What’s in a name? Usually letters. Probably Always.
Important ones too. Those little letters that make up our names are OURS. We own those ones. They are special! At least they are when we are little.
When starting to teach children their letters it is a fabulous idea to begin with their name letters. Once little ones know these letters, I suggest introducing the rest of the letters in a special order (which is how we do it in my preschool at home program, Play into Kindergarten Readiness!) I also share a little bit about it in this beginning letter sound cards FREEBIE as well!
Now though, this post is just about names.
It is such an important topic it deserves a post all it’s own! And since Quiet Bins are kind of my thing, this activity doubles as a rocking quiet bin too.
When introducing children to their name letters, there is a process of learning.
First, we want children to recognize their name letters. This can be done through matching games (such as with the blocks on the cardboard name, or clothespins to clip on the cardboard name found in this bin)
Next, we want children to build their name. This can be done by giving them their name letters for them to put in the correct order (such as the name puzzle cut apart, or the blocks without the cardboard name found in this bin)
Finally, we want out children to write their name all on their own. This can be done by tracing at first, and then looking at an example, and finally doing it all on their own!
Many names have short forms. My Benjamin often gets called Ben, so I want him to learn both of those names. Ben is obviously simpler, so we have really focused on it up until now. Now that he has those 3 letters down pat, we have begun practicing his whole big name.
This quiet bin is a fabulous one for young children to use. The name activities in the bin are sequential, so there is an activity that will be perfect for whatever level your child is currently achieving.
Inside this name activities quiet bin I included:
Ben’s name written on cardstock and chopped up like a puzzle.
Ben’s name written in a little book form in dots for him to trace (with a few blank pages at the end for him to try all on his own)
Ben’s name letters written on cardstock for him to trace one at a time.
These are the activities he is ready for with his short name (“Ben”) as he has had quite a bit of time and practice matching and building it.
Funny side note – my Sam, who is 7, has recently learned about air quotes and does them all the time … “know” what I “mean” … he doesn’t do them properly. Just cutely.
Since I am now introducing Ben to his big name — Benjamin — I added in some building and matching name activities that went along with his full name.
Benjamin was written on cardstock and I popped it in the quiet bin with matching letters written on colourful blocks I found at the dollarstore. This activity is ideal for building a name. Slowly we can remove the cardstock and have our little ones build their names all on their own.
I also put the name Benjamin on a large piece of cardstock with corresponding clothespins. Each clothespin had a letter written of his name written on it. A great activity for matching – and also excellent for strengthening those little hands.
Ben loved his special name bin! He enjoyed all of the activities and especially enjoyed that it was just for HIM. His brother was not going to be sharing that one!
Of course his brother was not as fond of this idea – so I created one for him that had more skills relevant to a 7 year old. It was full of matching and building activities for Sam’s last name, address, and phone number too.
So many possibilities! Oh for the love of Quiet Bins!!
If you like these ideas, you are going to LOVE my day-by-day, step-by-step plan: Play into Kindergarten Readiness! It is filled with 20 minute play-based learning activities just like these ones. Check it out right here:
I hope you are having a “fabulous” week friends. Thank you for reading!
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