From an early age, a child learns that his name is the word that represents him, first verbally and then in written form. This is an important precursor to learning that a word represents the same object, place, or action it's attributed to, each time it's said, written, or read. Often, one of the first words a child learns to read and write is his own name.
Help Your Young Child Learn to Read and Write Her Name
Young children love seeing their name appear in meaningful ways. Write your child’s name on his belongings, toys, and on bookplates in his favorite books. Make a name decoration together to hang on his 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 — 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 shows interest, invite him to "write" his own name too. At first, he is likely to use squiggles and letter-like symbols to represent his name, but over time an actual letter or two will appear and, with repeated opportunity and acceptance of their attempts, his name will eventually appear in a more legible form.
Playful Ways to Explore Your Child’s Name
By around three or four years of age, you might like to invite your child to make his name using a range of creative materials. As he creates, talk to him about the name of the letter he's working on and the sound it makes in his name (and other words!). It's your interaction with your child as he completes these activities that make these valuable learning experiences.
Safety Note: As some of the activities recommended below use small materials, such as beads and bottle tops, close adult supervision is recommended at all times. Use these ideas below as inspiration, using age-appropriate items for your child.
Here are some creative ideas to try: