite right.
- If he’s stuck on a letter after a few tries, work with the shapes of that letter — the circle then the line in the letter ‘d’ or the hook then dot in the letter ‘j’.
Do you have any other questions? Email me or stop by Teach Mama for some printables and more tips. Enjoy the name-writing ride — it’s certainly a journey for most!
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