Tools for Teaching Kids to Spell Their Name

This week we are working on learning to spell names. D can verbally spell his but isn’t able to write it yet, and I’m under no delusions that I am teaching my 18 month old to spell, but don’t want to leave him out of the fun.

Of the various activities I made for this unit, this file folder game was my favorite. All of the letters of D’s first and last names are on the little apples. The apples are attached to the tree with velcro dots. The goal is for him to “pick” the apples and put them in order on the velcro on the bottom of the file folder. Of course, if you don’t want to laminate, etc they can just pull the apples out of the tree and lay them on the table in order. 


Next is the rainbow clothespin activity. Their name is on the rainbow, each letter I wrote on a clothespin with Sharpie and they had to match the letters and clip them on. This is a great fine motor challenge and it was fun watching D think hard about how to rotate the rainbow to get them on correctly.

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The third activity we did was a fill-in-the-blank name rubric. The idea is that they start by filling in only one blank and work up to completing the whole name. As always, I put this in a sheet protector and used a dry erase marker so I can correct mistakes and use it for repeated practice. image_1Finally , we made name puzzles. I put each of my kids’ photos into a word doc and simply typed their names below in large font. Then I printed on card stock, cut into strips and laminated. They have to put the letters in the correct order to complete the puzzle. We all know little kids love anything having to do with themselves, so this should keep their attention. My boys have done these over and over.


I also found these awesome, free and customizable name tracing printables at Powerful Mothering Name Tracing Printable. She has a lot of great resources. I used this one to print names, addresses and phone numbers to trace.

Other things we’ve used for learning names include writing in sand with our fingers, cutting the letters out in play dough with cookie cutters, and spelling with letter magnets on a cookie sheet.

Due to copyright issues I cannot provide a download of these activities, but you can easily recreate them with your own twist. The rainbow and tree graphics I used were found at:

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