It’s time for another amazing guest blog and this week, we are joined by Teri from Petit Book Corner. Teri is a teacher with an immeasurable passion for reading! Over on her website and Instagram account, she shares quality children’s books and simple tips and strategies for making reading a memorable and enjoyable part of childhood. I am SO excited to have Teri sharing her expertise here on the blog with you this week!
There’s something very exciting about learning to recognise and read your name! It’s one of the first steps on the path to learning to read and a great place to start with sound and letter recognition! Learning to read their name is meaningful to children, which makes this learning relevant and fun!
When we learn to recognise our name we are learning that our name is in fact a word and we’re building our print awareness. We come to understand that our name is made up of letters that represents sounds and carry meaning.
When introducing name recognition activities to your child it’s important to first instruct them that their name is a word. Drawing attention to other objects and things that are also words will help them to identify the difference in our speech around how we speak in sentences and that sentences are broken up into words.
Once your child feels confident naming and labelling things or objects as words (chair, table, marker, paint etc.), I would recommend beginning by introducing the first letter in their name so they have a reference point for starting to recognise their name.
This may look something like, ‘your name is Teri. Your name is a word. I can hear the first sound in your name is /t/ /t/ /t/. Let’s go for a hunt around the house to find some other things/objects that start with that same sound /t/ /t/ /t/.’ You might find a toy, tambourine, teacup, teddy etc. You could then introduce the letter T by finding the letter in every day print such as a STOP sign, the news paper, food packing etc. Drawing attention to print in every day life is a wonderful way for children to become familiar with the look of letters, words and sentences and helps them to start to understand that print carries meaning.
To begin I would start with simply a piece of paper and a marker. Tell your child you’re going to write their name and that their name is a word. Write their name saying each letter as you write it out then repeat reading the name again. Say something like ‘I’ve written your name. Your name is a word. Let’s count how many letters are in your name.’ Count very slowly with your finger under each letter as you count. Then say ‘your name has ____ letters in it!’.
Below are 5 Name Recognition follow up activities to help your little one recognise and read their name. These activities will provide your child with a variety of learning opportunities to consolidate their learning in different ways and appeal to their individual learning style.
Sing the song BINGO but substitute with your child’s name
There was a girl a special girl and Teri was her name-o.
T -E -R -I, T -E -R -I, T -E -R –I
and Teri was her name-o.
Play dough name making
Help your child make the letters in their name with play dough. This will help them build fine motor skills as they roll and manipulate the play dough. You could have letter cards to assist them with shaping the letters.
Collages are a great fine motor activity. Simply write your child’s name on a piece of paper and have them place little squares (pre-cut or for extra fine motor practice, you can have them cut the squares from thin strips of paper) along each letter. I find it works best if you outline the glue one letter at a time and then simply have your child stick the pieces of paper down (learning to use glue sensibly is a whole other story for another day!). These look beautiful and are a nice piece to place on the wall at your child’s height so they have multiple opportunities for exposure to reading and recognising their name.
Outlining the letters in your child name with little objects
Using pebbles, pom poms, shells, or any other small objects, have your child outline the letters of their name. This is another great fine motor activity, as they need to pick up the small pieces and place them on the paper. It’s also great to start practicing correct letter formation by having them start outlining each letter from the top and work their way down or across the letter (all letters are formed from the top down in New South Wales).
Write your child’s name on multiple Post-it notes. Place the Post-it notes around the house (at their table, on their bedroom door, at the front door, on their toys). Tell your child that you’re going to go on a Name Hunt to find all the pieces of paper that have their name written on them.
Watch as your child squeals in delight each time they find a new post it with their name written on it. Each time they find one, draw attention to the fact that they’ve found a piece of paper with their name on it and their name is a word. Point out each letter and count how many letters. Once your child feels confident recognising and reading their own name you can start to add other family member names to the game.
Hope you find some of these ideas useful and you have fun helping your little ones learn to recognise and read their name! If you want more playful early literacy ideas and quality book recommendations, head over to my Instagram account @petitbookcorner where I share lots of ideas every week as well as my website www.petitbookcorner.com for more detailed posts and ideas.
Happy reading and writing!