Is your child struggling to write his name independently? Try this simple strategy for kids who are close to entering kindergarten but still need some help writing their names.
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This Reading Mama and I have been sharing our top tips for getting little learners ready for kindergarten. So far we’ve talked about interactive read alouds and concepts of print. Today we’ll talk about teaching your child to write his or her name.
Try hands-on activities first!
Before you have your child practice name writing with a pencil, you’ll want to do a lot of hands-on activities to help him recognize and form the letters of his name. You’ll find some quick name activities in this post and even more of our favorite name activities here.
Your child needs to know two things to write his name on paper…
- how to hold a pencil correctly – (try these tips)
- how to spell his name
While it is helpful, it’s not absolutely necessary that your child knows how to form all the letters of the alphabet, or that he knows the distinction between upper and lowercase letters before he writes his name.
However, if your child is close to entering kindergarten, please know that most kindergarten teachers prefer that children enter school writing their names with a capital followed by lowercase letters. In the sample images below, you’ll see capital letters throughout the name… because my little guy has a while until he’s in kindergarten. 🙂
A fun song to help kids learn to spell their names
Before our kids are ready to write, we’ve taught them how to spell their names by singing their names to the tune of “There was a farmer who had a dog.” Most names – except very long ones – can work with this tune, if you modify it just a bit.
There was a girl who liked to play,
And Emily was her name-o!
And Emily was her name-o!
Try this simple strategy to practice name writing
What if kindergarten is on the horizon and you need a quick way to practice name writing? Your child can make a lot of progress in just a few weeks by trying this simple strategy.
You will need:
- a pad of blank paper or blank paper stapled together
- a pencil or skinny marker
Turn to the first page in the pad of paper. Have your child write his name the best he can, even if it takes up the whole page.
If your child is new at this, hold his hand as he writes, saying the names of the letters as you do so.
Have your child write his name on a new page each day. Provide as much support as necessary. You may need to hold your child’s hand for some letters and not for others.
After a month of this, your child may surprise you by writing his name just the right size! At this point, if you’d like, you may introduce writing on a plain line and then – if it doesn’t frustrate your child – basic handwriting lines.
If writing is a struggle for your child, using a marker is a good first step. But do be sure that your child can also write his name with a pencil before starting kindergarten.
Other ideas for name writing:
- Write your child’s name using a highlighter. Have him trace it using a pencil.
- Write your child’s name on a card. Have him copy it by using his finger to “write” his name in a sensory tray of shaving cream, salt, or sugar.
- Play a name fishing game with this free printable.
- Have your child “sign in” to do an activity – whether that’s have to have a snack or enjoy some screen time.
Check out the rest of our kindergarten readiness tips!
Any special tips on helping a left hander when mom is right handed?
I am right-handed and have four left-handed kids. 🙂 I use these tips: http://mamaot.com/tips-for-teaching-lefties-to-write/
Any tip on get my son to write his name he keep making the letter o
Heather Groth, Customer Support
You can find more advice and activities for name writing here, https://www.themeasuredmom.com/quick-name-activities-for-preschoolers/ and here, https://www.themeasuredmom.com/ways-to-practice-names/!
I am a preschool teacher and teach 3-4 year olds. I have always taught them to spell their names with a song. I don’t use any particular song to teach them, it just depends on how long their names are. My whole class (12 kids) can spell each other’s names. I do a game where I spell their name and they come to the front of the class to take their turn. Out of 12 children, only one of them knew all of her letters in the alphabet when I first got them. Since August, I would say that all 12 children know 85%of their letters if not 100%. You have to make it fun so they want to play letter recognition games!
I love this, Cathie! Thanks so much for sharing!
This works great if your child recognizes the letters. As a K teacher I have parents tell me all the time, “My child knows the alphabet.” Yes……singing the song teaches them the order, but without actually seeing the letters, they do not know the alphabet. I have one this year who can sing her name in a song, but has no clue what a B is or any other letter, for that matter. I think it all goes hand in hand.
Hello my child knows how to spell her name she knows all the letters but has trouble writing her name still she does have learning disabilities any advice
This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. We are not experts in special education. If the steps in this blog post don’t work for your child, I recommend reaching out to an expert. If you don’t know anyone, please consider joining one of our FaceBook groups, where you’ll be able to pose this question to thousands of educators. Here are the links: https://www.facebook.com/groups/preschoolprekteachingideas/
I learned a song many years ago. It has always been a big help teaching little ones in my preschool class to learn to spell their names. The added bonus is if all kiddos sing along they will be able to spell their friends name as well.
If you want you can print child’s name paper or on a chalk board. That way kiddos can see the letters as they sing.
I’ll sing and clap with my good friend and Sally is her name oh.
S a l l y …S a l l y ….S a l l y
Sally is her name oh
We also did this with middle and last names as well.
Works great and kiddos loved all the clapping:)
This sounds a lot like our song. 🙂 I first learned about this idea when as a single teacher my co-worker taught his daughter to spell her last name this way. It works!
that’s how I taught my kid to spell her name too. Just happened to think one day hey her name will fit this song. I say the was girl who loved her doll. r something like that. but same thing. Then I did a couple boys in my church class and ask what their fav toy was.
so it worked great. in fact if someone say her name using an I in it, as is common, she says no, its(hjhjjkjk ) and tells them excaltly were they are wrong. lol
oh and you don’t have to wait till they are 4 yrs old. she was just over 3 when we did this. and correcting people by 3.5 yrs. now at 4 yrs she is indigent about it.
Yes, I agree! I have started this song with my kids when they are around 2. Eventually they can sing it and are on their way to recognizing their name. Fun stuff!