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5 Ways to Help Preschoolers Recognize Their Names

Use these simple, fun ideas and activities to boost your little one's name-reading ability.
on August 18, 2016
 

As adults, finding our names is easy-peasy — heck, it's even easy for seven-year-old kids. We take the ability to recognize our names for granted. But for a preschooler who is just beginning to venture out into a classroom, name recognition is a really helpful skill, and many children come to preschool and kindergarten without it.

Here are five simple ways you can work on this at home without resorting to mind numbing repetitive methods.

1. Use magnet letters. Do you have a bunch on your fridge? Use them. I know many of mine are holding oil change coupons too but at least grab the letters in your child’s name and spell it out. At this simple stage, we just want the children to recognize that it’s their name. If you want to go the extra mile, you could then use the magnets to hold up a photo of your child or maybe a drawing they made.

2. Label their favorite cups, water bottles, plates, and placemats. You don’t have to label the whole house, but a few daily items give your child a chance to see their name in print often without you having to orchestrate a big “learning” activity.

3. Label artwork. When your little artist creates art work have them sign it (yes, scribbling is signing) and then print their name under it with the date. Again this is such a simple thing, but it adds up especially with children like my daughter who can create 50 drawings before breakfast.

4. Make bedroom door signs. These don’t have to be fancy schmancy; you just need to grab some paper and markers and make a sign saying "Todd’s Bedroom." You don’t even have to have it on their door; my daughter made one and installed it above her bed. The point is for them to be able to see their name in print frequently.

5. Read books that have characters with their name. If your child has an unusual name, consider doing a personalized book through a service like I See Me Books and get that name in a book and have your child seeing it over and over again.

These ideas aren’t time-consuming; they are simple and doable. So what are you waiting for? Children’s names are often the very first thing they will read and helping them meet that milestone doesn’t have to be anything but fun. 

What are your favorite activities to boost your preschooler's name recognition? Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page!

 

 

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In the Raise a Reader blog, get advice, tips, and resources from our expert contributors on helping your child read at every age and stage. Each week, find book recommendations, literacy activities, and more to spark your reader's interests.

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