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!