From an early age, a child learn the importance of his or her name, first verbally and then in written form. In fact, one of the first words a child learns to read and write is their name.
Young children love seeing their name appear in meaningful ways like on belongings, toys, and on bookplates in favorite books. Another fun activity you can do together is making a name decoration to hang on their bedroom door.
Begin to grow your child’s awareness of the letters of her name by starting with the initial letter and pointing it out often in everyday print that you come into contact with — on signs, cereal boxes, book covers, etc. You can say, “I can see a T. Your name, Tomo, starts with T.’
Write your child’s name on his artwork, using a capital letter for the first initial and lowercase letters for the remainder of the name. If he or she shows interest, invite them to "write" their own name too. At first, they're likely to use squiggles and letter-like symbols to represent their name, but over time an actual letter or two will appear and, with repeated opportunity and acceptance of their attempts, his or her name will eventually appear in a more legible form. We love Scholastic Early Learners: Write and Wipe Learn to Write board book as a way to practice.
5 Playful Ways to Explore Your Child’s Name
By around three or four years of age, you can invite your child to make her name using a range of creative materials. As he or she creates, talk about the name of the letter she's working on and the sound it makes in their name (and other words!). It's your interaction with your child while completing these activities that make these valuable learning experiences.
Here are five creative ideas to try:
(Safety note: As some of the activities suggested below use small materials, such as beads and bottle tops, that can be choking hazards, close adult supervision is recommended at all times. Use these ideas below as inspiration, using age-appropriate items for your child.)