This post originally appeared as a guest post on From ABCs to ACTs.. Please check out their fantastic site to read about learning through play, creativity and imagination.
I am currently working with my 4 year old son to help him write his name. You may remember a few weeks ago, when he practiced writing his name on a Dr. Seuss hat. In this post I will show you another activity you can do to teach a child to write their name.
First and foremost, your child should be able to recognize all the upper and lower case letters in the alphabet. It is also so important that your child understand that there is a difference between the upper and lower case letters. Upper case letters are really only used to begin a sentence, to begin someone’s name, and a few other minor instances. The majority of the letters that children will read are lower case letters. So – rule #1 is to make sure your child can recognize the lower case letters. If you need help with teaching the alphabet, you can check out this video.
The next step to teach a child to write their name is that we have to start out by having the child learn to grip a pencil correctly. Some children seem to be naturals at holding a pencil correctly, whereas others need a little bit more guidance. The child’s grip does not need to be perfect to start learning to write, but, we do believe it does help in learning to form letters correctly and quickly.
The third skill to teach a child to write their name is your child should know how to spell his/her name. To help a child with this, I always find it helpful to make up a song or cheer or jingle that is catchy and the child likes to chant. For instance, for the name Kevin, you may chant K-E-V-I-N, Kevin, Kevin, he’s my friend! You can also sing his name to “Old MacDonald” substituting BINGO for KEVIN.
After the child knows how to grip a pencil correctly, and knows that capital letters are used only for the first letter of his/her name, and, the child knows how to spell his/her name, you are ready to begin to teach your child to write their name!
Below he is tracing his entire name using the tracing paper. I had to guide him several times -making sure that he started each letter in the correct spot – ‘start at the top, pull down and around!’
Once the child has mastered using the tracing paper, I have the child practice writing his/her name by just looking at the letters. (This was done in the Dr. Seuss post). Another thing you can do is to incompletely write your child’s name, and have your child ‘fill in the blank’ with the missing letters.
Anyway…here are a few pictures of my 2 year old wanting to write his name as well….First he was serious. Then, he noticed I was watching him….
Hey, wait -this is sort of fun!
Look Mommy, I did it! I wrote (my brother’s) name!