The most important word to your child is their name. For this reason, your child's name is a great place to start with letter recognition and eventually, printing. Recognizing and writing one's own name are not only important skills, but they are also something your child's kindergarten teacher will appreciate!
Practice doesn't have to be boring! Here are some fun suggestions on helping your child learn to print their name.
- Start by talking about the letters in your child's name. Does your child know all the letters? Make sure you talk about the sounds the letters make. ("Sarah starts with the sound Ssssss, just like snake. Can you hear it? Ssssssarah...")
- Make sure your child knows how to form the letters in their name. Talk about circles and lines in letters. Once they know how to make the letters, practice by having them make the shapes of the letters with their fingers. For example, they can write the letters in the air, on the floor, on your back, in water in the tub, in rice, shaving cream, flour, playdough (using stamps), or by tracing sandpaper letters with their fingers.
- Your child should feel comfortable holding writing implements in his or her hand before he or she will be able to write. This takes strength! Help your child build the muscles in their hands by engaging them in fine motor skills like cutting, playing with playdough,
using icepick tongs to sort,playing with lego, and so on. Once they have build up some strength, encourage them to practice using chalk, paint markers, and smelly markers (washable of course).
- Encourage your child to take pride in their name. Show them it is important. Label their belongings with their help (lunch containers, clothes). Give them plenty of exposure to their name in their world.
Please post any suggestions you have on helping children learn to write their name.