Posted by Casey

Encouraging reluctant writers to take risks and experiment with writing can be quite a tricky task! Today I wanted to share a little DIY project that really encouraged my eldest daughter Lilly to take an interest in writing her name and then the names of her family members!

Today I’d like to share how I made some super simple DIY name cards with you!

Lilly started school this year but she hadn’t taken much interest in writing. I wanted to provide her with lots of opportunities to write – but we wanted them to be meaningful to her.

I thought back to my own childhood and remembered a big board my mum had made for us filled with photos of our family members with little sticker labels of each person’s name attached.

Yes! I decided to make some little family name cards for Lilly to use during her writing, but also for Elliot (2 years) to use as a bit of a vocabulary exercise where he could name all of the people in the pictures.

How to Make

I use Microsoft Powerpoint for the majority of my printable projects but you can probably also something like Microsoft Word for this DIY as well.

First I open up Powerpoint and set the slide size to A4 and Portrait orientation. Then I add a large rectangle shape across the whole page. I like to make the thickness around 4.5 pixels so that it’s nice and easy to cut out!

I’ve made a template which you can download for free to make this process a bit quicker for you!

Next, I insert a picture into the document. If it’s a rectangle you’ll need to crop it to a square shape. Go to format>crop>aspect ratio>1:1 to crop the image to a square. You can also drag the image to get the person’s face into the centre of the square crop.

Now I drag the image up to the left side of the box and send it to the back of the box. This is just to make sure the black outline is on top of the image so that it cuts nicely later on! Go to format>send backward>send to back

Now you can add your child’s name! Go to insert>text box and drag the curser into the space. Type your child’s name! You can also choose a font and alter the size to suit the card. Click on the text box and drag it around until their name is centred.

If you’ve downloaded the free template, you can just click the textbox and type your names in. You may need to have a play with the sizing!

I use the Queensland Beginner’s Font for my cards because that’s what Lilly will learn at school. The free template features Comic Sans because it’s a nice, simple font!

Now all you need to do is duplicate the boxes! Use your curser to drag a box across the whole box (this will select the box, image and text box) then just copy and paste as many as you need.

This is already done for you in the free template! Just delete any extras that you don’t need. Then you’re done! I save my files as a PDF before printing and then I just laminate them and cut them out!

Using the Cards

  • Display them on a wall for your little learner to use to write letters to their loved ones.
  • Print two copies and use them as memory cards.
  • Use them as a vocabulary exercise for younger children that are learning the names of their lived ones.
  • Hide them around the house and go on a treasure hunt!
  • Use them to learn how to write their own name and the names of their immediate family.

We set up a little writing table with pens, paper, envelopes and the name writing cards. Lilly loved writing letters to all of her family members and it was so beautiful seeing her find their name cards and try to copy their names.

I’ve also used the cards when teaching Lilly about her name. I made some little DIY name puzzles and some name writing printables which you can purchase right here.

I hope this post has helped you to create your own name writing cards! If you create a set for your little learners, please do tag me on Instagram @littlelifelonglearners and use the #littlelifelonglearners hashtag so I can see your creations!

About the author

Casey is an early years teacher turned stay at home mum to three little learners aged 6 and under. She is passionate about supporting parents that want to use play as a vehicle to bond with their little learners and create magical memories of childhood! You can follow Casey on Instagram right here.

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